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Bioentrepreneurship Career Scope – Why One Can Consider It?

2nd place for the Biotenika article writing contest was shared by two people. Presenting master write-up by one of the 2nd place winners of the Biotecnika Article Writing Contest – Mr. Nilanjan Bose! Read on and enjoy the winning article on the topic Bio-entrepreneurship- Why one can take it as a career? Congratulations once again.

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Modern areas of biotechnology are not only dependent on conceptualizing an innovation but
to give a proper shape to it with knowledge from interdisciplinary areas. As such, experts from diverse backgrounds come under a single umbrella to work towards developing a technology.

An added advantage is that we can bring a range of insights and expertise to the table. An aspiring bio-entrepreneur can have the opportunity to explore areas such as data science, management, analytics, instrumentation, and electronics that can fuel a biotechnology innovation. Bio-entrepreneurship is an amalgamation of all these topics and together with the development of a commercially via

ble business plan, it will pave the way for a career as an entrepreneur in the domain of health care, agriculture, or renewable energy.

Thorns on the roses-Risks and challenges in the road of a bio-entrepreneur

“Plans are worthless. Planning is essential”- Dwight D. Eisenhower

The biotechnology entrepreneurship pipeline has certain gaps from stepping onto the road
till the commercialization process. During the initial phase, the aim should be to integrate the research and development area while communicating with the team about the future vision in terms of financial growth. In entrepreneurship, this integration is a managerial imperative that one can also learn from nature. William Paley has put it beautifully in his Natural Theology. The way nature maneuvers its art overshadows human art and technology in its ingenious and mysterious pattern while at the same time they are mechanically sound and never run out of utility like the most breakthrough innovations of mankind. This is what the management of resources is all about.

Once the initial phase of a start-up meets success, the company should prioritize the area of scale-up and commercialization either singly or in partnership with sibling companies.
Resource distribution between the research, manufacturing, and commercialization wing is
going to go a long way in ensuring a stable managerial strength within a biotechnology
company. With the advent of “Omics”, there is all the more reason why bio-entrepreneurs
should consider “upgrading” as a managerial imperative in terms of incorporation of specific
set of skills according to the market needs.

“A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart”- Jonathan Swift

Grabbing the opportunity of acquiring capital whenever there is a chance is a lasting challenge for emerging biotechnology companies since a lot of their profit depends on whether they can provide a range of products addressing diverse issues.

Going with the similar analogy as put forward by William Paley, if someone finds a watch on
the ground, and was being asked how the watch came to be there, he cannot say that the
watch had lived there forever. The several parts in the watch have been put together for a
purpose and if the parts had been placed in any other order than in which they are placed,
there would be none who would have answered the use that is now served by it. In a similar way, capital will act as a glue to assemble the parts of the bio-entrepreneurship pipeline starting from the research and development wing towards commercialization. Only then the purpose of the venture is answered.

The need for recurrent investment by shareholders heavily taxes the process of acquiring
capital. However, young biotechnology companies have to be more liberal on acquiring
sufficient capital and not get discouraged in the process of taking a calculated risk. Having
close ties with an established pharmaceutical company can help in both ways as they have
the expertise to accelerate the commercialization process and bring the plans of capital
acquisition to fruition. If the biotechnology company is keen on bringing high returns onto the table, then it must have sufficient capital to wait and develop the regulatory expertise on its product development instead of entering into a consensus with an established pharmaceutical company.

Bioentrepreneurship Career Scope – Why One Can Consider It?

“If I had asked the public what they wanted, they would have said a faster
horse.”- Henry Ford

Biotechnology companies in their early years of growth can also maneuver product
development by engaging the academic institutions that possess the intelligence and
motivation to nurture their ideas into discoveries for the future. This can be explained
beautifully with the analogy of watching drawn previously.

Now, the person in our story observes that the watch is capable of generating just an identical watch in due course of time. We can surmise this is true and that the old watch is responsible for generating the new watch. This is where we are interested in knowing the reason behind an observation, the reason behind specific mechanical and chemical properties of a substance. The outcome of such inquisitiveness is clearly visible-we want to relate the reason for a property to its utility. We cannot simply say that the old watch is generating the new one. There can never be a connection to a utility without motivation for accomplishment irrespective of the fact whether it reaches its goal or not. So one can definitely say that a designer had intended to put it to some use after mastering the working principle. When it comes to producing an identical watch from the preceding one, we can figure out that a separate entity was assembled by the designer into the preceding watch to meet that end.

The designer of the watch in our story is analogous to the team of innovators behind the
technology that plays one of the crucial roles in a bio-entrepreneurship. However, for a young bio-entrepreneur, one of the key ways to make a smooth transition into futuristic
technologies is not completely abandoning products that have been developed decades
before and still have fertile ground in the market.

Bioentrepreneurship Career Scope – Why One Can Consider It?

Driving a career through bio-entrepreneurship-The foresight

It is high time every academic institute provides incubation to nurture the innovation skills of young minds willing to make a career in bio-entrepreneurship and has the flexibility to
escalate the innovation from its foundation. Academic institutions can organize workshops
with successful bio-entrepreneurs to unravel the innovative thinking within students and
provide the necessary skills to develop a product or device. Our future bio-entrepreneurs can benefit from the expertise of successful bio-entrepreneurs in understanding the regulations of Intellectual Property Rights and developing the necessary skillsets to take a biotechnology innovation from “lab to the land”

For every entrepreneurship venture, it is essential to have a vision ten years down the road. If we talk about investor returns in a bio-entrepreneurship, then it is fairly possible through selling a share of the company or by merging with a pharmaceutical company that often enjoys heavy profitability. While on the fringes there are off-balance-sheet financing and shares that can be sold in the open market to help the cause.

Bioentrepreneurship Career Scope – Why One Can Consider It?

References:

  1. Ruse, Michael (ed.) (1998). _Philosophy of Biology_. Prometheus Books.
  2. Schoemaker, H., Schoemaker, A. The three pillars of bio entrepreneurship. Nat
    Biotechnol 16, 13–15 (1998).
About the Author - Nilanjan Bose
He has completed his Master’s in Biotechnology from IIT Bombay. He is interested in studying evolutionary biology, functional genomics, and the use of multi-omics tools in the case studies of immunology and epidemiology.

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