Biotech is an industry with the ability to transform how our society thinks and operates. It’s capable of creating impressive medical marvels and drastically improving our way of life.
I’ve worked with so many emerging engineers and innovators with brilliant ideas for improving medicine, curing disease, and improving mobility amidst injury.
The unfortunate reality, though, is that so many ideas don’t come to fruition. Instead, they remain a pipedream.
Innovators in biotech need to have a plan of execution, rather than rely on their visions of emerging technologies.
Here’s how biotech can turn their visions into reality:
Starting With the Good Idea
Engineers, mathematicians, and scientists working in the field of emerging biological technology come up with good ideas in school and when working with incubators.
I often sit down with these innovators to discuss their vision for a new biotech technology. These ideas range from affordable bionic limbs(opens in a new tab) to experimental drugs.
Unfortunately, no matter the field or area of study, it’s common that innovators aren’t prepared to navigate the challenge of biotech startups and finding capital.
Without an entrepreneurial mindset, many of these great ideas fail. They may be graduate students who truly believe that their idea is nothing but a pipedream, or they rely on someone else obtaining the funding for their own project (which hardly ever works out).
As idea makers, you have to be prepared to fight for your idea. The process of turning your great idea into an executable product, method, or function is challenging, and by moving through the execution phase, your idea will change drastically into something that is unrecognizable from what you imagine initially.
However, this is a crucial step. Without executing a plan, you are living in an imaginary world where your idea works perfectly.
4 Tips for Successfully Executing Your Biotech Visions
It’s great to start with an idea, but you must be prepared to move into the execution stage.
Here are four steps to help you get from point A, the idea, to point B, execution.
1. Write Down Your Idea
Call it a Master Plan, Request for Proposal (RFP), or Biotech Business Proposal, visioneers must create a plan of action that describes their idea in-depth, including the stakeholders needed to facilitate this plan, the funding required, timelines, and deliverables.
Think of this stage as one that a startup business moves through.
If you have a generic startup business idea, you should create a business plan. Note that I don’t believe a business plan should be REQUIRED for you to start a business, but many times it is helpful.
A business plan, RFP, or master plan will do the following:
- Show to outside investors, interested parties, and supporting parties that you have thought this idea through to
the people involved and the potential pitfalls
- It helps you to work out your thoughts, get it all on paper, and to change your idea into something that might
- It helps you to think of the many potentials you don’t think about initially with your ideas, such as obtaining
licenses, insurance, and logistics
- The biggest benefit is that it makes the idea more real, and it turns your idea into an executable plan
With this document, you can do a better job explaining your idea to other people. Not only will this help outsiders interested in investing, but it will solidify the idea as something real in your heart and mind.
Your master plan, RFP, or business plan may go through several phases, but the core foundation will always
2. Create a Detailed Business Plan
For someone in our field, biotechnology, the business plan will look a little different compared to someone starting in the area of business or finance.
Here are the core sections that should be included in your biotech business plan:
- Executive Summary or Overview
- Description of Idea
- Value Proposition
- Stakeholders Involved
- Capital Costs
- Total Budget
- Potential Investors
- Research Methods
- Production Logistics
- Avenues for Distribution
As you can see, there are many sections of your RFP that will be similar to other fields, but instead, it is tailored toward the obvious needs of an industry geared toward producing a product rather than a service.
Product-based innovations involve research methods and details around the production and distribution of the idea.
3. Expect Time for Validation
Validation is the process of testing your idea and improving it. You should have your business plan ready during this phase so you can edit it and transform it based on the validation of your idea.
Validating an idea(opens in a new tab)(opens in a new tab) takes time to listen and it also takes intuition in making changes reflected in your business idea/model. Even great ideas require several rounds of testing, product iterations, and so forth.
This process takes about 2 to 3 times longer than most founders expect. However, this is the bread and butter of your innovation journey. This is the part where you learn more about your idea than before, and where you see it transform in front of your own eyes.
4. Secure a Mentor
With all of this said and done, you should get yourself a mentor(opens in a new tab)(opens in a new tab). According to Forbes, “Mentored startups grow 3.5x faster and raise 7x more money.”
Mentors provide experience, connections, and direction. Therefore, they successfully guide many entrepreneurs with a roadmap, securing a higher probability of success.
Executing Your Biotech Idea
Once you have mapped out the details of your idea, you can then start to execute it. This will look different for everyone. You may be capable of starting research on your own or you may need to seek outside funding before you can begin.
Try to identify the first step for your business so that you can begin to approach the necessary parties and or seek research assistants.
Executing your biotech idea is often the hardest part since it requires that you put one step towards your potential future.
There is the possibility that your idea will fail, and that is scary too. There is also the potential that you are in over your head.
Chances are neither are true and you need to trust your intuition. Remember, the number one reason why businesses fail is that there’s no market need. And for about 99% of biotechnical ideas, there is a market need and it is desperate!
With dedication and a smart plan of action, you can turn your pipedream into a reality and contribute to the new frontier of healthcare.
Dr Wright and partners at One Red Arrow(opens in a new tab)(opens in a new tab) mentor and consult with biotech ideators to efficiently plan and execute their visions. The shortest distance between NOW and the future is One Red Arrow.