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Kellogg on Biotech

Challenges in a Biotechnology Start up

Aravind Durai KSM '08, Bin Li KSM '08, Sunil Metkar KSM '08, Monica Pelayo KSM '08 and Natasha Phillips KSM '08

The economic promise of Biotechnology is extraordinary: currently a $60 billion sector worldwide, it is estimated to become a $120 billion market annually within the next decade. Moving a promising research discovery to the clinic is not only costlybut very complex. In this paper, we have attempted to identify challenges that are unique to a Biotechnology startup. Our approach to compiling information included a combination of interviews with Chicago-based bio-entrepreneurs and research using industry journals, business databases and newspaper articles. The challenges include raising capital, building strategic partnerships, recruiting, motivating and retaining top scientific talent and compliance with regulatory bodies. Bio-entrepreneurs with a solid product must effectively identify and prioritize key managerial challenges and subsequently develop a strategy to address these challenges in order to succeed. Success brings incredible experience and a unique promise- the chance for the next breakthrough life-saver that will improve the lives of generations to come.

©2007 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University