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Non-dilutive funding and equity capital are two key reasons why life sciences companies pursue strategic partnerships. In fact alliances are also strong contributors to successful “exits”, whether Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) (~ 40% of partnerships ultimately resulted in acquisition by the partner) or stand-alone market entry (80% of approved biopharmaceutical products from 2000-2010 had a commercial partner on board)1. In the current environment, strategic alliances and funding can come from many sources, including the traditional “large pharma” universe – but the question remains: How best for a small management team to gain access to and maximize success with these sources? The focus of this article is to describe how entrepreneurs can leverage external expertise, intermediaries to achieve their near term and longer-term objectives.

Full details at the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology

This article focuses on the essentials of building effective, collaborative, team-based organizations. The entrepreneurs and innovators who found and build technology-based organizations comprise out target audience, but most specifically we address the biotechnology and biomedical field.  Two perspectives are provided in the article: 1) advice based on the experiential learning provided by years of experience of building and growing entrepreneurial organizations; and 2) identifying the keys to building effective teams based on some selected the academic or scholarly literature on building effective teams.  Our goal is to provide a perspective that blends real-world lessons filtered through a more scholarly approach based on case literature and other research-based studies.  The material summarized herein is presented as a learning module to the participants in the Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Boot Camp.  Our pedagogical approach in the Boot camp is to lead with the background material and perspective contained herein, and to then have a moderated panel discussion around these and other topics. The moderated panel consists of the key members of a real company consisting of key C-level officers and founders and a venture capitalist who funded the company.  Thus the “theory and practice” of team-based innovation come together via a real-time case.

Full details at the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology

There is a wide body of literature on biotechnology clusters. However, most of the works has been focused on the description of the clusters as well as the development of biotechnology clusters in USA, Europe and other developed countries. Much less attention has been paid to the development of biotechnology clusters in developing countries. The aim of this paper is to gain a better understanding of the emergence of biotechnology clusters in Egypt and South Africa.

Full details at the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology

In keeping with an emerging literature on the role of business education in the development of entrepreneurially-intentioned biotechnologists, this paper describes the actions and experiences of an entrepreneurship program that began in the late 1990’s. Along the way it illustrates how a business-centric approach can shift the budding entrepreneur’s perspective from a product to a market orientation when considering an innovation’s commercialization. While the developmental timeline and specific stages of the adoption process for biotechnology-based products vary from traditional consumer or industrial products, there many similarities, foremost is the notion that to be successful the market must perceive significant advantage to the new offering. Lastly, this paper provides thoughts on potentially profitable areas for program expansion and new foci, especially regarding the globalization of biotechnology innovation and international opportunities.

Full details at the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology