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UC Alternative Careers Seminar Science Careers in Small Business Health Science Graduate Student Association April 21, 2 PowerPoint Presentation
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UC Alternative Careers Seminar Science Careers in Small Business Health Science Graduate Student Association April 21, 2009 Overview Power of Small Business Definition of Entrepreneur Entrepreneurial Drivers Entrepreneurial Attributes Entrepreneurial Myths

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UC Alternative Careers Seminar

  • Science Careers in Small Business
  • Health Science Graduate Student Association
    • April 21, 2009


  • Power of Small Business
  • Definition of Entrepreneur
  • Entrepreneurial Drivers
  • Entrepreneurial Attributes
  • Entrepreneurial Myths
  • Classic Entrepreneurial Mistakes
  • Entrepreneurial Survival Skills
  • Getting Started

Power of Small Business 1

  • Small business is a powerful engine of
  • opportunity and economic growth
    • “Golden Goose” of job creation
    • Of all net new jobs created over half created by 1-4 employee businesses
    • Jobs created by new firms account for
    • > 60% of the total employment increase

Power of Small Business 2

  • Builds wealth
  • 80% of the current Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans are first generation entrepreneurs who “started with nothing and built major enterprises creating enormous wealth”
  • This entrepreneurial dominance of the list of America’s wealthiest has been the case every year since the magazine was first published in 1982.

Power of Small Business 3

New and small firms play a crucial role in experimentation and innovation that leads to technological change and productivity growth


Power of Small Business 4

  • Three key trends
    • Transformation of large businesses
    • Creation of new and small businesses
    • Role of women, minorities and immigrants and
    • veterans
      • Women and minority owned businesses continue to increase at rates exceeding the average rate of increase in US firms

In Summary…..

Small business is here to stay!



  • Start-Up
  • A new business venture
  • A risky enterprise
  • In business for about ten years or less
  • May or may not have achieved profitability in that time span
  • Small Business
  • A business that is independently owned and operated that is not dominant in its field of operation, provided it has annual receipts not in excess of $500,000 and has fewer than 500 employees


  • Entrepreneur
  • A person who organizes and manages a business
  • undertaking, assuming the risk for the sake of profit
  • (Webster)
  • Creation and/or recognition of opportunities
  • followed by the will and initiative to seize these
  • opportunities (Spinelli)
  • Entrepreneurs devise ingenious strategies to
  • marshal their limited resources (Timmons)

Entrepreneurial Drivers

  • Dreams
  • Passion for Change
  • Hope for Future
  • Desire to Succeed
  • Downsized
  • Accidental
  • Crisis-Driven
  • Social Cause
  • Career Changing

Committed / Determined

  • Willing to do whatever it takes
  • Decisive
  • Persistent in problem solving

Leadership Driven

  • Self-starter
  • Team-builder
  • Honest, reliable, trustworthy, fair

Opportunity Obsessed

  • Understands customer needs and wants
  • Market driven
  • Value creation

Tolerant of Risk, Ambiguity and Uncertainty

  • Calculated risk taker, minimizes/shares risk
  • Manages paradoxes and contradictions
  • Tolerates uncertainty, lack of structure, stress, conflict

Creative, Self-Reliant and Adaptable

  • Non-conventional thinker
  • Quick, superior learner
  • Flexible, quickly adapts to change

Motivated to Excel

  • Outstanding achievement
  • Goal and results oriented
  • Aware of weaknesses and strengths
  • Maintains perspective and sense of humor

Entrepreneurial Myths

  • Entrepreneurs are born, not made
  • Anyone can start a business
  • Entrepreneurs risk everything
  • Entrepreneurs want to run the show
  • Entrepreneurs are their own boss and completely
  • independent
  • Entrepreneurs are motivated only by money
  • Talented entrepreneurs are successful in a year or two
  • Entrepreneurs with a good idea can raise capital

Classic Entrepreneurial Mistakes

  • Technology in search of a market
  • Failure to transform a technology into a product
  • Product never ready for market
  • Focus on product features instead of benefits
  • Unrealistic about product’s unfair advantage
  • Underestimating customer willingness to change
  • Underestimating the competition
  • No commercialization experience
  • Underuse of professional advisors to save money
  • Undesignated or inexperienced leadership
  • Insufficient capital

Founder Mistakes

  • Lack of focus
  • How to tell the good guys from the bad guys
  • Failure to admit a mistake
  • Ignoring the handwriting on the wall
  • Reluctance to seek help

Importance of Attributes, Myths, Mistakes

  • Understanding the realities improves the probability
  • of success a new venture
  • An entrepreneur or employee of a small business
  • may need to modify his/her own traits to have a
  • higher probability of success
  • Some attributes can be acquired, some cannot –
  • build or join the small business team accordingly

Entrepreneurial Survival Skills

  • Addressing Unmet Market Need
  • Business Plan
  • Advisory Board
  • Mentors
  • Network
  • Apprenticeship

Addressing Unmet

Market Need

  • Unique
  • Solves real problem – clinical, economic, patient care
  • Improvement over current practice
  • Saves time, money

Business Plan

  • What
    • Comprehensive picture/model of business
    • Who, what, where, when, how, how much?
    • An adventure story-makes reader want to know more
  • Why
    • Sell yourself on the business
    • Raise capital
    • Secure customers
    • Attract employees
    • Motivate management team
    • Guide operations


  • Overview of Company
  • Products / Services
  • Market Opportunity
  • Intellectual Property
  • Sales Awareness and Strategy
  • Management Team and Advisors
  • Financial Projections
  • Investment Opportunity
  • Exit Strategy

Advisory Board

  • Small group of experts
  • May be paid or volunteer
  • People who will tell you the truth
  • Skills and experience that compliment your own
  • Care and feeding of advisory boards


  • Someone you want to learn from
  • Possess coaching skills
  • Ask hard questions and expects real answers
  • Challenge you to challenge yourself
  • Cultivate mentors throughout your life
  • Care and feeding of mentors


  • Local Opportunities
  • Young Entrepreneurs Organization
  • Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization
  • National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance
  • Kauffman Entrepreneurial Internship Program


  • Successful entrepreneurs are outstanding learners
  • Takes 7-10 years to gain sufficient judgment,
  • instinct, experience to develop a successful business
  • Work for a large company
  • Work with a successful entrepreneur
  • Work with an emerging entrepreneur

Getting Started

  • Research, Ask Questions, Listen, Learn
  • Feasibility Assessment
  • Concept Statement
  • Test the Waters (Ask. Listen, Learn)
  • Write the Plan
  • Test the Plan (Ask. Listen, Learn)
  • Sell the Plan
  • Implement the Plan
  • Ask, Listen, Learn

Advice from Successful Entrepreneurs

  • Do what gives you energy - have fun!
  • Anything is possible if you believe you can do it
  • Make opportunity and results your focus - not money
  • Make your team the hero - a team builds a business,
  • an individual makes a living
  • Integrity and reliability = longevity
  • Sweat the details that are critical for success
  • Play for the long term - it is rarely possible to get
  • rich quick!
  • Give back

Local Examples

  • William Motto, PhD, Meridian Biosciences
  • Timothy Schroeder, PhD, Clinical Trial and Consulting Services
  • Candace Kendle, PhD, Kendle International

Working in a

Small Business

  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages
  • Finding Opportunities
  • What to Look For
  • Local Opportunities
  • Resources

Rewards of Small Business Careers

  • Multi-faceted, wear multiple hats, variety
  • Exposure
  • Satisfaction / ability to see results
  • Teamwork
  • Work independently
  • Apply creativity and problem solving skills
  • Constantly learning new things
  • Working with other imaginative people – social advantages
  • Success depends on being able to think differently
  • No sacred cows – no baggage – nothing to protect
  • Empowering, invigorating to know you impact success
  • Less structure
  • More flexibility
  • Responsibility, autonomy, opportunity, initiative
  • Profit sharing, stock options

Risks of Small

Business Careers

  • Company may run lean and mean
  • May go under, run short of funds, overestimate growth
  • May trade off pay and benefits for upside potential
  • Less opportunity for specialization
  • Differences in professional advancement
  • Professional development opportunities more limited
  • Equipment – used, jury rigged, use what does the job
  • Seek out role models and mentors
  • Less financially stable?

How to Find Opportunities

  • Career fairs
  • Job/career web portals
  • Alumni networks
  • Portfolios of venture capital firms
  • State life science association company directories
  • Networking

What to Look For

  • Founder /CEO Vision and Experience
  • Business Plan
  • Board of Directors
  • Scientific Advisory Board
  • Financial Projections
  • Funding Sources
  • Organizational Structure / Plans to Build Out Team
  • Employee History
  • Burn Rate
  • Website
  • Press
  • Analyst Reports

Local Opportunities

  • Regulatory
  • Clinical Research Planning
  • Clinical Trials
  • Bio-manufacturing
  • Product Development
  • Research and Testing
  • Other Professional Consulting

Resources #1

Biomedical and pharma career fair

May 14, 2009 1:30-6 pm TechSolve


alternative career section

Bioentrepreneur – from benchtop to boardroom

Profiles of small businesses hiring science positions


Resources #2

Commercializing Successful Biomedical Technologies: Basic Principles of the Development of Drugs, Diagnostics and Devices,

Shreefal S. Mehta, 2008

High Tech Start-Up by John Neisbaum, 2000

Commercializing New Technologies: Getting from Mind to Market

Vijay Jolly 1997

Start-Up: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Launching and Managing a

New Business by William J. Stolze, 1999.

New Venture Creation – Entrepreneurship for the 21st. Century by Jeffrey Timmons, 2004

Money Hunt – 27 New Rules for Creating and Growing Breakaway Businesses by Miles Spencer, 1999


As a catalyst, BIOSTART empowers young life science companies with a proven mix of business and scientific know-how, effective services and cutting edge laboratory facilities

  • As a community, BIOSTART engages clients and partners in a stimulating, supportive entrepreneurial culture.  This enables vital connections for successful commercialization. 


  • Cincinnati’s Life Science Catalyst and Community
    • Affiliate of BioOhio, state life science industry association
    • Operates life science start-up center in Hoxworth Center
    • Serving pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostic firms
    • Independent 501 c 3 not-for-profit
    • 11 year proven track record
    • Assisted 125 companies
    • Raised $180 million
    • Public/private partnership


  • Carol J. Frankenstein
  • President
  • 3130 Highland Ave.
  • Cincinnati, OH 45219
  • 513-475-6610