Most natural and life scientists plan to work in academic research, hospitals or in industry after their graduation. Many of these graduates already possess a distinct drive to innovation and invention and think about founding their own innovative start-up. For this to lead to success, however, some important points should be considered.
Professional experience is important
When founding a company. prior professional experience can be crucial for success. Practical application of research, but also legal and financial aspects play a major role, topics that experienced professionals can relate to. Going into self-employment straight after graduation often leads to bigger problems. There might be ideas for a business, but the concrete plan for implementation is missing. Furthermore, the young founders face great risks, particularly as scientific innovations like drug development, processes and analytical techniques have to overcome great hurdles until they are ready for the market. Another role is the founding capital: after some years of professional experience, this can usually be raised much more easily than straight after graduation.
Convincing investors: a vital topic
Next to product and service development, young entrepreneurs need to get investors on board in order to be able to grow. Particularly in a scientific context, this can be of high relevance as the development as well as the marketing of the products requires large amounts of money- just think of complex systems like imaging techniques or novel materials. You´ll need a confident and competent appearance as well as a clear financial plan. All investors want to see a clear concept as well as some key players with certain economic know-how.
All investors want to see a clear concept as well as some key players with certain economic know-how.
Science: a field of the future
It is thus highly important that you know about financial, formal and technical aspects before setting up a company. Well-prepared and with some professional experience, starting out into self-employment as a scientist can be highly rewarding. You have the chance to use your knowledge to contribute to society as well as be able to stand on your own feet. Risks should be mitigated with a sensible planning process.
This is a guest post by Katharina Lange, founder of gruendercheck.