Science-Driven Entrepreneurship

Friday, February 12, 2016: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Marshall Ballroom South (Marriott Wardman Park)
John M. Newsam, Tioga Research Inc., San Diego, CA
I have long thought that, irrespective of one’s affiliation, an entrepreneurial mindset (or at least an entrepreneurially-inspired approach), is helpful in enabling a scientific advance to achieve best impact. And for the entrepreneur who commits to creating a new science-based company and who strives to progress the company through the challenges of early growth, achieving impact is typically given as the prime motivation. For a new enterprise that is science-driven, the translational risk (that is the risk that the technology will not work as advertised in production practice, or that it will be too challenging to implement and deploy at a commercial scale) is often high. And the cost to eliminate this risk in time and dollar terms can be prohibitive.  Here, we discuss this and other types of risk and the rewards of working to address these risks, illustrated by experiences of hte AG (launched in 1999 and acquired by BASF in 2008), fqubed, Inc. (launched in 2002 and acquired by Nuvo Research, Inc. in 2005), and Tioga Research, Inc. (launched in 2011 and still private).