Newsletter Editorial, November 2020
At BioInnovation Institute, we help early-stage life science start-ups take important steps towards the market. The success of a start-up is amongst other factors dependent on hiring a team of highly competent employees at all levels of the company.
A potentially quite challenging task as start-ups are fishing in the same pool of high-quality employees as larger companies.
Why would a talented business person, scientist or engineer choose to work for a newly formed life science start-up? The drawbacks of doing do include potentially lower pay and job insecurity compared to jobs in larger organizations.
However, there are also upsides. Research using Danish registry data has shown that employees working for start-ups rarely move into jobs in larger companies. This indicates that start-ups could be more attractive workplaces and their advantages can outweigh the obvious downsides.
I can testament to that myself. In fact, I can think of three reasons why you should work for a life science start-up.
You get to work with an interdisciplinary team
In 2008, I joined an early-stage start-up company in California after having worked in a university setting for most of my career. One thing that I realized quickly was that I would be interacting with people from a broad range of disciplines including biology, engineering and business development on a daily basis. This ability to constantly work in interdisciplinary teams is one of the advantages of a start-up career.
You can pivot easily because the chain of command is short
After working on a specific project for the first six months of my start-up career, I realized that I should rather join another larger project that was more critical to the company’s success. In larger organizations, it is hard to suddenly embark on a new project, but in a start-up setting, this can often be handled through a brief discussion with one’s manager. The speed of making changes and short chains of command are for many people desirable features of the start-up work environment.
You can be part of taking the product to the market
Later on, I realized what was perhaps the most significant advantage of working in a start-up. Our small team was in a short time frame able to rapidly develop multiple products to the point where they could be tested in real clinical, agricultural or industrial settings. The life science start-up environment gives in my opinion the best chance for an individual to contribute to human health or society by bringing research to market.
BII’s start-ups are constantly looking to onboard team members that are inspired and drawn to the entrepreneurial environment and if the start-ups are successful, the downsides will quickly become major upsides.
Follow BII on Linkedin to find posts on open positions in the start-up community.
CTO, BioInnovation Institute