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More than 6 percent of Inc. 500 firms work in the health and drug space, making it the No. 5 industrial sector for these fast-growing companies from 2005 to 2010. But these medical innovators aren’t all concentrated in the Silicon Valley.
I recently sat down with Diana Kander, a successful entrepreneur and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Kauffman Foundation. Diana has founded and sold multiple enterprises, raising a lot of angel investment in the meantime. But we weren’t getting together to talk about her successes. Instead, we dove into a taboo topic … failure.
Because life sciences entrepreneurship thrives on harnessing new technologies, spurring innovation, and growing companies, the Kauffman Foundation met in 2003 with the Panel of Advisors on the Life Sciences to help advance those goals.
DioGenix, in Gaithersburg, Md., was founded in 2009 after CEO Larry Tiffany and his senior management team saw a clear clinical need: monitoring disease progression of multiple sclerosis (MS). Tiffany has an extensive background in biotech, as an IP attorney, and as a senior executive at small and mid-size biotech companies. Before DioGenix, he was senior vice president and general manager of genomics for another genomics research company, Gene Logic.
Dr. Todd O’Brien has additional challenges beyond those encountered by most startup life science CEOs. The 48-year-old podiatrist still sees patients even while developing his latest innovation: an electronic tuning fork for measuring diabetes-related nerve damage in people’s feet. He's also building his company in Orono, Maine - far from any major healthcare hub.
It’s a cancer immunologist’s dream to discover a safe and effective way to coax the body’s own immune system into waging war against invading cancer cells. Building a startup company around that finding, though, is definitely not every scientist’s forte. For Gary W. Wood, making the leap from laboratory to C-suite seemed like the next logical step.
In the entrepreneurship and economic development realms, the word “high-growth” is tossed about loosely, often used to define that rare, illusive, overnight success of a startup. But a recent study by Kauffman has proved that high-growth firms aren’t as hard-pressed to find as we thought … so long as you’re looking in the right places.
At the FutureMed conference at Singularity University in the Silicon Valley this month, innovators from throughout the health field gathered for sessions on the future of medicine. A session on data-driven health provided insights into fascinating healthcare innovations centered on the use of health data. And it offered ideas for entrepreneurs looking to join the data revolution.
There’s no silver bullet for becoming a successful life science entrepreneur. But at a session on entrepreneurship and innovation at the FutureMed conference at Singularity University in the Silicon Valley last week, three panelists shared their tips on achieving entrepreneurial success.
The archetypal entrepreneur is a strapping 20-something. But we shouldn’t count out Baby Boomers as the next innovators.
Dane Stangler, senior analyst at the Kauffman Foundation, uncovered these facts in some recent Kauffman Foundation research:
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