Why Keen Entrepreneurs are Setting Up Biotech Labs
Entrepreneurs used to go to the bank to ask for money to set up barber shops or oil companies. However, many are now using funds to create biotech labs. But why?
That’s what you’re about the find out. This post takes a look at some of the reasons business leaders are increasingly going down the research route, and what it means for your entrepreneurial plans.
Setting up a lab doesn’t sound like a great way to make money. But the entrepreneurs who do it are often thinking long-term.
The idea isn’t to sell a product immediately. Instead, it is to develop some game-changing technology that a bigger, less nimble company will want to buy.
We saw this with Google’s acquisition of Deep Mind in 2014. The tech giant knew it wanted to do AI in-house, but all the researchers at the cutting edge of the discipline were in this small London startup. Instead of entering a war with the company, Google simply bought them out for hundreds of millions of dollars.
Bear in mind that Deep Mind had no product at this point. All it had was an advanced, working AI that Google believed it could use.
Another reason entrepreneurs are setting up these biotech labs is their ongoing quest to find societal solutions to hitherto intractable problems. Entrepreneurs often solve one problem and create another. But these science-focused business leaders want to break the cycle and give society something that will be universally good.
Biotech is a prime candidate for this type of research. Scientists and entrepreneurs want to find ways to solve the pressing health problems faced by Western societies to prevent long-term civilizational decline. Inventions should have maximum upside with little downside.
Developing Intellectual Property
Entrepreneurs are also setting up labs to develop intellectual property. The patent system protects many business leaders against other firms stealing their ideas. Keeping them under NDA in secretive labs is an excellent way to ensure profits in the future.
Car companies, household appliance makers, and electronics brands engage in these activities all the time. Plus, they are often willing to buy out promising startups they believe have epic technology on their hands.
Another motivation is the educational value of setting up a lab. Entrepreneurs want to invest in equipment, like biosafety cabinets and centrifuges, that help them learn more about the world around them.
For many, it is the passion for learning combined with the prospect of making an impact that motivates them. In that sense, the traditional business model is not an option.
Addressing Global Concerns
Finally, entrepreneurs are setting up labs to address global concerns. Often, they do this while running a profit-making business concurrently to fund their ventures.
Biotech in particular has the chance to solve various pressing issues. For example, it could help mitigate the effects of climate change on crop production and yields across the globe. It could also develop solutions that help people cope with extreme heat or humidity in some parts of the world.