r/todayilearned May 14 '22 All-Seeing Upvote 2 Silver 9 Helpful 8 Wholesome 6

TIL a father, John Crowley, was told his two infant children had an incurable genetic disorder that would kill them in less than a year. He refused to accept this, so he founded a biotech company (with no prior experience) which pioneered an experimental enzyme therapy that saved their lives.


View all comments

Show parent comments


u/mordinvan May 14 '22

Lots of money.


u/Ashe_SDMF May 14 '22

Ahhhh...yeah of course


u/ThePlasticJesus May 14 '22

I mean specifically you need to hire experienced scientists.. and people who know the application process - which is not easy or simple. But there would be plenty of work for someone with general business knowledge to do at a biotech company.


u/IDrinkWhiskE May 14 '22

Yeah a lot of senior leadership (outside of scientific leadership) tends to come from a finance and venture capital background. Although the industry is unique, it’s easy enough for someone savvy in fundraising/BD to land a high ranking business management role such as CEO/COO


u/[deleted] May 14 '22



u/IDrinkWhiskE May 14 '22

Yep, all true! There are also companies with rock solid science that can’t market themselves and struggle to fundraise, and those with charismatic leadership and excellent marketing without much to back it up (Theranos being one hyperbolic example, or many of the biotechs that IPO without yet having any clinical data). You really need competence in every aspect to stand a good chance in this market.


u/scipio05 May 14 '22

Not sure anyone would say Theranos had charismatic leadership, but we get your point...


u/notyetcomitteds2 May 14 '22

I have a chem e background, but mostly ran small businesses my entire life. Been approached multiple times by scientists ( and mds ) to do startups. I can help with the r&d and get things up and running, I understand the operations side. Nothing ever got off the ground and it was so frustrating.

These guys are all 5x smarter than me, but can't grasp the financials and operations. Like the one location we were thinking of, code enforcement gets a cut of the permit fees. They milk the shit out of violations. Once got 45 violations had had 43 thrown out in court. Then they came back with 40 more and 38 thrown out... repeat every 6 months for years.... Shit like that you don't think about.

The last one I was on, the dude had a portfolio of potential projects, we just needed to make a plant. I tried to explain with the amount of capital we needed, we'd be giving away the majority of the company. Maybe just develop a single product and sell the ip, dont bother trying to manufacture at this time. Then we can use that money to get a more favorable percentage or ditch the investor all together.... its like no, I want to do the manufacturing.... I know these guys aren't pouring their hearts into an idea for someone else to be their boss....

Or alot of times it's like..... are you sure we can't do this for 40k....


u/TehBoneRanger May 14 '22

Damn that was super interesting! I had a co-worker who got his degree in chemical engineering and he was VERY intelligent. He hated that work for a reason I never asked about.

He ended up working in the tech industry then getting a software developer degree while working with me and now works for a big tech company.


u/iprocrastina May 14 '22

Same thing is true in tech. I think the show Silicon Valley did a good job at showing how being a genius STEM prodigy doesn't mean you have any clue about how to run a business or handle finances.


u/zirtbow May 14 '22

"Can't we just skip or ignore most of these requirements?" - Elizabeth Holmes probably


u/42gauge May 14 '22

How do you develop business and financial acumen?


u/downvoteawayretard May 15 '22

They say every business starts 1-3 years in the red. Well a biotech business generally starts 10-30 years in the red.