The 3 problems facing every life science start-up (and how to solve them)

3 problems

As you’ve probably discovered by now, life’s not easy when you’re the founder-CEO of a start-up.

It’s a struggle getting in front of investors. The meeting you had with a big pharma company got canceled. Research is going slow in the lab, and you’ve already spent far too much time interviewing people who aren’t up to the job. And to top it all, there’s covid-19.

Is getting a business off the ground always this hard?

You’re not alone

Speak to any CEO in the health and life sciences sector, and you’ll discover they’ve all experienced the kind of challenges you’re facing right now.

Usually, they fall into one of these three categories:
You need funding to get your science from the lab to the clinic.
You need a partnership with one of the large industry players to provide expertise, money, or both.
You need to attract and recruit big talent — although you probably don’t have the big money to pay for them.

And of course, while you’re getting to grips with these challenges, you also have to compete with hundreds of other companies, including big pharma, who also have the benefit of big bucks.

So, what now?

A simple solution

I have some good news. Many of the challenges faced by start-ups like yours can be solved with one solution.

All you need is a clear strategic story. Your strategic story is a high-level narrative that clarifies your strategy and conveys the value of your science, your product, and your company. Nail it, and that’s when you’ll start to see results.

What’s your story?

You may have great science, but you need to tell a compelling story to get it noticed. That’s how you create excitement, get people motivated, make them desperate to work with you. Make them want to invest.

Your strategic story brings emotion to what you do. It helps people understand what lies at the heart of your business. It shows other companies that your strategy and values align with their own. It helps convince bigger firms that it’s mutually beneficial to work with you.

Your strategic story is the way to get the best scientists, business developers, and patent attorneys excited about your vision. Ance once they’ve heard your story, they’ll want to join you in this adventure. They’ll feel compelled to make your company a big success — and make the world a healthier place.

Bring your story to life

This isn’t about including a story in your pitch. Your strategic story should be your pitch. Because eventually, it comes down to one thing.

As Don Valentine, the legendary founder of Sequoia Capital used to say,
“The money flows as a function of the story.”