Elizabeth Iorns - From Academic to Entrepreneur (Sept 2012)
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Elizabeth Iorns - From Academic to Entrepreneur (Sept 2012)

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Slides from Elizabeth Iorns' seminars to Ph.D. students and Postdocs about her transition from an academic scientist to a startup founder

Slides from Elizabeth Iorns' seminars to Ph.D. students and Postdocs about her transition from an academic scientist to a startup founder

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Elizabeth Iorns - From Academic to Entrepreneur (Sept 2012) Elizabeth Iorns - From Academic to Entrepreneur (Sept 2012) Presentation Transcript

  • FROM ACADEMIC TO ENTREPRENEUR: HOW TO START YOUR OWN COMPANYElizabeth Iorns, Ph.D. @elizabethiornsFounder & CEO, Science Exchange /ScienceExchange
  • SCIENCE EXCHANGEScience Exchange is a marketplace for scientiststo list, discover, access, and pay for scientificservices from any institution in the world.currently +1,000 providers from +200 US research institutions Sample facilities
  • 10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED1. SOLVE YOUR OWN PROBLEM2. SOLVE A REAL PROBLEM3. SHARE YOUR IDEA4. BUILD THE RIGHT TEAM5. GET THE RIGHT ADVISORS / INVESTORS6. GET STUFF DONE!7. USE YOUR TIME WISELY8. DO THINGS THAT DON’T SCALE9. DON’T GIVE UP!10. SCIENTISTS MAKE GREAT ENTREPRENEURS
  • 10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED1. SOLVE YOUR OWN PROBLEM
  • 1. SOLVE YOUR OWN PROBLEM The best problems to solve are the ones that affect you personally.
  • 1. SOLVE YOUR OWN PROBLEMSCIENCE EXCHANGE EXAMPLE:• I was doing a lot of collaborative research• I thought there should be an easy way for researchers to find, evaluate and work with any core facility• When I learned about online marketplaces I wanted one to exist for scientific servicesPRACTICAL TIP:Look around you for inspiration... What startup doyou wish existed?
  • 10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED1. SOLVE YOUR OWN PROBLEM2. SOLVE A REAL PROBLEM
  • 2. SOLVE A REAL PROBLEM What set us apart from 95 percent of other startups is that we served a real need.
  • 2. SOLVE A REAL PROBLEMSCIENCE EXCHANGE EXAMPLE:• Increasing use cases for collaborative research: not having access to skills/equipment; cost effectiveness; getting more research done (i.e. more data, more publications)• Already +$3B every year (and increasing as research becomes more specialized and multi-disciplinary)PRACTICAL TIP:Do your market research. Look at the size of themarket and existing solutions. Look at trends i.e. isthe need for your solution growing or decreasing
  • 10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED1. SOLVE YOUR OWN PROBLEM2. SOLVE A REAL PROBLEM3. SHARE YOUR IDEA
  • 3. SHARE YOUR IDEA
  • 3. SHARE YOUR IDEASCIENCE EXCHANGE EXAMPLE:• Sharing problem with eventual co-founder led to me ask “Well… why doesnt something like oDesk exist for science?”• Sharing idea with scientists made me realize access to specialized scientific service providers was increasingly important but very difficult (i.e. a real problem)PRACTICAL TIP:Talk about your idea at every opportunity you can...you never know what it will lead to
  • 10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED1. SOLVE YOUR OWN PROBLEM2. SOLVE A REAL PROBLEM3. SHARE YOUR IDEA4. BUILD THE RIGHT TEAM
  • 4. BUILD THE RIGHT TEAM
  • 4. BUILD THE RIGHT TEAMSCIENCE EXCHANGE EXAMPLE:• Science Exchange was founded by a diverse team... a scientist; an MBA; and a computer programmer• All passionate about creating a marketplace for scientific experiments to make science more efficient• Complementary set of skills help solve the wide variety of problems faced when starting a companyPRACTICAL TIP:Mix with people outside your field of expertise.Go to meetups (check meetup.com for inspiration)
  • 10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED1. SOLVE YOUR OWN PROBLEM2. SOLVE A REAL PROBLEM3. SHARE YOUR IDEA4. BUILD THE RIGHT TEAM5. GET THE RIGHT ADVISORS / INVESTORS
  • 5. GET THE RIGHT ADVISORS Investors are employees you can never fire. We made sure to pick investors that thought like us.
  • 5. GET THE RIGHT ADVISORSSCIENCE EXCHANGE EXAMPLE:• Science startups ≠ Biotech startups• Lessons we needed more likely to come from online marketplaces than biotechs• Carefully selected for investors / advisors with relevant expertisePRACTICAL TIP:Build an advisor / investor network (e.g. throughaccelerator program or local entrepreneurship club)
  • 10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED1. SOLVE YOUR OWN PROBLEM2. SOLVE A REAL PROBLEM3. SHARE YOUR IDEA4. BUILD THE RIGHT TEAM5. GET THE RIGHT ADVISORS / INVESTORS6. GET STUFF DONE!
  • 6. GET STUFF DONE!
  • 6. GET STUFF DONE!SCIENCE EXCHANGE EXAMPLE:• Went from idea to launch in 5 months• Met with investors and closed a seed financing round within 3 weeks• Speak to users everyday and deploy new features constantly (based on their feedback)PRACTICAL TIP:Record what you really need to achieve each week.Revisit after 6 months (you’ll be amazed what youhave accomplished in such a short time)
  • 10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED1. SOLVE YOUR OWN PROBLEM2. SOLVE A REAL PROBLEM3. SHARE YOUR IDEA4. BUILD THE RIGHT TEAM5. GET THE RIGHT ADVISORS / INVESTORS6. GET STUFF DONE!7. USE YOUR TIME WISELY
  • 7. USE YOUR TIME WISELY
  • 7. USE YOUR TIME WISELYSCIENCE EXCHANGE EXAMPLE:• The whole point of Science Exchange is to help scientists use their time more wisely... e.g. frustrating to spend time doing things that didn’t require my level of training or learning something new for a one-off experiment• In startups, like in science, the people who ‘win’ are the ones who make the best use of their timePRACTICAL TIP:Make use of experts e.g. oDesk, Elance, Scripted,99Designs, LessAccounting (for business stuff)
  • 10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED1. SOLVE YOUR OWN PROBLEM2. SOLVE A REAL PROBLEM3. SHARE YOUR IDEA4. BUILD THE RIGHT TEAM5. GET THE RIGHT ADVISORS / INVESTORS6. GET STUFF DONE!7. USE YOUR TIME WISELY8. DO THINGS THAT DON’T SCALE
  • 8. DO THINGS THAT DON’T SCALE Do things that won’t scale; it will teach you.
  • 8. DO THINGS THAT DON’T SCALESCIENCE EXCHANGE EXAMPLE:• Didn’t know how payment should work between researchers and providers, so did it manually• Got to understand systems and process• Built a payment platform that allows researchers to easily submit payment to Science Exchange by purchase order, credit card or checkPRACTICAL TIP:Focus on your first 1000 users, not your first million.Make personal customer support a priority.
  • 10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED1. SOLVE YOUR OWN PROBLEM2. SOLVE A REAL PROBLEM3. SHARE YOUR IDEA4. BUILD THE RIGHT TEAM5. GET THE RIGHT ADVISORS / INVESTORS6. GET STUFF DONE!7. USE YOUR TIME WISELY8. DO THINGS THAT DON’T SCALE9. DON’T GIVE UP!
  • 9. DON’T GIVE UP
  • 9. DON’T GIVE UP!SCIENCE EXCHANGE EXAMPLE:• Initial press coverage proclaimed Science Exchange as the ‘eBay for Science’• Negative reaction from some core facilities. Had to work hard to convince them to join the network• Didn’t give up. Now +1000 core facilities list their services at Science ExchangePRACTICAL TIP:Remember that founding a startup is hard...persistence is everything
  • 10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED1. SOLVE YOUR OWN PROBLEM2. SOLVE A REAL PROBLEM3. SHARE YOUR IDEA4. BUILD THE RIGHT TEAM5. GET THE RIGHT ADVISORS / INVESTORS6. GET STUFF DONE!7. USE YOUR TIME WISELY8. DO THINGS THAT DON’T SCALE9. DON’T GIVE UP!10. SCIENTISTS MAKE GREAT ENTREPRENEURS
  • 10. SCIENTISTS MAKE GREAT ENTREPRENEURS Startups are like science, where you need to follow the trail wherever it leads.
  • 10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED1. SOLVE YOUR OWN PROBLEM2. SOLVE A REAL PROBLEM3. SHARE YOUR IDEA4. BUILD THE RIGHT TEAM5. GET THE RIGHT ADVISORS / INVESTORS6. GET STUFF DONE!7. USE YOUR TIME WISELY8. DO THINGS THAT DON’T SCALE9. DON’T GIVE UP!10. SCIENTISTS MAKE GREAT ENTREPRENEURS
  • RESOURCESGENERAL STARTUP ADVICERead Paul Graham’s essays on star tups. If you have limited time star t with “How to star t astartup” and “What startups are really like”Other great resources: Quora.com/Star tups and VentureHacksSETTING UP A COMPANY (AND OTHER LEGAL STUFF)If you plan on taking investment, set up as a Delaware C Corp. Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe(our legal advisors) have a lot of great information on startup incorporationAll star tup employees–including founders–should be subject to vestingFor general startup legal information see Star tupLawyer and WalkerCorporateLawGETTING INVESTMENTMark Suster (an entrepreneur turned VC) has a great series on angel investment and onraising venture capital
  • HOW CAN I HELP? Please contact me: elizabeth@scienceexchange.com