The biobusiness startup checklist

Starting a company is but one of many ways to create user defined value through the deployment of innovation. For bioentrepreneurs, particularly those who are intrapreneurs or who work in academic medical centers, the focus is on solutions and product-market mix, not the problem, and how to start a business is a mystery. If you are a bioengineer, scientists or health professional thinking about starting a business, here is a checklist of things you need to do to get you started:

Decide whether, in fact, you have an idea or an invention or discovery that can be converted into a technology, a product or a business

Pick the right problem to solve

Develop a value proposition, test and validate it

Create a business model canvas, test and validate it

Get education, resources, networks, mentors, experience and build your support system

Talk to your technology transfer office about your rights and obligations if you are a university employee

Talk to your university compliance officer about complying with conflict of interest regulations

Decide on the proper business entity-LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp?

Create a separate bank account and accounting system and find money to put into the account

Protect your intellectual property

Decide whether and how you will need regulatory approval for your solution

Decide whether and how you will need third party reimbursement for your products or services and the codes and coverage that would be required

Register a Business Name (“Doing Business As”)

Register your business name with your state government.

Learn which tax identification number you’ll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency.

Register for State and Local Taxes

Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.

Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.

Understand Employer Responsibilities

Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees.

Build your team

Find space

Make a website, a one page executive summary, a 2-3 minute video telling your story and a 10 slide PPT presentation

Once you have done these things, now the fun begins. But, there is no reason to go through all these steps if you 1) don’t have a reason to start a business, 2) don’t have an entrepreneurial mindset , or 3) can’t answer why you would want to do something like this.


Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs

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