What is Bioentrepreneurship?

  • Whereas several startups currently focused on creating the next Apple or some genius e-commerce. Meanwhile, there are also scientists tinkering in the labs.
  • Both science and entrepreneurship are acts of experimentation. Each involves taking risks to achieve an aim, modifying course when needed, and endeavor the never-been-done.
  • So, if you are a life science folk, have an idea and want to start your own business? Bioentrepreneurship is the right path for you! As Steve Jobs once said, “I think the biggest innovations of the 21st century will be at the intersection of biology and technology. A new era is beginning, just like the digital one.”

Bioentrepreneurship Definition

Bioentrepreneurship is the integration of two different disciplines science (bio) and entrepreneurship. It is the smoothest sailing of innovation from academia to industry. Unlike other businesses, Biotech entrepreneurship is entirely academia-powered.

It can also be defined as ‘the use of biological entities or any idea, related to sciences to acquire profit and establish a business.’

Bioentrepreneurship is the sum of all activities necessary to build an enterprise that creates, build and commercializes the biotech products.

Several names are referring to it such as BioE or science entrepreneurship or bioscience enterprise. Also, others include; life science entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship in biotechnology or biotechnology enterprise.

Why Bioentrepreneurship?

Since the dawn of civilization, humans have been using products based on biotechnology. Today, these products, mainly based on our scientific research, are part of our daily life.

The biotech field leads to real-outcomes that allow the production of advanced technologies and products. Also, help to preserve the environment, encounter diseases, new biomedical devices, eliminate hungry, bio-fabric and biofuel production and more.

  • A researcher usually starts a business based on biotech. That’s why a bio-entrepreneur has a lot of data, and more knowledge about its product makes it easier to identify and solve problems.
  • A scientist develops an idea, invent something and then share it with the world, a for-profit in return. In this way, not only the world and society getting benefit from that invention. But also, the inventor itself gets a reward for his/her hard work.
  • It encompasses the realization of ideas and concepts that arise from biology and other science fields.

Also, further implementing them into prospective business plans and startups. That was the reason behind the creation of bio entrepreneurship.

Bioentrepreneurship - Biotech Companies R&D
Increased R&D in the Biotech sector (Health) from 2013 to 2018.

Entrepreneurship vs Bioentrepreneurship

Certainly, there are similarities between bio-entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs like both must have a fabulous idea to start and to raise investment. Also, marketing their products and managing their startup.

However, there are also some differences between the two;

The process of launching a new business based on a great idea.Starting a business based on an idea or invention from the various fields of science, like biotechnology, etc.
No such prior restriction and regulationStrict regulation – as the biotech industry is the highest strictly regulated sector in business.
For normal startups, it takes less time for the development of products — for example, IT-based startups or online-based startups.However, biotech-based startups take more time for the development of products, for example making vaccines or drugs or antibodies, etc.
In normal startups, you do not much need to worry about ethical committees.Nevertheless, if you are concerned with biology-based products, then you need to get approval from ethical committees such as the FDA in the US.
A normal startup can start from minimal capitalRequired huge investment – needs millions of dollars to turn your idea into reality (products)
Not that much riskAlso, the hurdle for bio-entrepreneurs is the high-risk that is scientific uncertainty.
Even though from the above differences, it may seem that starting a bio-based business may not be a wise idea. But if you think of the benefit, it can do for the world, that is far greater.
Imagine the production of vaccines against some dangerous diseases, i.e. Coronavirus pandemic in 2020. How much can a bio-entrepreneur help the world? Of course, the returned capital is also in massive amounts.
Biotechnology has a wide range of applications ranging from Health to Agriculture to Industries and more.

How to start bioentrepreneurship?

Nowadays, starting bioentrepreneurship is not that much difficult.

First, someone who has studied science and wanted to do bio entrepreneurship, All they need is to be enrolled in some entrepreneurship course to learn different skills including marketing, raising investments, build a skilled team and more.  

Secondly, you need to have a unique science related idea. It should be problem-based, and a solution for some specific problem. 

You need to be careful in choosing an issue which is quite prevalent in society and for that needed a solution. Just like the principle of supply and demand in business, the same is the case for bioentrepreneurship. The idea could be about something that is highly needed by society.

More Stories: Why Bill Gates is investing in Biotech Companies

Bioentrepreneurship lead to Bioeconomy

the world second-largest economy that remodels the potential of biotechnology to endorse economic growth by transforming health, energy, agriculture, environment and more.

In 2018, U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a report that global calculated worth of bio-economy together with industrial biotechnology, renewable chemicals, and polymers, biofuels, enzymes, and biomaterials – is $355.28 billion. 

It is expecting to increase to approximately $487 billion by 2024.


Biobased economy and sector projections. Courtesy: Bio Innovation Organization

Between 2010 and 2015, venture capitalists invest $9.2 billion into the industrial biotechnology sector. Synthetic biology startups raised the largest share of that venture capital – $1.7 billion in 2017.

Examples of famous bioentrepreneurship based companies

The field is new, but still, there are biotech ventures;

MaterializeX, a biotech company, focuses on making new chemicals and compounds by combining chemistry and data science. They are also trying to improve current industrial processes.

Antiverse focuses on making new antibodies in-silico by utilizing various computing software and processes.

Cambrian Genomics focuses on laser printing DNA, while the Genome Compiler provides a software platform for the manipulation of genomes and genetic engineering.

Another startup called benching, which helps to analyze quickly, and edit DNA sequences via software.

Other leading biotech companies include:

  • AbbVie Biotech Company
  • Amgen Inc.
  • Genentech Inc.
  • Gilead Biotech Company
  • XBiotech
  • Novozymes North America Inc.
  • Neurotech Inc.
  • Syros Pharmaceuticals
  • Amyris Inc.
  • Lonza Biologics Inc
  • Abbott Diagnostics Division
  • Canon U.S. Life Sciences, Inc.
  • Santa Cruz Biotechnology Inc

and more…

Future of Bioentrepreneurship

We are moving forward in every field of science. Soon a time will come, there will be more demand for highly effective and better medical care. Also, the production of better crops and other life-related problems will become such huge challenges.

Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology based startups will be needed to come forward and tackle these changes. Till then let us see how things move forward and how things get unfold.

Universities offering bioentrepreneurship courses

Some universities provide bioentrepreneurship courses, which bioentrepreneurs can take to learn different skills;

Recommended Books for Bioentrepreneurship

  • “Handbook of Bioentrepreneurship” by Thomas Brenner & Holger Patzelt 
  • “What’s Your Bio Strategy?” By John Cumbers & Karl Schmieder
  • “Biology is Technology” by Robert H. Carlson
  • “The Industries of the Future” by Alec Ross

Bioentrepreneurship Conferences/Summits


Bioentrepreneurship Publication Journals

Note: The article is updated on April 11, 2020.


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