Winning start-ups as customers – timing is crucial

Working with start-ups can be both highly promising and risky. On the one hand, there is no greater potential for the future as with an emerging company. On the other hand, new entrepreneurs often lack the funds to be able to make a long-term commitment with partners and suppliers. That is why the right timing is so important when starting business relationships with a start-up.

By definition, a start-up is a company that has reached the “start-up stage”. Typical characteristics include:

  • Company has been officially founded
  • Management team is in place
  • “Proof of concept” – confirmation that the product or technology works
  • Start of production and first customer contacts

Source: How to assess start-up companies

Furthermore, in the start-up phase, the first bigger financing round usually takes place. This stage thus represents an important milestone in the company’s development: If a company finds the necessary financing, it is ready for the next big step: production will commence, cooperation contracts will be signed and first customer contacts will be established.

Biotechnology as a special case

The development scenario described above is typical for all kinds of tech start-ups, such as high-tech or IT companies. However, the biotech industry is a special case, as the development process of a typical biotech therapeutic takes a very long time. And often the products are already out-licensed to other companies during the development.  The concept of “Proof of Concept” as an indicator for the start-up phase is therefore not very effective in this context. A better way of assessing this is the development phase of the individual products in the pipeline – especially the entry and progress of clinical trial studies.

How to find companies in a specific stage

Today there are numerous possibilities to discover interesting companies on the internet. The easiest way to do this is using a directory or database. Good examples of free directories are the Canadian Life Sciences Database and the Nordic Life Sciences Database: On both portals you can search free of charge for Biotech, Pharma or Medtech companies, filter by clinical phase, therapeutic area, business model and much more. A list of additional life sciences portals by country can be found here >>

A more sophisticated way to identify and to track companies in a very specific development stage is offered by Biotechgate. Besides search filters for clinical phase, indications, industry sectors etc., the platform also provides tailored tools to find companies at the right time:

  • Search for companies with products in a specific clinical phase; set an email alert to be informed when the company received a new financing round.
  • Set email alerts if a clinical phase of a product changes, e.g. from phase I to phase II.
  • Search for financing rounds provided with a product in a specific clinical phase, e.g. financing rounds with the most advanced product in phase II
  • Search for clinical trial studies of a specific phase and type of intervention, e.g. drug in phase I. Learn about the sponsor of the trial, its financings and get the management contact details.

More details about how to set-up email alerts on Biotechgate is available here: Why the ‘Email Alert’ function is one of Biotechgate’s most powerful features

If you want to learn more about Biotechgate, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information: