Advising Congress on Supporting Life Science Start-ups

Life science start ups aren’t university enterprises, and they aren’t fully formed companies. How should the federal government best support these enterprises? Universities are important sources of new technologies in the life sciences.  Ultimately, promising ideas need to leave the nest and continue their development within start-ups or more advanced life science companies.  The transition is risky – actually nicknamed the Valley of Death – but is a necessary step as new ideas are stress-tested against real world needs. An important role of the federal government is supporting that transition in the most efficient and impactful ways possible. 

Life science start ups aren’t university enterprises, and they aren’t fully formed companies. How should the federal government best support these enterprises? Universities are important sources of new technologies in the life sciences.  Ultimately, promising ideas need to leave the nest and continue their development within start-ups or more advanced life science companies.  The transition is risky – actually nicknamed the Valley of Death – but is a necessary step as new ideas are stress-tested against real world needs. An important role of the federal government is supporting that transition in the most efficient and impactful ways possible. 

In 2020, we testified in hearings before the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Small Business to discuss potential roles for government support of new biotechnologies.  We believe there is a role for financial support specifically for ideas as they leave universities – the needs of those brand new start-ups differ both from University-housed ideas and from ideas being developed in larger companies.  Traditional financial support is often ill-suited for what the very earliest companies need.

You can read Dr. Younger’s written testimony here.

If Argo Pond can help you think through the challenges of transitioning an idea — and a team’s way of thinking — from ‘gee whiz’ to ‘let’s meet payroll,’ contact us to start a conversation.

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