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What every early-stage life science founder should invest in & how to access dedicated business support: Meet our Entrepreneur in Residence, Dr. Steve Franklin

dark background with white text saying Entrepreneur in Residence with an image of Steve Franklin

We understand that it’s the success of the businesses within our network that enables the wider ecosystem to thrive. Because when life science companies of all sizes grow, the opportunities to positively impact the lives of the people and communities around us increase too. 

But it’s not enough to provide these businesses with the space they need to complete their day-to-day. They also need specialist support, advice and guidance. 

That’s why we’re offering the founders and leaders of startups, scaleups and corporates in the life science sector the opportunity to book free 1:1 sessions, facilitated by our Entrepreneur in Residence Dr. Steve Franklin.

Read on to hear more about Steve, his experience and areas of expertise. As well as his top advice for founders, including what every early-stage founder should invest in.

Book your business support session

There are a number of in-person and virtual sessions available to book on the dates below. Please contact Steve directly on Steve.Franklin@bruntwood.co.uk

22nd September - Manchester Science Park/Citylabs 
.6th October - Alderley Park
18th October - Manchester Science Park/Citylabs 
3rd November - Alderley Park
17th November - Virtual
1st Dec - Manchester Science Park/Citylabs 

Get to know Steve Franklin

Tell us about your career so far

At an early stage in my career, as a young postdoc, I won an Industrial Fellowship from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 (and yes, it has been running since the Great Exhibition!) to develop a new idea in DNA diagnostics. That award was a genuine catalyst as it funded half my salary, all my MBA and world travel to learn about best practice in the commercialisation of science. 

Roll forward thirty years and I have had a fascinating career helping to set up multiple biotech companies in the UK and I was the Founder and CEO of two that I took from start-up through to IPO.Looking back, I guess my expertise is in how one articulates complex science into compelling business propositions and thereafter how one navigates what can be a very rocky ride for several years from start-up.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in business?

Assuming a business idea is fundamentally sound, the key to success - in my view - is two-fold. Firstly, and most importantly, persistence and tenacity will win-out. “Taking the punches” and standing up again and again is what I suspect defines many if not most success stories. 

Second, being flexible in terms of being able to pivot a business in response to the realities of the market. I do believe that investors in early stage tech ventures are backing the people and not the technology or product - those people need to be tenacious, flexible and trustworthy. The product or service that ultimately prevails may look nothing like the original concept and that is absolutely fine.

What do you think every founder/entrepreneur should invest in in their early stages?

Investors will need to warm to the investee as an individual - and trust them - so I would encourage entrepreneurs to think about how they come across as people and how they articulate their business proposition. 

Thereafter, knowledge and attention to detail is king. It is imperative that there is no conceivable question that you have not rehearsed a thoughtful answer for. 

Finally, invest time in the marketing of your business so that you are articulating a clear value proposition across public (for example your website) and private (investment presentations) channels. 

Turning complex science into a compelling and digestible investment proposition is not as easy as you may think. So I would encourage entrepreneurs to seek independent perspectives from those that have walked the path.

What do you hope businesses will take away from the EIR sessions?

Three things! Firstly, leading a new venture as a CEO can be a lonely place and I would like to think that individuals (or teams) will come away from an EIR session with a sense of comradery, and the comfort that comes from sharing stories and experiences that you can only really get by putting yourself out there in a new venture. 

Second, the EIR sessions are geared to discover where I can add any value, and to draw up an actionable plan in which I will participate. This is not a talking shop. 

Lastly, I want to see tangible and positive impacts on these businesses. Now, of course, that will take time; but the important message is that for the right businesses this service is here for the long-haul.

For more information or to enquire, contact Steve directly at Steve.Franklin@bruntwood.co.uk

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