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Monday, April 03, 2006

Guest Blogger #1 - Harry Ross

I was recently asked one of those questions that at the same time is both incredibly simple and complex: In a few paragraphs what would you tell someone who is thinking of jumping in and doing their first start up company? Certain aspects are obvious. Do the appropriate research. Make sure what you are offering is not just unique (technology, marketing, price, IP, etc.) but realistically achievable in a realistic time frame with realistic resources.

Almost by definition, it has to be risky. If it was easy it would likely have already been done or wouldn’t have great intrinsic value. Accepting this risk doesn’t mean you can suspend belief on basics or be reckless. The risks need to be identified and mitigated as intelligently as possible. What if the technology fails its first (or second or fifth) trial? What if funding runs short or doesn’t materialize at the expected times? What if competition arises from an unexpected quarter? These all do and will happen. Expect setbacks and failure but resolve to overcome them. They may have to do with the technology; they may have to do with people.

Surround yourself with the best people possible. No company is built around a single individual. Mediocre partners or employees are often worse then leaving the position empty. Make sure that the individuals share enough of the common goal to avoid conflict on direction. Independent thought is critical with the understanding that it facilitates not distracts from the process. A good team can overcome technology sets backs but the inverse is rarely true.
Guest Blogger Bio – Harry Ross

Dr. Ross has served as managing partner of Aweida Venture Partners since 1996. He is currently the CEO for RxKinetix and holds board positions with RxKinetix, X-Sten, Permacharge Corporation, and the Research Board of The Children’s Hospital-Denver. Previously Dr. Ross was a staff emergency physician at Rose Medical Center in Denver and at Longmont United Hospital. Dr. Ross earned his M.D. from Oregon Health Science University.
Guest Blogger Series Launch

Needless to say bringing a life science based product to market is a monumental task. In an attempt to increase luminosity on the nuts and bolts of bio start-up 101 I have embarked upon inviting (well…perhaps begging) those who are expert in this Herculean endeavor for their thoughts on the subject. As I am slightly biased towards the Colorado life science landscape I have begun my inquiries by concentrating on those bio business leaders who have and continue to impact the Rocky Mountain region. Over time I plan to broaden the geographical scope of these virtual guests in hope to increase participation in this series via cross-pollinating locales.

A second aim of launching this series is to encourage more bio VC’s to participate in the blogoshpere. I have been a voracious consumer of VC content (thank you Bill, Brad, Dan, David B., David C., Ed, Fred, Guy, Jeff B., Jeff C., Jeremy, Josh, Mark, Mike, Peter, Robin, Ryan, Seth, Scott, Steve, Tim, Will and others) and though these feeds are enlightening and often great reads, few if any currently are bio sector specific. A goal therefore is to encourage bio VC’s to begin participating in the land of blog.

Thank you readers, thank you contributors and, thank you to those who are just passing on through. Now let's see if this works...