Biotech startups have a lot to take care of after securing their initial round of funding. Laboratory space has to be found, equipment has to be purchased, and qualified researchers and admin staff have to be recruited. This process is flush with opportunity and excitement, but important considerations can easily be overlooked. Every biotech startup needs some kind of IT setup, but successful biotech companies invest in an IT infrastructure that can accommodate the unique challenges of biotech data storage, data types, and the management of this data. The most valuable thing you are producing with your angel investor's money is your experimental data, which means that you will need to have IT tools in place that can maximize the value and protect all of this information.
IT needs to be an important consideration for any biotech company that is trying to secure a second round of funding. In order to make the most of the money that your investors have initially given you, be sure that your IT services provider can implement a system with the following elements:
Modern laboratories often generate huge amounts of data with their experiments and the processed data that can be generated from the raw experimental data. Even the smallest biotech companies must be equipped to store and analyze mountains of experimental information. Storage requirements for biotech startups can easily reach tens of thousands of gigabytes of data. That is why data storage must be a consideration when you are budgeting your initial round of funding. If you are not equipped to store and protect the massive amounts of information that your laboratory is or may be producing, you are not getting the most out of your most valuable resource.
One of the biggest challenges facing biotech companies that secure a second round of funding is that they are unprepared to deal with the new stress placed on their IT infrastructure. As new benchmarks are set, and new experiments are initiated, an IT system that supported the team in its early stages can quickly become overloaded. Rather than scrambling to meet new challenges, adaptive biotech companies make an initial investment in information technologies that can flexibly grow with the company. This saves both time and money when they have the most pressure to operate effectively. With many varieties of local and cloud storage available it is smart to take the time early to design a plan that can allow you to invest as minimal as possible in the early stages of your funding but can easily and more important seamlessly expand at a predictable cost when you need it.
Biotech entrepreneurs know as well as anyone that their intellectual property is valuable. But in digital form, it faces more threats than ever. With the ability to access data from many devices and the desire to access this data from anywhere information security has to be a top priority for any biotech company. Protecting the exclusivity of your experimental data, your reports, and presentations from both internal and external threats has to be a concern in an industry as competitive as biotech. This is one of the most important services that your IT provider can offer you. Ensuring that your information network is secure from your first day in business is an important way to protect your most valuable asset. Getting an information security program started and implemented early is important because today, computer use, rights and access to data is part of the corporate culture of any company. It is much more difficult and expensive to implement a strict computer security policy after you have grown and employees have grown accustomed to having local admin rights to their systems, ability to put data on whatever cloud platform they like and store data in locations that it may not be protected. Take the time early to design an information security policy that addressed these areas and implement training into your employee onboarding program.
As a biotech startup business, your goal is to prove your concept as quickly and efficiently as possible, so you can secure more financing. In order to impress your investors, your laboratory has to avoid setbacks and produce results. In today's digital world, you have to have an IT infrastructure in place that was built to meet the needs of your company. And that must be in place from day-one if you want to operate efficiently. Working with an IT provider that understands the specific technological challenges of the biotech industry is the best way to get all the tools you need. When you don't ever have to worry about IT, you can spend more time delivering results to your investors.
Read more about the unique IT concerns of biotech startup businesses and strategies to respond to them in our new white paper, “After the Seed: Planning IT Investment for a Biotech Startup.”