Updated Reading List

I’ve been on a book shopping spree to find books to help with the revision of the Biotech Business Plan for the business plan competition. I will probably start with the shortest of the new books: “Startup to IPO: How to build and finance a technology company”. It’s tiny with only 154 pages. “Zero to IPO & Other Fun Destinations” literally looks fun to read. The front and back covers fold out to display maps of paths to company success or failure. The final book “Going Public in Good Times and Bad” looks the most serious, complete with sample forms & spread sheets.

The company CEO is currently CEO of another Biotech company but that company is an LLC (privately held). The company we are updating the business plan for was set up as a C-corp. If the technology develops as planned, the company has the potential to become enormously profitable in the future and thus might be able to be taken public. I really am not entirely clear -yet- on the necessary steps between starting a company and going public, thus my new and improved reading list.

I give the final exam for the class I’m teaching on March 11th. There are just two more lectures on new material to give, a review session, & then the final exam. Of course I foolishly had them all write 8-10 page papers on a genetic disease of interest to them that I need to read & grade over the next few days but the end is in sight. Soon I will be able to devote most of my free time to the classes I am taking and to the business plan competition. My only other commitment this month is a three day trip to Washington, DC to review grants for the National Institutes of Health. I have eight or nine grants to read and write up critiques for this time. While it will take a large number of hours to read and write the critiques, grant review is one of my favorite scientific tasks. I get the opportunity to learn what fun and exciting experiments scientists in other fields have planned for the next 3-5 years (typical grant cycle). It’s a great opportunity to learn what has been discovered before the work is published. Twenty to thirty of us will meet to discuss about 100 grants in our section. We can all read & comment on all of the grants, but typically we focus upon our 8 or 9 with two or three scientists assigned to each proposal. The only down side to this process is the knowledge that most of the scientists will not receive any money to continue their work. In good times perhaps 20% of grants that are submitted receive funding. These however are not good times. This means that it is possible that none of the grants I read will be “winners”. But, soon, I can focus more of my efforts on updating the Business Plan which will be another kind of fun.