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What Every Startup Needs to Know When Partnering Up with Researchers

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Do you want to drive into bioscience? Are you starting a new business, but you’re really wanting to make a difference? Maybe you want to create anti-aging skincare that actually works; maybe you want to create a nootropic that doesn’t have side effects or even something to help people lose weight without any awful repercussions. Well, regardless of what it is, when you want to create something in the science industry, you’re going to need some research done. Not just that, but a lab and a lot of testing, too.

Collaborating with scientists and research institutions can be incredibly beneficial, but it’s also a relationship that requires careful navigation. It’s not as easy as just outsourcing, and then they create what you want. Yes, even when it comes to longevity research materials or having the right equipment, let alone the right idea of what you’re wanting, it’s not exactly that easy. 

This is what a lot of businesses (especially startups) get wrong- the idea that they can easily achieve what they want easily-, especially just by paying scientists. If you’ve ever watched The Dropout, you’ll have a solid idea that you just won’t be able to control what you want and get the results you want. So, with all of that said, here’s a guide to help you through the process and ensure a productive partnership.

Do You Understand the Research Landscape?

It’s best to get an idea of this first before creating a lab or even outsourcing. So, academic researchers and institutions often have different goals and timelines compared to startups. As you might have guessed, researchers are usually driven by the pursuit of knowledge and long-term outcomes, while startups are often more focused on bringing products to market quickly. It’s important to appreciate these differences and find common ground. 

But there are companies out there that will do research and help you create whatever it is you want to create.

Think About Funding

This is something that, surprisingly, a lot of startups don’t immediately think about. You need funding for your business, right? Well, you need to fund researchers too! Researchers often need funding to conduct their work, and startups need access to the latest research and technology. 

But of course, if you’re outsourcing to a lab, you just need to be able to afford the lab and anything specific that they would need. But here’s something else: you just need to be transparent about your budget and what you can offer. 

You’ll Have to Manage Expectations and Stay Flexible

A lot of startup founders will usually hate this one, but it definitely deserves some recognition. Sometimes, there’s impatience, and sometimes, founders are known for overworking staff and themselves to get the results they want. Now, you can’t do that! Research can be unpredictable, and not all studies lead to immediate, marketable results. 

So, you have no choice but to be prepared for setbacks and be willing to adapt your plans. Similarly, researchers may need to adjust their methods or timelines based on experimental results.

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