This is a talk I gave in 2016 at the Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre (BBC) – Institute of Biotechnology (IBAB). The emphasis was on entrepreneurial marketing i.e. how to hack B2B customer acquisition.



The target audience was biological sciences startups – drug discovery, medical devices, and digital medicine ventures. I started by looking at the science & technology ecosystem in India. We noted the journey of (venture-funded) life science startups. I then explained why it is so difficult to persuade a typical VC to invest in science startups, especially in India. The talk also covered business development strategy and tactics for early-stage IP-rich startups. Finally, we discussed the importance of value inflection points for deep-tech companies.


Clearly, science and technology ventures can take multiple routes to the market. Each is unique in terms of risks, upside, and odds of success. The common thread though is the need to deploy entrepreneurial marketing strategies to generate leads and convert them into profitable deals. I devoted a section to India – how the country’s economy and ecosystem can affect new ventures. Moreover, Indian startups should consciously look at global markets – especially the US, an early adopter of technology innovation.

An Entrepreneurial Organization

While the emphasis of my presentation was marketing, the fact is that the entire organization must behave in an entrepreneurial fashion. Whether it is raising money or recruiting expert talent, an agile mindset is necessary for favorable outcomes. Moreover, founders must keep an eye on the exit so that their hard work can be monetized without undue delay or risk. Life sciences startups lend themselves well to early exit strategies since their progress happens in well-defined steps.

Thus, each major milestone directly translates into a jump in valuation and a potential for partial/full exit for the entrepreneur. Even after a startup is bought over by a large company, the team can continue to behave as an entrepreneurial unit. In the corporate context, this is called intrapreneurship. In fact, many companies actively seek to bring startup culture into their DNA.