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5 Benefits of Working for a Biotech Startup

Over the course of the last few years, smaller biotech companies are playing an increasingly important role across medical innovation.


They’re agile, receptive, efficient, and scalable. 

While larger pharmaceutical organisations traditionally facilitate drug development and launches, the last three years have seen more than 40% of new active substances both originating and launching from biotech startups.

In this article, you’ll discover:

  • The benefits of working for a biotech startup
  • Key questions to consider, before you apply
  • How to start your journey in biotech today

5 benefits of working for a biotech startup

Fast-tracked progression and development

In larger companies, it can be difficult to stand out and gain continuous access to key decision opportunities. In biotech startups, you’re likely to be involved in elements of decision-making at an earlier stage than you would in a larger organisation. This consequently enables you to gain a lot of experience in a short period of time, and access career succession faster.

You have a formative role in shaping your company’s culture

Whereas at larger companies, the company culture is pre-set, and well-established, smaller biotech organisations enable you to bring your ideas to the table and adapt elements of the culture to suit your team and promote engagement – this makes for a fulfilling and exciting work environment.

Variety and flexibility

When your co-workers are off, you may be expected to help cover aspects of other work. While this can be challenging, it can also expose you to wide breadth of activities that you would otherwise not have access to in a larger business. If you’re looking for some flexibility and variety with your day-to-day work, biotech startups can provide a stimulating and exciting environment where you experience just that.

Exposure to collaborative projects with big pharma

Biotech startups often collaborate with big pharmaceutical organisations on specialist therapies. In some cases, biotech startups are acquired by the larger organisation, and merge resources to sustain their projects and accelerate new ones. Having this sort of exposure to a range of big pharmaceutical organisations can be a good way to build up stakeholder management expertise, and a deeper knowledge of the wider pharmaceutical industry.

Be at the cutting edge of scientific innovation

Biotech startups are playing an increasingly important role in drug discovery and development and are fuelling the medical innovations of tomorrow. Working at a startup biotech organisation will put you at the helm of driving those innovations and facilitating their progression.

What’s more, some biotech startups have stock options for their staff, creating the opportunity to derive a direct benefit from the success of your projects.

Key questions to consider, before you apply:

  1. Can you work independently with little guidance? 
    In smaller biotech teams, there aren’t always staff on hand with the same specialist areas as you might have to support with experimental issues.
  2. Are you able to meet strict deadlines?
    Your work is responsible for the future success of the organisation – this means meeting strict deadlines, and proactively playing a role in generating the data needed to regularly secure funding.
  3. How do you deal with uncertainty?
    The company’s future is unlikely to be set in stone, and it’s important to have a resilient mindset and attitude to work in order to succeed in a start-up environment

Start your journey in biotech today

To learn more about roles in biotech startups, connect and reach out to Philippa Clark on LinkedIn. Explore our opportunities across STEM using our quick search job tool below and find your next role in biotech.

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