Inderscience Publishers

The race for pace: inhibitors and accelerators – developing the first product in new science-based companies

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Previous literature on product development in the field of biotechnology has not focused on how a product is moved from step to step. Thus, insight into issues of crises and managerial choices in the process has not been provided. This paper gets down to the bench-level of bio-entrepreneurship by studying the challenges involved in developing the first product in a company. Through case studies built on personal interviews, an understanding of how entrepreneurs overcome inhibitors in the product development process by matching external opportunities with internal needs is developed. Three types of inhibitors emerge from the data: 'Internal management – difficulties in coordinating R&D', 'External management – failing relationships' and 'Science – cost of novelty'. Ways of overcoming these types of inhibitors are also categorised, and the typology created is illustrated through a new conceptual model.

Keywords: biotechnology, entrepreneurship, bioentrepreneurship, new product development, NPD, biomedical product development, inhibitors, management, accelerators, science-based companies, first product

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