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Growing a Startup by Building on Existing Infrastructure

Mark W Schwartz

Biotechnology executive Mark W. Schwartz, PhD, who previously led Galena Biopharma, Bayhill Therapeutics, and several other biotechnology companies, serves as an advisor to start up biotechnology and device companies such as bioSyntagma, NeoLight, and NuShores. He also provides a host of start-up venture leadership solutions. Accordingly, Mark W. Schwartz possesses extensive knowledge of how to grow companies from the ground up.

Launching a small business is an inherently risky proposition, with many failing to make it past the development stages when bringing a product or service to market. One key to attaining viable growth is to keep debt financing to a minimum. Balancing equity financing, licensing, and taking advantage of existing infrastructure, a top management team can focus on a companies core expertise and avoid unnecessary sending on inefficient infrastructure. Rather than attempting to invent the wheel from scratch, it makes sense to adopt and adapt already available systems, technologies, and networks.

A classic example of what not to do can be seen in the failure of the pioneering food delivery company Webvan. Attempting to create its own system of warehousing and distribution, Webvan burned through $800 million in cash before finally going under in 2001. The next generation of digitally enabled food delivery companies learned from this, and arranged their key operational functions in tandem with existing storage and distribution networks.

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