In his popular Business Mastery seminars, Tony Robbins often talks about the difference between being an artist, a manager, and a true entrepreneur. While many of his fans might classify themselves as entrepreneurs, at the end of the session they're often shocked to find out that, no, they don't fit the description.
Robbins breaks people down into those three types based on their characteristics and personal values and contrary to popular belief, starting a business or two does not make you an entrepreneur. "Artists" are those who are most concerned with the creation of the project, while "managers" thrive on running the daily operations of a company; either one of those types can start a business. But as Robbins explains, a true entrepreneur can see the upside potential of a project and is not afraid to risk it all to see it succeed. Another inherent characteristic of an entrepreneur is the need to create a legacy by leaving a positive impact on the world.
Perhaps that's why so many die-hard entrepreneurs are flocking towards the biotech industry. VBI Vaccines (Nasdaq: VBIV), for example, is an early-stage startup, which has developed a proprietary technology to create a vaccine to treat the Zika virus. Using what is known as eVLP (Enveloped Virus-like Particle), their scientists are able to mimic the natural makeup of viruses to improve the safety profile and effectiveness of the treatment. Because of their early breakthroughs, this small company has attracted some of the business world's top investors. If their vaccine proves successful, they could potentially save countless infants from having life-altering birth defects associated with the virus; not to mention, sell the technology for a billion-dollar payout.
Having that combination of huge social impact and financial reward is the kind of all-or-nothing challenge that entrepreneurs live for. According toInvestopedia, biotech is "one the strangest, scariest, sexiest and most interesting corners of the stock market"....so naturally, it's the perfect meeting ground for entrepreneurs on a mission and high risk/high reward financial backers. Funnily enough, the industry is seeing that startups like VBI have a higher probability for success than enterprises. A recent story by Fortune found that startups are making a huge impact in the pharmaceutical industry because of their ability to be nimble and scientifically creative. Biotech companies are a bit unique in that they tend to raise very little seed capital, have low overheads, do not have to market themselves, and can operate on a skeleton crew while creating their product. But once approved by the FDA, their vaccine or medicine can be sold at a huge profit.
For true entrepreneurs (the ones that Robbins describes), the biotech industry has thrown down the gauntlet. Can you imagine how many global health problems might be solved with an army of entrepreneurial brains supporting our scientists? That is a challenge worth accepting.