We've refined our search space for this open opportunity
This post is an update to our Entrepreneur-in-Residence program description. You can read the original description and apply here.
It was wonderful to see such interest and excitement from the community for our recently posted Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) position. However, as we began to review applications and talk to candidates, we realized that our initial imagining of how this position might bring in talent to help translate science was too broadly defined. In exploring the three different models we put forth (Idea-Ready, Idea-Agnostic, and Meta-Idea), we realized that we are currently best set-up to enable only one of these models.
After discussing with candidates, Arcadians, and advisors, we have decided to streamline our EIR search by focusing only on the Idea-Agnostic prototype. This focus reflects our greatest current need, as we have a lot of exciting research happening already at Arcadia with translational potential. We have an exceptional team of scientists who are interested in founding and leading companies one day, but they haven’t done it before. They have ideas. They need partners to build with.
Our interest in Idea-Agnostic candidates also reflects the broader problem we are interested in solving. Arcadia wants to experiment with how to best support translational ideas at a very amorphous, primordial stage that can often be challenging to get off the ground. We want to figure out how to promote ideation before there is preliminary data or a clear business plan. At this stage, there’s a real chance that key experiments won’t work or will yield surprising results. Actually, we think these surprises are what will lead to some of the most interesting ventures at Arcadia. These are the 0→1 opportunities.
This early stage is extremely challenging for most life science entrepreneurs if they don’t have resources and flexibility to explore. In biology, this stage requires a significant amount of time, infrastructure, and people to experimentally de-risk opportunities. Biological innovation is an empirical sport.
It’s also an unpredictable sport. To maximize the utility of all of our efforts, we and our investors want all Arcadians to embrace all outcomes. In our view, this includes openly publishing results that we realize are not commercially actionable for us. We don’t want ideas or IP to sit on the shelf. We need people who are aligned with us on this.
We are looking for open-minded operators who are ready to ideate and pivot. We need EIRs to come in with a tabula rasa, leveraging past entrepreneurial successes to brainstorm and chart out concrete strategies in collaboration with our scientists. They need to understand the venture creation process and startup progression to lead the way forward on commercializing biological tools or assets arising from our current discovery efforts. They should have a knack for how to constantly diligence ideas and transform the best ones into a concrete plan. They are our future co-founders.
We are designing this role to be an adventurous sprint to enable EIRs to identify one company they could help spin out of Arcadia. The hope is that the EIRs will emerge as co-founders of newcos alongside one or more scientists at Arcadia. Along the way, Arcadia will provide feedback, resources (legal, scientific, operational, strategic), and a playground of scientific ideas emerging from our own internal discovery programs. At the end of the residency, EIRs will have the chance to pitch their idea to the Arcadia team for future funding and support. While this is the desired outcome of a residency, we believe that success should be defined in terms of what we have learned from the experiment, thus EIRs are encouraged to continuously evaluate the aspects of their experience that could be implemented more broadly at Arcadia to catalyze innovation and entrepreneurship.
With this in mind, we are ideally seeking serial entrepreneurs who are hungry for a chance to have an impact in biotech and the life sciences. They should already have had some lived experience in the early stages of company formation. They should be intensely action-oriented and enjoy rolling up their sleeves to get things done. Strong candidates will be flexible, enjoy connecting with other people, and love learning about science. They need to be able to begin at ground zero and consider market potential, IP white space, and team composition to help us build the next company that spins out of Arcadia. And they should be excited to leverage their EIR experience to help us iterate on our broader translational strategy at Arcadia in coming years.
Can this position be remote?
No. At this time, we are interested in candidates who can join us in-person to fully immerse themselves within the creative, scientific community at Arcadia.
Will Arcadia own IP emerging from EIR work?
Yes. And to allow maximal flexibility for this experiment, we are not currently looking at opportunities that involve outside partnerships or pre-existing IP. Also, it’s important for EIRs to embrace our broader open science experiment, which means that we will be openly publishing informative lessons (both positive and negative) from this work.
What percent of the spin-out will the EIR own?
This will be negotiated case-by-case. Our overall intention is to advocate strongly for scientists and founders while being financially sustainable as an organization. We believe we have a unique ability to do this given our shared goal with investors of optimizing scientist-led venture creation.
What specific markets are you targeting?
We are not tied to one specific market, since we hope to let our scientific discoveries drive the opportunities. We are open to a wide range, such as therapeutics, platforms, tools, climate, synbio, and agriculture. We love surprises…