By Henry Mortimer, Editor-at-Large
As any entrepreneur or startup founder, or even veteran CEO, can tell you — it can be lonely (and frustrating) at the top. That feeling is especially acute if you’re running a bioscience company, which often face unique hurdles, compared to peer organizations in other fields, says Marty Rosendale, CEO and founder of Selnova.
“The life-cycle of a biotechnology company is very long and very complicated,” says Rosendale, who started his first business at age 20, to pay for college, and has spent more than 30 years forming and running other companies, largely in biotech. “[Leadership] faces a number of very significant transitions or challenges,” such as shifting from the lab to the board room, navigating the complex FDA landscape, and finding and hiring the right people along the way.
Not surprising, he adds, few biotech business owners successfully take their innovative ideas to market. According to Bloomberg, in fact, only 2 of 10 starting companies succeed. And that’s why Rosendale started his consultancy Selnova in 2015: to guide and mentor the development of promising business ideas.
“I wanted to help companies in Maryland navigate these transitions because I know they need the help,” says Rosendale, who says his strategy and process are based on the “unique network I’ve developed over the years” and the lessons learned.
Rosendale, a California native who has helped launch, acquire, and commercialize more than 10 products and companies during his career, and raised equity-based and non-dilutive capital for public and private companies, says he has an especially strong affinity for ensuring the success of companies in his adoptive state.
“Here in Maryland, we have companies that are developing cures for diabetes, cures for cancer, [and other] kinds of developments that are going to improve healthcare, create precision medicine and continue to help millions of people — that’s where the passion comes from,” says Rosendale, who also serves as a board advisor to the Maryland Tech Council and shares his expertise and advice with the 650-plus life science and technology members.
“Today our executives are busier than they’ve ever been and the more that we can help take what I call their ‘network of influence’ and help contract that for them and bring it closer to them, so they can do a better job networking and making those contacts the better and more successful they’re going to be,” he says.
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