Navigating the uncertain road of entrepreneurship
This year marks the year of the dragon in Chinese culture. The dragon symbolises nobility, good fortune, and vitality and presents a year of auspicious opportunities. Against the backdrop of 2023, I’d say this is a fortune well worth getting behind.

The past year has been difficult for most companies, but for business leaders it has meant summoning inner strength and resilience. If you’re an entrepreneur, give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve taken an ambitious and courageous leap to launch and build a company during what has been a challenging economic climate for life sciences and biotech startups. The post-pandemic financial downturn saddled us with the impacts of inflation, volatile supply chains, and a stagnant venture funding environment. Research and developing innovation are a risky business even in the best financial conditions, so give yourself credit for tackling this important work during a time of uncertainty.

Our Oxford-based biotech company, Barinthus Biotherapeutics, is a growing, publicly traded developer of novel immunotherapies for the treatment of chronic infectious diseases, autoimmunity and cancer. However, like other industries, we also felt the sting of the financial downturn, which led to a year of highs and lows in 2023. We’ve learned many valuable lessons since our launch in 2016 that helped us weather the storm and stay on our trajectory of growth. Many of these lessons are still new to me, even after 34 years in the life sciences business.

By sharing some of my experiences, I hope to help current entrepreneurs navigate obstacles, weather new storms, increase competitiveness, and put their companies on a robust path to success in the years ahead.

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