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The Business Model of Biotech SMEs : How do biotech SMEs cope with the industry’s challenges?

  • Tölle, Julian
  • Kappfjell Herbst, Fransisca
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2016
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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The purpose of this study was to investigate how biotech SMEs structure their business model to deal with the industry’s challenges. The first step was to lay a theoretical foundation of the business model and clarify ambiguities surrounding the business model concept. This lead to the Business Model Canvas, which was used as tool of analysis for this thesis. Semi-structured interviews were then conducted with companies, experts and cluster managers, following the nine building blocks of the Business Model Canvas.   The results showed that two typologies of business models could be seen, which we divided in pharmaceutical biotech SMEs and non-pharmaceutical biotech SMEs. Both business models face challenges of research and development process, but to different degrees. Pharmaceutical biotech SMEs deal with long, costly and risky research process, which results in a research-centered business model. During the research period, these companies don’t generate revenues through sales. Non-pharmaceutical biotech SMEs on the other hand, face less harsh research and development processes, which allows them to market their products faster and generate revenue from sales. This results in a more customer-centric business model than the pharmaceutical biotech SMEs. 

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