Life Science Perspective: Online Startups must show their Mettle

Blippy. Woot. Dubli. Groupon. No, it’s not Klingon that I’m speaking. It’s the language of the Internet, and specifically, the names of some of the more innovative online business models. (Are we having fun yet?) Amazon, Craig (along with his list) and eBay inspire entrepreneurs every day to launch online concepts that haven’t been tried. (Are we making money yet?) It wasn’t until September ’09 that Facebook, launched in 2004, turned a profit. A lot of eager startups may be challenged to go the distance.

Do online business models work? Sure they do. The real question is—which ones? An online service that calls itself the “Craigslist of biospecimens” has created a message board where researchers can post requirements for human tissue samples. Biobanks routinely check the board to learn about researchers’ needs so they can respond. Not only do researchers get access to the global supply of human tissue samples, they can shop prices as well. Neat idea.