Assuming you are the expert whom the PSM Director has referred to Dr. Hagenkord, how can you propose to make iKaryos rising from the ashes?
- While there are extensive scientific, commercial and laboratory expertise among the founders, none has the experience to handle the financial or sales/marketing tasks. How can the current talent team improve on its production, clinical testing, operation, marketing and business expertise? Do they need new team members? To complicate matter, only Hagenkord and Monzon were the only two physicians with licenses to write and sign off lab testing reports. Their travel schedules, presentations will not allow them to help with financing and marketing effort. What would be your recommendation to solve all these issues in terms of corporate organization and human resources?
- What type of legal business entity should iKaryos registered for? An LLC would require filing incorporation papers in multiple states allowing the services to be expand, and inability to offer multiple classes of stocks to attract new investors because of the LLC designation. A “C” corporation will require more demanding reports annually, cumbersome to form, and possible double taxation.
- In terms of ownership and equity, what is a fair arrangement for all the founders and downstream investors of the company? Creighton University’s written policy was that the university owned 58% of any technology developed at Creighton. Hagenkord has received a 3 years start-up grant from the university, which paid for her equipment and research operation. Kash’s salary was paid from Hagenkord’s research funds.
- Hagenkord had successfully validated SNP array karyotyping as a LDT per CAP requirements in Creighton’s CLIA-certified lab. Most of her work were published, presented or included in grants. What kind of intellectual property can she or her new start-up obtain? Is the possibility of trademarking adequately enough to protect her investors or to exclude her company’s competitors?
- A main marketing question facing iKaryos included how and to whom they should market their diagnostic services, such as oncology? None of the founding team members had experience in branding, marketing, or web development. These activities are crucial in establishing a first to market position for iKaryos. Do they need to bring in a new team member for these tasks? Can they afford the salary, or further dilution of the company’s equity?
- Hagenkord can only work one day per week on iKaryos, per agreement with the University. With the new marketing effort to increase samples testing, she will need to hire new FTEs and upgrade capital equipment. How much new capital and investment would be needed to grow the service company significantly? How much money should the team take in an angel round or series A investment? What should the pre-money valuation of the company be?
- Attachment 1
- Attachment 2