Instrumental Efforts

August 8, 2011

The people who take personal risks to bring new scientific instruments to market are a special breed. Many of these entrepreneurs are well-educated scientists who could make a fine living working as consultants or as employees in high-technology companies. Yet they risk their livelihoods and their own money for the chance to start up their own firms.

C&EN interviewed executives from five instrumentation start-ups—XiGo Nanotools, Torion Technologies, Tiger Optics, DVS Sciences, and Semba Biosciences—to glean insights into what drives them to give up a steady job with an established firm for the uncertainties of a new business. Some say they do it for the challenge, to advance technology, or to provide a social benefit. But often the motive is replacing a lost job or defending an existing market position. Read more>>>>