What does it take to succeed in an entrepreneurial scientific venture? Following are some pointers from scientists who have prospered as entrepreneurs and others who have helped scientists scratch their entrepreneurial itches:

* "You should identify the niche you want to be in and have the scientific expertise and inside information as to how you can build the niche adequately," says Robert Zipkin, president of Biomol Research Laboratories Inc. of Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

Zipkin founded and incorporated Biomol in 1983, a year before he finished his Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. He and his partner, Ira Taffer, a fellow student from his undergraduate days at Drexel University, were confident that there was a healthy market for certain commercially unavailable organic compounds, such as leukotrienes, biologically active compounds that function as regulators of allergic and inflammatory reactions. Traditionally, academic labs created these compounds and gave them...

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