Careerpath - Business Developer

Coen Breedveld

Coen Breedveld

Previous: Business developer, DutchDNA
Current: Co-founder, Levels Diagnostics
Years in this position: 1 year
Highest level of education: MSc Science Based Business and Chemistry 

Dutch DNA is a small fungal biotechnology company, they are specialised in developing filamentous fungi for the production of chemicals, enzymes and other compounds. As a business developer my responsibility was to investigate the opportunity of using a filamentous fungus for the production of pharmaceutical compounds. As most people in the business development field I love science but, I don’t see myself working in a lab. So what I like most about being active in business development is being able to translate science into business. This can be by attracting customers or by initiating collaborations based on cutting edge science. In addition to that I enjoy the diversity of tasks. Business development is a broad term that can be everything from sales to setting up consortia to supporting the CEO in financial decisions. If you are looking for a career in business development, there are some skills I advise you to develop. First is networking, as you never know which contact can help you. Next is that you have to have a good business sense and knowledge and experience in how to build business cases. Finally, when you meet a potential customer, you have to give a good presentation. So you have to be confident, a good speaker, and most importantly, be able to make complex science understandable and concrete.

Can you tell a little bit about the application process you went through?
Since I was known within the firm the application process was short. It consisted of an interview discussing the plans for the coming year.

What was challenging for you when you started in this position?
The first challenge for me was the variety of methods and approaches for getting in contact with relevant stakeholders in companies.

What are your tips for jobseekers in business development?
• Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up-todate;
• Build a strong network by supporting communities in the field of science and business;
• Look sharp;
• Get in contact with other business developers in your field to learn from best practices;
• Be very flexible, business development is a broad description. If you are flexible you will be given interesting responsibilities;
• Three important places to find jobs are LinkedIn (make sure to be connected to the right people for this), via personal network and recruitment agencies.



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