Meet the Media: biotechin.asia (II)
In part one of biotechin.asia’s Meet the Media series, Founders Ms. Laxmi Iyer and Ms. Sandhya Sriram, shared details about their business model, their collaborations with various organizations and media outlets in Singapore, as well as the career event organised by them. The second part of this Meet the Media series focuses on the current developments at biotechin.asia and on writing tips.
Being more than just a biotechnology and healthcare virtual newsroom.
In a bid to solidify their reputation as a one-stop solution for individuals from the academia, industry and start-ups, biotechin.asia is currently developing an exclusive database that will allow these three communities to network with one another.
“People can enter information about their start-ups into the database and ensure that they get visibility all over the world. Right now, our reach is about 170 countries worldwide, which I think is great,” said Iyer.
Sriram added, “This way any prospective healthcare or biotech investor could approach us for information about start ups in that particular sector.”
With the database, potential investors are able to stay up-to-date with the various start-ups that are springing up worldwide and make better investment decisions. Likewise, promising start-ups can increase their potential of securing funding and boosting their reputation.
On top of that, biotechin.asia is also regularly featuring start-ups, and covering topics such as their business model, the challenges they face and the types of products they are developing. These entrepreneurs also give insights about their start-up journeys, thus inspiring future leaders and allowing online readers and potential investors to learn more about the companies in detail.
Establishing quality collaborations to ensure visibility.
Through their media partnership with Biotech Connection Singapore, a non-profit organisation that aims to connect innovators with industry resources and one another, biotechin.asia has expanded its reach to numerous high-profile individuals in the biotechnology and healthcare industries.
“We are showcased as an event partner in all of their events, so people started taking us seriously, and it boosted our credibility,” said Sriram.
She also proudly stated that one of their current partners, STEMCELL Technologies, a privately-owned biotechnology company that develops stem cell products for life science research, was the first company to advertise on the website. Additionally, as part of their partnership with Declara, an online platform for individuals to share knowledge and insights, biotechin.asia’s articles are added into its e-learning channel for online readers to view and share interesting biotechnology-related articles. This further expands their readership to audiences from all walks of life.
A good article is one that is concise with visuals.
The editorial team at biotechin.asia makes it a point to engage their readers by publishing short articles, each containing 250 to 500 words. Sriram also emphasises the need for “good visuals” and uses videos and infographics as examples. She said, “People don’t have the patience to read nowadays. So, if it’s an infographic or a video, they can read or watch it on their mobile phones when they are travelling from one place to another.”
Crafting a short article and throwing in a few visuals are not enough. To quote Iyer, writers should always “make sure you [they] feel like reading the article when writing it” and “present the gist of your [their] news in the first two paragraphs instead of leaving readers hanging for more information”.
Companies should avoid promotional press releases.
When asked how companies could improve on the press release, the editors agreed that releases should present journalists and editors with the facts instead of using superlatives and over-glorifying the company, which could potentially cause the media to lose interest.
“We want readers to decide for themselves whether this company is the greatest and largest. We don’t want to create hype because we believe that if your work is good enough, it will create a hype on its own,” explained Iyer.
Sriram continued, “I feel the audience would not appreciate such promotional news releases and stories. We as editors do not appreciate it either and we don’t want to publish such stories.”
Advice for those who wish to build a start-up – Just do it!
It is important to act on one’s goals instead of merely contemplating and worrying about failing. Successful or not, Iyer said, there will always be new learning experiences. “It will forever only be a dream if you don’t take action,” she reminded.
For Sriram, communication is key when there are multiple founders in a start-up as it helps prevent misunderstandings and allows the company to grow since there is an exchange of ideas.
biotechin.asia welcomes individuals to join their advisory panel or contribute to the website. Interested parties may contact the editors. For regular updates, follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook.
About the Founders:
Dr. Sandhya Sriram is a science enthusiast who wears many hats. She enjoys reading, writing and research (wet laboratory work). She is currently a Research Fellow in the Fat Metabolism and Stem Cell Group at Singapore Bioimaging Consortium, A*STAR. Her dream is to have a laboratory of her own.
Sriram is also the Vice President and Publicity Chair for A*STAR Post Doc and Early Career Scientist Society. She is also the proud mother of an adorable 2-year old son, who helps her “de-stress” amidst all the work that she does. She attributes her ability to do so much to her husband and mother.
Dr. Laxmi Iyer has a Ph.D. in Virology and entered this profession by serendipity. Her husband who is also the co-founder of a tech start-up in Singapore, encouraged her to follow her passion and guided her throughout her start-up journey. She attributes her success to him and her family, who have been supportive of her decisions. When she is not working on the website, she loves to travel, listen to music, take photos, and cook for friends and family!
Dr Prasanna Kumar, the third co-founder, is currently living in Sweden pursuing his post-doctoral fellowship. He contributes to the website by writing articles and managing the Events calendar.