In the entrepreneurship thread, the discussion turned to how to set up a small business performing chemistry:
Anon060720110900a: The idea that anyone other than tenured professors with a LOT of clout can just go off and found a science/chemistry based startup is TOTAL bunk. Of course, you can find the one or two cases in which it happened (google Halcyon Molecular). But seriously, the Zuckerberg model of "start the company from your dorm room" works great for software, but once you realize that you need fume hoods, AFMs, TEM's, compliance with federal/state/municipal hazard laws, etc, the model falls apart real quick.
Anon060820111000a: I hear such space exists in the Silicon Valley with all the permits to do chemistry, and landlord offers proper waste disposal in the rent which is about $5000 per month. They don’t provide chemicals, glassware or Scifinder access. Better have a client list with orders or a big bankroll.What's the smallest amount of glassware, etc that you need to set up a lab? My list would consist of:
- A hood
- A small set of glassware
- A heating mantle
- Temperature probe (or thermometer)
- Flash column
- TLC plates
- Access to an HPLC and/or an NMR
- SciFinder access (or a nearby university)
- A laptop (combination lab notebook and lab radio)
I think that's about all I would need, but I'm going to guess that I've just listed off about $10,000 worth of equipment.
The operating overhead for chemistry is just really high -- that hurts small business formation and I'm not sure what to do with it. Readers, what say you? What's the smallest amount of equipment you need?