Cashing in on failed startups
BioHack founder builds billion-dollar biotech salvage business
For Dr. Eric Strum, seen by many as a business visionary, the future of biotech companies and projects is pretty simple to predict – over 90% will fail! If a tech startup or digital project fails, generally the investors are the only losers. But biotech failures of the 2020s were different – they left devastated humans in their wake. From bionic limbs that couldn’t move to restored eyesight that was ultimately lost again; by the end of the 2020s, new human tragedies were monthly features on news platforms.
But where most saw failures, Strum saw opportunity. “Back then, it was a litigation circus – a cycle of clients suing bankrupt startups and governments, governments pointing the finger at the biotech companies, who in turn claimed their clients knew the risks. The courts were drowning in paperwork, and in any case, the companies were bankrupt. I managed to get everyone to the table, and described my vision of a company servicing discontinued human augmentation tech. They all agreed to give BioHack Inc, the concessions we needed to operate.”
Strum wrangled all non-supported tech and associated IP from the bankrupt biotechs at no charge, convinced all the clients to stop litigating and instead help his team get going, and – in a stroke of genius – negotiated tax-free status, not only for BioHack, but for its employees as well. This brought former technicians, programmers, engineers, and specialists out of retirement to work for a good cause, tinkering with obsolete tech, while adding value to society.
With no R&D or sunk costs, BioHack operates at a 70% margin and provides better services to its clients at a fraction of previous prices. It’s a win-win where clients get new features and more support while living full lives again. Meanwhile, the FDA is contemplating revising the conditions for human trials, considering mandating that all tech and IP goes to BioHack free of charge if a project fails.
While BioHack has made Dr. Strum a billionaire, many question the ethics of turning huge profits from human suffering. Lately, some of the big VC firms and funds that lost billions when those startups collapsed have started looking for ways to claw back their losses from BioHack. They have forgotten how eager they were seven years ago to avoid the courts. Or as one CNN anchor cynically put it: “Human memory is as short as its greed is vast!”
Warning: Hazardous thinking at work
Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer.