I already work directly with sponsors, why should I work with LifeSciHub?
The LifeSciHub platform seeks to provide value in areas where small businesses can experience gaps, such as:
Even the busiest small, independent businesses end up in a “subcontracting” type of arrangement sometimes, wherein a third party introduces but is not otherwise involved in the work. Traditional third parties are not transparent. You may get the rate you want, but you don’t know what the end client is willing to pay for your expertise. Many independent experts are fine with this. LifeSciHub is not. Four reasons:
- The third party is incentivized to push the sale price up and the supply side down. 100% mark ups are not uncommon.
- The value these third parties are contributing- initial introductions and paperwork- does not justify the money they make in these instances.
- Although drug sponsors seem to accept this as the cost of doing business, they don’t seem to be aware of the downward pressure on quality- the more money going to third parties, the less the expert gets paid. LifeSciHub seeks to educate industry (although we’re astounded this is necessary- it’s painfully obvious to independent experts).
- LifeSciHub believes the pharmaceutical industry simply doesn’t have this kind of money to waste anymore. These are dollars that could and should be better spent serving patients by maximizing the quality of the expertise.
In the LifeSciHub Community, all fees are always transparent. In fact, LifeSciHub provides an annual report to its participating members, detailing in full discloser all inputs (fees collected) and outputs (software development, administration and management salaries). LifeSciHub’s Quickbooks file is auditable to all members upon request.
So what are the fees anyway? How does LifeSciHub makes money?
When LifeSciHub started in 2019 the charge was 10% to the EP and 10% to the HE. We felt this gave EPs much greater information and agency about the hidden fees so dominant in third party interactions, but our EP user feedback indicated it was too confusing. So, reluctantly taking a page from traditional 3rd parties, and although some legacy hiring entities still operate this way, for all new drug sponsor arrangements LifeSciHub simply charges the Hiring Entity a mark up on top of whatever rates the EP sets/negotiates. The “list price” mark up is 30%, but that is sometimes negotiated. LifeSciHub can not go below 20%.
Some independent small business phones never stop ringing. Others go through long stretches of “dry” periods. One thing most Expert Providers agree on is a general lack of enthusiasm about business development, and the word “sales”. LifeSciHub’s mission is to make it easier for EPs to find projects, and for drug sponsors to find EPs. In that way, LifeSciHub can be an additional channel for BD, bringing you opportunities you might not have otherwise known about. This is particularly true for mid-large pharma, who are notoriously challenging to work with due to massive, HR-oriented compliance and control systems, insisting on paying by w2, etc. LifeSciHub’s goal is to put in place a single MSA with each mid-large pharma, which would give them easy, compliant access to the vetted, and vendor-qualified independent small business network on LifeSciHub they have inadvertently prevented themselves from engaging.
“Connector” Model- Ability to Monetize Your Network Assets
LifeSciHub shares its fees with member “Connectors”- members who connect the LifeSciHub Community with either supply or demand. All EPs are asked by their clients “hey, do you know anyone who can do…? Do you know anyone good at…?” Traditionally, EPs gladly make introductions in the name of generating goodwill with their clients and contacts, and this is great! However, as we live in an increasingly networked world, the value of one’s network is increasingly, well, valuable. In fact, your network is an actual asset that has been earned over the course of your career. What is especially valuable is when you’ve worked with someone before, you know they’re good at what they do. Organizations pay millions to HR and staffing firms to try to capture that information, which, by the way, is elusive to anyone outside of life sciences R&D. Consider a present day data point: a large provider of EDC technology and services is now paying a $10,000 bonus to any employee that helps with recruitment. That is how scarce “talent” is these days. Why should the independent small business not have access to a benefit such as this? More on LifeSciHub Fee structure an the Connector model, below.
How do I “Monetize My Network Assets” with LifeSciHub?
When you are a Connector, of either Supply or Demand, you will get 5% of project revenue throughout the life of the project, LifeSciHub keeps 15%. Creating platform features to track and report the Connector Model is a major priority for our software development roadmap. There is no limit to the number of Connectors you can have. This is called “passive revenue stream” and we believe all independent small businesses should enjoy a lot more of it! Please note: Connectors only work in the context of a revenue generating project. LifeSciHub welcomes any recommendations but can not pay for general introductions. That said, if you recommend someone and they eventually get a project through LifeSciHub, we are working towards tracking that and compensating you as the Connector (aforementioned software development!)
|Scenario||LifeSciHub Mark Up||Connector- Demand||Connector- Supply|
|LifeSciHub + No Connector||0.2||0||0|
|LifeSciHub + Demand Connector||0.15||0.05||0|
|LifeSciHub + Supply Connector||0.15||0||0.05|
|LifeSciHub + both Demand and Supply Connectors||0.1||0.05||0.05|
LifeSciHub’s mission is to have a single MSA with every drug sponsor, which will give immediate, SOW-only access to all EP members. In the intense time pressure of a drug development project, none of us should be wrangling with mutual indemnification clauses! LifeSciHub handles all payment processing and guarantees that you will be paid within 30 days. When necessary, LifeSciHub chases payments so you don’t have to (luckily this doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it’s not your problem, it’s LifeSciHub’s). LifeSciHub provides a time tracker on the platform that is free for all members to use whether or not the project is through LifeSciHub or your own independent business. One particular channel we are working on is mid and large pharma, who can be challenging (or impossible) for the small independent business to engage with. Subsequently, most EPs tend to work with small, virtual companies that have less administrative road blocks in place.
LifeSciHub has the beginnings of a “mini marketplace” which are vetted, affordable resources available to EPs, recommended by other member EPs. For example, a good, inexpensive website developer, social media marketing help, virtual assistants, bookkeepers, accountants, lawyers, graphic artists, document formatter, etc. By using LifeSciHub Mini Marketplace resources you save the time and risk of experimenting with service providers for your small business. If you utilize a great provider you’d recommend to other small businesses, please let us know! LifeSciHub does charge a 5% fee to the Hiring Entity (in this case, that would be you) for administrative services. LifeSciHub does not consider this a revenue stream, but a very valuable service it is our pleasure to provide (because, as independent experts, we too have all been burned by investing in poor service providers).
It can be isolating being a small, independent business. LifeSciHub creates a space where other independent experts all across the drug development spectrum can meet, connect, and network. The www.LifeSciHub.com/Info page lists Community resources, such as upcoming calls for abstracts, affordable industry networking events and other topics of interest to the small life sciences ecosystem independent expert. Check it out!
In 2022, the “Great Resignation” is said to be the biggest change to the workforce since the Industrial Revolution. That said, laws, benefits and organizational workforce planning are still almost exclusively directed towards the full time employee. LifeSciHub advocates for change via support and participation in:
- The Center for the Transformation of Work- a “future of work” think tank aligned with the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard
- The Marketplace Industry Association and Marketplace Risk– a group dedicated to gig and sharing economy legal and insurance risk mitigation and management.
- Diversity Alliance for Science– comprised and funded by large pharma procurement, this group is dedicated to providing equal opportunity to diversity supplies
- Coalition for Workforce Innovation’s mission is to modernize workforce policy in the United States.
If interested in getting involved in any of these efforts, please let us know!
OK, I have a profile on the LifeSciHub platform, now what?
Nothing at all! Carry on business usual. When LifeSciHub has vetted a Hiring Entity that has a need for your SME, we will notify you to see if you are available and interested. LifeSciHub’s goal is to one day have the Brand strength such that whenever a drug sponsor needs an independent consultant, they check LifeSciHub first. However in the spirit of full disclosure, we are not there yet. We are tentatively promoting the platform and the independent consultants on it to drug sponsors, however we are also taking great care (translation: going slowly) to measure those efforts with ability to support and scale within the highest quality standards.
Who has access to my profile?
Default visibility is no one but the LifeSciHub administrator. The LifeSciHub administrator can place your profile into a hiring entity “Talent Pool” which is essentially LifeSciHub recommending that a drug sponsor look at your profile and consider you for project work. You also have the option to make your profile available to other LifeSciHub small business members. Login, select My Stuff, then My Profile and scroll down to visibility. If you select “Visible on Platform” on your profile, other EPs can access your profile, and you will be able to see profiles for other EPs who have made their profiles available as well.
How do interested hiring entities get in touch with me?
Although technically the platform could be completely hands free/self service, HEs (Hiring Entity) tend to want a “human in the loop” therefore LifeSciHub usually makes the initial introductions manually and sets up initial meet and greet calls.
The Hiring Entity asked me for a proposal. Can I just tell them my rate?
Sometimes that’s all that is required. However most work that goes through the LifeSciHub platform is for significant tasks, tight timelines and for projects that represent high risk for the hiring entity, as is typical of most pharma R&D activities. LifeSciHub’s Independent Consulting Best Practices recommends providing clarity not just about your rate but the detailed scope of the project, anticipated timelines, and any variables or dependencies that might impact the project later. Some ICs are used to operating with this level of detail. For those who aren’t, LifeSciHub provides examples, coaching and proofreading to help ICs present their expertise in alignment with industry’s highest professional standards.
Wow, sounds amazing, how can I get involved?
Email Sheila@LifeSciHub.com. Looking forward to hearing from you!