Team:UCL E/Business/T



Industry Description

Our product belongs to two industries: eduction and small-scale research. The biotechnology education market is steadily increasing as new discoveries come to light and equipment costs decrease.

Target Markets

We have identified three markets: Education, Citizen Science and Field Research.

Education: Our primary market is science education in UK secondary schools. When At present, schools are reported to have too little equipment for effective practical work and unable to offer a full range of practical lessons.

2. Better science laboratory facilities in schools should be a top priority

3. The new facilities enable the pupils to gain a better understanding of the subject through more ‘hands on’ experience. Science departments receive £9.89 per pupil.

Citizen Science: Citizen scientists is a term used to described amateur or nonprofessional scientists that has gained popularity in recent years, including in research, science magazines and the maker community. As it is is difficult to estimate an accurate figure of molecular biology citizen scientists, we choose to approximate the size of a group by using the example of the DIYBio network. DIYBio presents a growing citizen science community of molecular biologists, biotechnologists and bioartists. Projects range from microbe mapping to yeast printing. DIY Science can be considered as an alternative approach to scientific experimentation. One common barrier is access to the technology, where cost and skills are both problems.

Field Research: A range of fields, from textile conservation to evolutionary biology, require the use of biotechnology, in particular PCR.

Market Analysis

As of January 2013 there are 3,281 state-funded secondary schools in the UK with approximately 3.2 million pupils. Schools submit yearly budgets on the July 31.

As of October 2013, there are 42 groups declared worldwide and 3353 members on DIYbio Google group mailing list.




Market reaction


Example: IO rodeo Most likely group to be affected initially by the Darwin Toolbox entry into the market. Like our start-up, small companies typically struggle to compete with regards resources and reach. However they may be possible sources of collaboration instead of competition.

Global Biotechnology Companies

Example: Bio-rad This group is unlikely to be affected in the first couple years. As their products are currently sold in mass quantities and with restricted accessibility to individuals, they don't currently reach Darwin Toolbox's target market. They may react to youGEM's entry by making their products better towards individuals.

Specialised Companies (e.g. forensics)

Example: Sirchie Similar to global companies, this group is unlikely to be immediately affected initially as it is well established. However as this group target a niche market, they may later be challenged by Darwin Toolbox's broader scope.

Competitor Analysis

There are no direct competitors who provide an alternative to our product. Our competition is more indirect and falls into three broad categories: companies offering laboratory equipment hardware kits, laboratory equipment supply and educational biotechnology kits. We assessed our product in comparison to other companies by the following criteria, and the results can been seen in the table below.

Competitor Analysis Criteria

  • Affordability
    • How cheap is the technology? How much does shipping cost?
  • User-friendly
    • How easy is the technology to use?
  • Completeness
    • Is it an all-in-one solution?
  • Convenience
    • Does the company ship internationally? Is it pre-manufactured or does it require assembly?
  • Brand strength
    • How easy is the product to find? How much does it push the market forwards? How reliable is the reputation?

Competitor Analysis

Marketing Plan

Stakeholder outreach and product promotion routes

•Existing market groups –DIYbio: existing DIYbio spaces, mailing lists, Makerfaires, social media –iGEM HS: directly via iGEM HQ, including discount or promotion for registered iGEM teams –Schools: science education networks (STEM and PsiComm), educational funding bodies (BBSRC) –University Students: university representatives, advertise via iGEM teams, word of mouth –Field Researchers: targeted via specific case studies, academic journal advertising

•New markets, “mainstream” citizen scientists

 Initially, we aim to target technophilic people, e.g. parents who want to do science with their children.

–Kickstarter –Wired and media –Sponsored citizen science projects –TV advertisement (e.g. during BBC Horizon, New Cosmos, etc.)

•Distribution –The product would be sold directly via the company’s online platform –The product could also be distributed to online merchants (Amazon, Ebay, etc.)