Elizabeth Iorns: A Curious Entrepreneur Defining the Boundaries of Innovation

Elizabeth Iorns | Founder & CEO | Science Exchange - Insights Success

With the corporate world facing a wide-array of complexities and challenges, the need for individuals donning multiple hats is of utmost importance. A perfect example to this statement would be Elizabeth Iorns, who is shaping the future of R&D as the CEO and Founder of Science Exchange. An assistant professor at the University of Miami, Elizabeth envisioned the idea for a tech company when she started researching on the progression and development of breast cancer. Additionally, she mentors women entrepreneurs as they seek to take higher and more challenging positions.

Revolutionizing the R&D Industry

Founded in 2011, Science Exchange is the world’s leading platform for outsourced R&D and provides the fastest path for scientists (and the companies that employ them) to advance their R&D toward commercialization. R&D is the engine of growth for many industries, including biotech and pharma, agri-sciences, cosmetics, aerospace and industrial chemicals.  Across the past decade, the share of R&D conducted through outsourced providers has increased – in fact, outsourcing now represents nearly half of R&D spend in many industries as companies seek both operational efficiency and access to innovation.  Efficient outsourcing operations have become a critical driver of overall R&D productivity as a result.

Science Exchange has revolutionized the way companies across the world access R&D services. The platform streamlines outsourced R&D management for both buyers and sellers of services, and its list of clients features some of the largest companies in the world.

Science Exchange gives its clients an edge over the competition by providing them instant access to high quality, pre-qualified research  providers in a process that administrative delays that can slow research.

Both Elizabeth herself and the experts at the company have first-hand experience in the R&D field, which they use to ensure Science Exchange protects intellectual property and provides best-in-class data security.

Fearless. Open-minded. Respectful. Curious. Entrepreneurial.

These are the five core values set out by Elizabeth for Science Exchange, and which help her company blaze a path of innovation across the world of scientific research. Under her guidance, the firm delivers breakthroughs in scientific research using proven methods that benefit scientists, as well as the organizations that employ them.

Elizabeth had a clear vision of the future when she founded her firm, honing in on the growing need for immediate, efficient and reliable access to external R&D providers. Together with her team, she strives every day to realize this goal using a versatile and proactive business model.

Science Exchange has already received $58 million in funding from prestigious venture companies like Norwest Venture Partners, Maverick Capital Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Collaborative Fund, Index Ventures, OATV, and the YC Continuity Fund.

Elizabeth’s clear vision and strategy is providing the much-needed touch for internal growth as well as for the future of innovation.

Additionally, Elizabeth serves on the Board of Directors for the Drug, Chemical & Associated Technologies Association (DCAT). She has won numerous awards for her incredible contributions in the industry, including Nature’s “Ten People that Mattered,” WIRED’s “50 Women Who Are Changing The World,” the “Kauffman Foundation Emerging Entrepreneur Award,” Goldman Sachs “100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2017,” The 2017 Stevie Award Women in Business Female Entrepreneur of the Year, and has now etched her name amongst Insights Success’ The 20 Most Successful Businesswoman to Watch, 2018.

The Emergence of the CRO Sector

Trends emerging from the R&D industry indicate that access to the type and quality of services available through Science Exchange will increase in importance.

One example is the biopharma industry where the contract research organization (CRO) sector today employs more researchers and scientists than biopharma companies themselves.  The increased reliance on these providers is a product of the focus on maximizing R&D efficiency, a trend that is increasingly visible across other industries.

A Secure Investment and a Unique Opportunity

Science Exchange offers its platform to biopharma companies as well as to other industries, including agri-sciences, cosmetics, aerospace and industrial chemicals. The company consistently keeps abreast of trends in relevant fields of research to stay ahead of the curve and ensure scientists accessing its platform can be among the first to access cutting-edge technologies.

The platform today is home to over 2,500 qualified scientific providers, with pre-established contracts in place that protect intellectual property and confidentiality. The company frees scientists and researchers from administrative tasks and grants them the liberty to focus on innovation from the word go.

Apart from developing a system of operations that makes R&D more efficient and more reliable, the company is also making great strides in gender equality through its talent acquisition and development processes.

Elizabeth has challenged the male-dominated status quo at tech giants by nurturing talented women from her team for leadership roles at Science Exchange. With her support and guidance, female researchers and innovators have reached top management positions and continue to take the company to new heights.

Elizabeth continues this work in her role as a partner at Y Combinator, where she mentors women founders at some of the world’s most promising startups.