David Hines is an entrepreneur, business owner, and founder of Biointelli, the leading provider of proprietary algorithms and curated marketing data for the life sciences market. Hines founded Biointelli over 15 years ago to address an essential gap in the market when it came to marketing and sales data for life sciences corporations. Companies were missing key opportunities for market penetration by marketing and selling into the wrong contacts at institutions across the country. In response, Biointelli would provide curated marketing content and data analytics to allow for the right contacts to receive the right information at the right companies. Fifteen years on, Biointelli continues to be the market leader in life sciences data.
Hines started his educational experience with studies in Philosophy with a strong foundation in deductive reasoning, hierarchical classification, and abstract thinking. He took this background with him into his studies at University of Massachusetts, where he pursued a degree in Biochemistry. Among his achievements was the publication of a paper with Harvard Medical School regarding his ideas on the prefractionation of protein complexes for proteomic analysis.
Originally considering a career path in the labs, he found that his talents were better suited to making connections with people in life sciences and pursued a career in sales and business development within the industry. His experiences there, including the failings of the available options for marketing and database development, were what led to the inception of Biointelli, a life sciences platform created by life sciences experts. A core component of the foundation of Biointelli was the blending of his background in philosophy and logical approaches to marketing coupled with scientific modalities and digitized big data. Matching scientific projects with scientific products proved to be the start of a curated approach to life sciences data.
Prior to founding Biointelli, Hines worked for a number of life sciences companies including Oncogene, CNB, Novogene, Merck EMD, and Sartorius Germany, where he worked as Director of Business Development. When he’s not heading up his company, providing direction for development and marketing initiatives or helping to onboard new customers, Hines can be found captaining his boat, the Nautius. Hines is a licensed US Coast Guard Captain and can be found yachting in the Bahamas and coastal Florida to Nantucket. He lives in DelRay Beach, Florida, where he splits his time with Biointelli’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Where did the idea for Biointelli come from?
I began my life sciences career with a foray into studying biochemistry in a master’s degree program. Deciding that the program was not the best fit for my interests, I decided to transition into technical sales in the life sciences space. Starting out working in field sales and marketing, I worked for Oncogene Research before taking on a more technical sales role CNBI Bio. Having found my niche, I progressed into field marketing for Merck EMD and then business development. I was motivated and intrigued by the fact that my teams were always on the hunt for new methods to sell and market bioscience, not just the products, in their portfolios. I was always trying to understand the market, what did the scientists want for basic research products, what competitors were doing, and what products could be developed to meet new needs in their space. However, senior advisors always seemed to be out of touch with what needed to happen to make an impact, as evidenced through unproductive group meetings with scientists and marketing leaders. I knew there had to be a better way to approach targeted marketing, and so I started Biointelli, or bio intelligence, to support the industry.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Biointelli is made up of a diverse group of individual contributors which I oversee on a daily basis. The firm is comprised of a network of freelancers and paid employees who are dedicated to chasing digital data and coming up for ideas to please our customers. While no day at Biointelli is typical, I spend my time collaborating with marketing and sales personnel, overseeing product development, and working directly with clients as a consultant to help them get the most they can out of the Biointelli platform.
How do you bring ideas to life?
For me, it all starts with the clients. Biointelli was developed to meet a need in the market for curated, targeted marketing data and analytics. By working closely with our customers, I am able to keep my finger on the pulse of the market and its needs. This, in turn, helps direct business and development efforts internally. All ideas are vetted by a senior team and then turned over to a dedicated group of developers and data experts to bring these new ideas to life within the platform itself.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am always following the latest trends in the industry. Currently, I am following the emergence of clinical and traditional biology as it begins to merging and overlap from experimental to patient use in months rather than taking years. It is a very exciting time in the industry to follow the results of research and trials.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I remain disciplined and tenacious with my passion for the life sciences. This has helped me and my company weather changes in the industry as different players have emerged and disappeared from the market over time. Biointelli has remained a stalwart offering for life sciences companies looking to hone in their marketing with curated content for over 15 years.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Biointelli is unique in that I bootstrapped the entire company myself from the start. In hindsight, as the market evolved, I would recommend to my younger self that I pursue investors earlier in the company’s history and not be afraid to scale operations earlier in the company’s growth stages. This, I believe, would have helped the company grow even more exponentially than it has today.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
The mantra of Biointelli, and me personally since the company’s inception, has been that traditional marketing does not work on selling science. Rather than rapid fire messages that have broad appeal and reach the masses with the hope of finding the right person to resonate with, life sciences marketing requires a targeted and intentional approach. Life sciences marketing is about finding the precise contacts who have an explicit need for highly technical products and services and sharing those offerings in a way that resonates directly with their needs.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Customers are the cornerstone of Biointelli, as they are in most businesses, and it’s our job to empower them with the tools they need to conduct their business with precision and ease. My team and I constantly place the emphasis on pleasing customers and supporting them directly. This takes the form of everything from curated data reports to incorporating changes into the Biointelli platform itself.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Reputation is key in the life sciences industry, marketing or otherwise. Newcomers may spring up and fade away, but Biointelli has lasted as long as it has while growing its book of business by putting in the effort to truly understand the industry. This has all been accomplished through long days and hard work, attending tradeshows, networking, and establish a good reputation as a company that people can count on.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I have been an entrepreneur and founder of Biointelli for over 15 years. During that time, I was determined to remain independent to avoid the distraction and influence of other leaders and investors. In hindsight, I probably should have sought out funding much earlier and expanded my team earlier to keep up with growing competition in the space. In response, I have now expanded my development and marketing teams as well as taken on funding to help expedite Biointelli’s growth in the new competitive landscape.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Whenever you’re coming up with your own intellectual property, no matter what the business idea, when it comes to contracts, make sure they are robust. To do this and to grow your ideas and business, the ideas need to be protected according to the American Trade Secrets Act. This can help protect your ideas from reverse engineering your ideas and cutting into your market share. You also need to be aware of which countries you’re dealing with because U.S. laws do not hold up in all foreign countries.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
As a multitasker, I have gone through quite a few Jabra headsets. This keeps me connected to a bevy of devices that are essential to my work, including my computer and phone, while also connecting me to my favorite stereo throughout the house. I use the headset nearly non-stop throughout the day, communicating with my team around the world and taking a few moments to enjoy the music in between calls.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
GotoMeeting has been indispensable for me as I keep my team of employees and freelancer network connected throughout the day. The software also allows me to conduct customer trainings as needed and record them for client archives and future use.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I recommend the book Post Capitalist Society by Peter Drucker. This book discusses the idea of information managers and the inception of technology and how elastic it can be to impact everyone’s lives. These revolutions can transform the world including how information can impact business. Data scientists were flagged to make data efficient and impactful for everyone, working to help recreate humanity alongside biotechnology. The book impacted me along with my philosophy background and science education to found Biointelli.
What is your favorite quote?
“Freedom in general may be defined as the absence of obstacles to the realization of desires.” – Bertrand Russell
- Customers are the cornerstones of a business, and they deserve to be empowered with tools and support to conduct their own work.
- Make sure your contracts are robust to protect your intellectual property.
- Traditional marketing does not work when selling life sciences; instead, adopt a targeted, intentional approach.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.