Thriving in the Biotech Industry Without a Science Background with Danielle Silva

Thriving in the Biotech Industry Without a Science Background with Danielle Silva


The biotech industry is dominated by highly educated and skilled professionals with a background in science. This poses an entry barrier for some but not for Danielle Silva. Despite her economics background, she was able to bootstrap her startup in the biotech industry at 22 years old and has been on an impressive upward trajectory ever since.   

Danielle Silva is the Assistant Vice President of Capital Advisors Group where she focuses on business development efforts for life science and tech companies in New England and the Mid Atlantic. 

Previously, Danielle led Silicon Valley Bank Analytics’ national life science business development. She is one of the founders of Life Science Nation where she helps life science companies raise capital, and she is a board member of The Deal Mak(her)s, an educational and networking group for women involved in deal-making. 

She received her BA in Economics and Policy Studies from Syracuse University. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of When Science Speaks

  • Danielle Silva talks about how she built Life Science Nation at 22 and gives an overview of the work they do
  • How Danielle managed impostor syndrome as a young founder
  • Danielle talks about the challenges she faced as a woman executive in a biotech startup and how she overcame them
  • Danielle talks about The Deal Mak(her)s and what they do
  • Communication strategies and techniques for early-stage founders 
  • Danielle discusses some tips on how to break into the biotech space and how willing members of the community are to help each other

Connect with Danielle Silva

Managing Impostor Syndrome 

When shifting into an industry that’s different from the one you’re used to, it’s not uncommon to come down with impostor syndrome at some point. Especially in a highly critical and precise industry such as the science industry, how you get ahead of things and manage yourself internally plays a key role in your potential success.

Danielle Silva realized early on that no one has all the answers and that you don’t have to have ready-made answers for every question thrown your way. Based on her own experience, she says that the most important thing was being a problem solver, having the flexibility to adapt, and surrounding herself with a team or network of people with deep expertise in the industry so that you can have a better understanding of the industry. Because the only way for you to feel genuinely that you are a part of something is to engage, to learn, and to embrace everything it has to offer. 

Overcoming academic background challenges when joining a new industry 

One challenge many entrepreneurs face when breaking into a new industry is the issue of perceived inexperience. As a newcomer in the science industry, Danielle knew she had to take the necessary steps to showcase what she has to offer and she was able to address the challenge posed by her coming from a different academic background by building her network within the science industry.

She was able to gain credibility in her new field by staying on top of the information flow in the industry. She was able to prove that she has the necessary skills and expertise to make a mark in the field of science. Danielle not only made a mark, but she also made it possible for other women in the science industry to band together and support each other specifically in the biotech industry.

Learn more about Danielle Silva on this week’s episode of When Science Speaks.

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