Tim Harkness: Starting Over
This case profiles the journey of protagonist Tim Harkness through his many entrepreneurial pursuits. It chronicles his early career and how a bout of serendipity landed him a job in the life sciences tools industry. From there, Harkness went on to lead another life sciences tools company, and transformed the company from an under-performing venture-backed start-up to a profitable multi-product firm.
After four acquisitions, a failed sales process, and filing for IPO, Harkness eventually sold the firm for a record multiple for the industry. Shortly after the sale, the firm’s new acquirers fired Harkness. This was devastating for Harkness, but before long he was already planning his next business venture.
Harkness planned to have the new enterprise replicate the strategy he had employed successfully in the previous two companies he worked for. However, after one of his investors pulled out, he struggled to find replacements for the unique business concept. He began to question whether this was the right time to pursue this endeavor.