Science, Entrepreneurs & the Holidays

How do you combine entrepreneurship, biotech and the holiday season? Search for small businesses that make super cool science stuff that would make great gifts.


Etsy My search began at a lovely place called Etsy. I would tell you that Etsy is an electronic storefront for unique, often hand crafted, items from small businesses but the description falls very short of their own

Etsy is a beautiful experiment in restoring community and culture to our commerce.

Since Etsy is a collection of independent sellers and one could get caught for hours searching, I thought I would share some of the cool things I found. I didn’t include pictures in this post but tried to pin most/all of the pictures over on my Science Entrepreneur Gift board on Pinterest.

Electronics: Cases –  The folks at ReAuthored make e-reader covers out books, such as this version made out of a book on Joseph Priestley. Because they use books, they have a variety of unique offerings. There are a variety of iPhone cases, including the periodic table!

Electronics: Decals – You can find vinyl decals for larger devices (laptops, tablets, etc) with science and engineering themes: Van der waal force distance, microscopedistillationatomic symbolflux capacitor while mypaddecals has two chemistry versions (here and here).

Clocks – Know anyone who would enjoy a biohazard wall clock from All15Designs? The link shows a green clock but it is available in multiple colors. (If you have a car enthusiast on the list, the drive shaft clock is pretty neat too.)

Wall Decals – The folks at Sissy Little have some “sweet” wall decals – you get chemical structures of honey, cream, peppermint, chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon. Their science offering is rounded out by the party pack of molecules, a lil bit o’ love molecules pack and the solar system.

Cupcake Toppers – I am tempted to buy these chemistry cupcake toppers (labcoats, elements of the periodic table and beakers and flasks) for a friend who bakes because I suspect I would end up with a tasty gift in return.


Crowdfunding – The folks at Comprendia kicked off their 2012 Scifund Holiday Challenge today. Three RocketHub projects were selected and you can vote for one of them to win first prize in the challenge. The challenge made me wonder – can you give a crowdfunding gift certificate to someone,  allowing them to choose a project to spend their gift? (Seriously – can you?) Some of the rewards remind me of the things above. For example, I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my 3D printed molecule of methamphetamine from a recent RocketHub project.


Still Looking? The folks at BioWorld put together a long and varied gift guide that would appeal to various types of biotech/pharma folks. If you have a medicinal chemist on your list, a selection from Derek Lowe’s In the Pipeline Science Gifts book list would be a good fit, as long as you choose one they don’t already have!


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