Meet Mr. Al Altomari who helped launched Barrier Therapeutics spin out from Johnson & Johnson in 2002. At Barrier, Al successfully led the company from inception to Initial Public Offering, and finally sale of the company at a premium to Steifel Laboratories in 2008.Full name: Alfred Altomari Age: 50 (but I don’t feel that old)
Current position: Chairman Agile Therapeutics & Board of Auxilium
First job: Accountant at J&J
Favorite job: Sales manager (being close to my customer)
Education: MBA Years in the field: Approx 30 What you learned from Chemistry: I like small molecules What have you learned from being an Entrepreneur: Never give up
How I got here in 10 words or less: A career is a journey, held together by friendshipsQ: When and how when you realized that you are an entrepreneur? And how has it changed over the years?
A: My last job in J&J, running a smaller company desperate for new products
Q: You had prior experience working in established companies prior to starting Barrier Therapeutics. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
A: Focus and intensity
Q: Is there an ideal age for an entrepreneur? Why?
A: mid forties — you need a strong base in the fundamentals, and its physically taxing
Q: What do you like about being an entrepreneur? What do you dislike?
A: The focus—miss being around a ton of “content experts”
Q: How do you define success?
A: Build real value
Q: To what do you most attribute your success? What are the key five entrepreneurial elements for starting and running a business? Â
A: Multi-discipline experience, relationships, great mentors, willingness to take risk, great family support
Q: What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
A: lots of hours
Q: How do you generate new ideas?
A: teamwork commercial and r&d
Q: What advice would you give to other/aspiring entrepreneur scientists and small companies?
A: build relationship and bridges with commercial and R&D
Q: Having had a successful accomplishment at Barrier Therapeutics, what are you doing to keep busy?
A: Family, Boards and consulting
Q: What is your greatest fear? And do you manage fear?
A: Losing my edge —being inquisitive
Q: If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?
A: will you ever relax (NO)
Q: What’s next for you?
A: one more CEO job—then teaching
Career Advice from Al
Skills you need: interpersonal
Degrees you should go for: business training
Where you should start: network, network, network
Professional organizations to contact: Bio