biotech startup website on screen in office

Biotech Startup Website for Berkeley, CA Bioengineers

Bay area biotech startup gets a new e-commerce website.

Website project overview


Nanotein Technologies

E-commerce website


That’s what every biotech startup website is looking for.

But with everything startup founders are juggling, it usually take them a while to come to the realization their site might be sending the wrong message.

Whether you catch a clue from your investor or your gut tells you what you’ve whipped up isn’t cutting it, eventually it’s time to getting some professional help.

There’s just too much on the line – this is your baby and there are no second chances to make a great first impression.

Biotech Startup
Website Challenge

Investors and scientists are skeptics by nature. And they’re particularly so when it comes to start ups. They’re concerned about their reputation and seek credible vendors. Sure, they’re doing cutting edge research and want the latest and greatest tech, but they also want to know you’re going to be around in three or five years.

Nanotein is a Berkeley, CA-based startup that develops water-soluable CAR-T reagents. They wanted to reveal a new, upgraded website at a conference that was just eight weeks away. Their previous site was built on Wix, which is a great starting point when looking for seed funding, but the founder, Curtis Hodges, knew his skills weren’t going to be enough to persuade scientists to beta test his cell therapy reagents.

Creating a site quickly requires a team with a proven process – a solid framework, yet still able to allow for intense collaboration in order to meet the tight deadline.

One of the first things that needs to be clarified in a website makeover is the audience goals. The new website would need to educate scientists – from post-docs at the bench to pharma research scientists – on how new improvements in reagent technology could make their lives easier and provide solid data.

And though the novel tech is complex, Nanotein wanted the new website to be simple and attractive. Oftentimes, it’s difficult for biotechs to make their message simple and brief because they are deeply immersed in their novel science. Another important consideration is that, in order to make Google happy, writing needs to be simple, logical and highly structured so your site appears at the top of search results.

screenshot of CAR-T expansion animation in browser window

Biotech Startup
Website Solution

Stellar specializes in making making complex science easy to scan and absorb.

How do we do that? Well, the most important first step in any website makeover is listening. In every kickoff meeting, we ask questions and listen intently in order to understand the mission, competition and “must-haves.” 

By listening in the kickoff, we’re able to design a variety of design directions for the new site. The client provides feedback on all three and we work through likes and dislikes to arrive at a design that’s exciting and “fits.”

We finalize the designs by collaborating together on several pages in weekly Zoom meetings. Once the design phase is complete, the designs head off to be converted into actual working WordPress pages. And this is where a lot of the “cool” happens. Cool effects are added like background videos, hotspots or animation when your mouse interacts with elements on the page. In a matter of a few weeks, we go from static designs to a fully editable WordPress site with graceful, compelling animations.

But the design and development alone won’t convince prospects unless the message is on target. By collaborating together – scientists, designer and writer – we’re able to quickly craft a website that’s bespoke and which flows from page to page in a unique brand voice.

Over just a few weeks, the site comes to life with new content and interactivity – ultimately a more elegant and accurate expression of the startup. This “greater whole” is what creates credibility and triggers the type of interest that leads site visitors to an inquiries.

Over just a few weeks, the site comes to life with new content and interactivity – ultimately a more elegant and accurate expression of the startup. This “greater whole” is what creates credibility and triggers the type of interest that leads site visitors to an inquiries.

The main business goal of the new site was to get scientists to request reagent samples. That’s why, right on the Home page and throughout the site, visitors see a “Shop Now” button. 

The secondary objective was to explain the science. The Science page uses a variety of functionality like a hotspot process graphic an animated chart slider to break the science into small, scannable chunks of information. These graphics were recreated to harmonize brand colors and add emphasis with subtle variations of font weights and sizes. This gives statistical information room to breathe and allows complex science to be absorbed more easily.

Ultimately, Nanotein ended up with a credible site in eight weeks. But beyond that, the new WordPress site is much easier to edit and expand than the previous Wix site. WordPress sites are easy to edit and we train clients so they can make changes and feel in control. As they grow, their site grows with them.

At Stellar, we help biotech and pharma startups do what they cannot do for themselves, create a compelling, clear and convincing brand presence. If you’re a biotech startup looking for a confidence boost before your next funding round, consider Stellar. We love invigorating biotech and pharma brands large and small.

Need help with your biotech startup website?

purple CAR-T cells that look like planets in outer space
The Final Frontier

Pharmas explore the limits of science. Just like Star Trek, they’re exploring new frontiers. So why not add an element of space exploration to your site? In this case, when the user scrolls, cells change position, intensity and focus to give the illusion of space.

Does your biotech site reveal a sense of space exploration?

Chart depicting high T-Cell yield
Chart Slider

One common mistake scientists make is putting too much information on a web page. It’s as if they’re worried their peers might think their data’s invalid if they don’t show it all at once. But websites are different. It’s important — especially on your main pages — to make information brief and easy to digest.

This isn’t a research paper, folks. 

Are you breaking up your content into small chunks?

Close up of the CAR-T manufacturing cycle interactivity

What makes your biotech unique? 

Every biotech wants to show how their novel science or technology is better, but many struggle with exactly how to accomplish that. One way to stand out – without revealing too much — is to simplify your process and represent it graphically. 

Use hotspots to make users interact with your site and learn what makes your biotech’s step-by-step process unique.

CAR-T cell reagent benefits and icons

If your logo has a unique shape, why not use it as a way to make your site unique? A distinct shape can be used as a pattern or modified in a variety of ways. 

Use shapes to subtly reinforce your brand and make your biotech website design unique.

colorful grid of CAR-T platform technology subjects and links
Color Pop

How your website uses color says a lot about your biotech. Is there too much of one color on your website? Does it lack pops of color? Is your brand color palette dull or pale? 

Color stimulates users and helps make your brand stand out in a crowded niche. Are you wimping out on your use of color?

still shot of CAR-T activation animation
Ease of Motion

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, an animated graphic is worth a lot more. If your biotech has unique graphics in your pitch deck, repurpose them by breaking them apart and animating them on your website. 

Animated visuals reveal the mystery of your novel science and make your site memorable.