This is a case of “necessity entrepreneurship”. It shows how two scientists grown up in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and having made their careers in the GDR science system found their place in Germany’s post-re-unification science and research sector entering the business side with their startup during a very special time and environmental conditions. ASCA’s foundation process represents an example focusing on attitudes and traits of personalities to overcome unexpected constellations of life, difficulties and setbacks to ultimately succeed.
ASCA is a private contract research organization (CRO) founded in 2000 in Berlin-Adlershof (Germany). It is an example how two renowned chemists of the Zentralinstitut für Organische Chemie der Akademie der Wissenschaften (AdW; Central Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences) in the former socialistic GDR after Germany’s Re-Unification struggled to survive and ending up as successful entrepreneurs in the capitalistic West.
In terms of research activities, leaders and employees, location and founding process ASCA represents largely a conversion of a state-financed established chemical research institute in the GDR-based socialistic system into a private technical venture in the capitalistic system needed to finance itself via customers.
ASCA creates novel and practical solutions for all types of synthetic problems in organic chemistry and explores them on a laboratory scale. Molecules that are likely to be useful leads for drug discovery processes are synthesized in close cooperation with industrial partners.