This paper reports on preliminary findings on a study of the relationship of growth and profitability among small privately held Finnish Life Science firms. Previous research results concerning growth and profitability are mixed, ranging from strongly positive to a negative relationship. The conventional wisdom states that growth is a prerequisite for profitability. Our results suggest that the reverse is the case. A high profitability-low growth biotech firm is more probably to make the transition to high profitability-high growth than a firm that starts off with low profitability and high growth. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.