Cellanyx Diagnostics: CEO shares tips from the startup trenches
Christina Hernandez Sherwood, eMed Editor, MedCity News
Cellanyx Diagnostics is a platform technology that leverages a suite of biomarkers to help identify tumor growth and determine treatment for prostate cancer patients.
It hasn’t been a year since the Cellanyx Diagnostics team spun out their technology from Columbia University. But, halfway to raising $1 million worth of seed funding for the company, CEO Ashok Chander can already share tips from the trenches:
Look past the resume – Keep an open mind and never be quick to judge, especially when it comes to building your team, Chander said. Cellanyx Diagnostics gets a handful of requests each week from prospective team members and Chander makes a point to speak with each person, rather than just relying on resumes. “Oftentimes I’ve found that the resume doesn’t quite communicate the personalities or even the interest or passion of the potential teammate,” he said.
Take time to make decisions – Don’t assume what opportunities – whether it’s a startup competition or a potential strategic partner – will take your company to the next level, Chander said. The team at Cellanyx Diagnostics takes the time to evaluate each new opportunity. “We talk to as many people as possible,” Chander said. “We try to get as much data as possible and then we make our informed decision.”
Hone the art of interacting with investors – Communicating with potential investors is a fine art, Chander said. “You should approach potential investors with asks of advice,” he said. “Never ask them for money. If there happens to be a mutually-beneficial relationship that develops from those conversations, then that’s a productive partnership.” Entrepreneurs improve on this skill with every new investor interaction, Chander said. But first-timers should make sure to understand the process before jumping in.
Share, but protect, your technology – Don’t be afraid to share your idea, Chander said. But take steps to protect it first, whether through intellectual property, copyright trademark, or some other method. Once you’ve developed the language to share as much of your ideas as you’re comfortable with, he said, ask people in your industry for advice. It’s always important, Chander added, to listen to the advice and react appropriately (read: not defensively). Consider the insight valuable, he said, and think about how it can be applied to your business strategy going forward.