Tell Us Your Journey
My initial background was in biomedical engineering at Union College and so when we came together at Tufts University for the Innovation and Management Program it was really focused on those with science and engineering backgrounds interested in being able to translate that technology to have great impact in the world. When we saw that Hojat [Hojat Nejad, a company co-founder] and his team at the nanolab were working on some really interesting technology, we saw the great impact that can happen. We wanted to put our minds together on how we could translate it.
What Is The History Of Anodyne Nanotech
We all began together at Tufts University where Hojat was leading the research in the nanolab for the microneedle technology. Konstantinos [Konstantinos Tzortzakis, a company co-founder] and I were studying innovation and management on how to translate technologies like what’s in The Hero Patch. We initially started with some different business competition to really get some validation as well as some very early capital. Then it was just really networking as much as possible. Fortunately, it was pre-pandemic and we were able to go to a lot of in-person events and really utilize the Boston eco-system. For a biotech startup, I can’t think of many better places to be. And from there we were able to meet a lot of very critical advisors and investors early on and that really helped us form our company and definitely our value proposition as well.
What Are Some Inspirations That Motivate You?
I think it starts with looking at our end goal and being able to impact patients’ lives in a positive way. Each of the founders has someone in their family that can benefit from use of a The Hero Patch product in one way or another and I think that it’s really important in the day-to-day grind not to lose sight of that where we’re focused on technological development or business schools. On top of that there are a lot of people in the beginning, whether advisors or investors or teammates that have joined along the way, that also believe in our vision. And I think it’s really important that as a team we make sure those goals are realized.
What Challenges Have You Faced?
In a success story it’s easy to gloss over all of the challenges. It’s certainly hard to pick one specific challenge because we face them on a daily or weekly basis, but I think generally the theme of having a platform technology that can be applied to many different aspects. Essentially it feels like a blank slate and sometimes it’s hard to really focus on what are the key problems or the most important issues that you can solve with your technology. So early on a lot of our advisors really helped us with this and really just getting out there and talking to people and understanding what the problems are and where The Hero Patch platform can be most effective.
What Advice Can You Offer To Other Entrepreneurs?
One of the best pieces of advice we’ve gotten, I think it was given to Konstantinos but we use it as a kind of motto, is if you’re the smartest person in the room, it’s time to change rooms. We don’t necessarily mean that literally, but it’s having the ability to surround yourselves with people that have specific expertise, because it’s impossible, especially in something very interdisciplinary that we’re working on now, to be an expert in everything. It’s surrounding yourself with those right resources and having the humility to know you don’t know all the answers yourself.
Where Do You See Anodyne Nanotech In 3-5 Years?
This is the part I get the most excited about. It’s really that milestone in three to five years where we can see a Hero Patch product in the hands of patients and positively affecting their lives. Also being able to change the health care economics.
I know there are different stages of success so this is a success story, but in my eyes, our real success will be when we can get to the point where we’re impacting the lives of the patients.
How Important Are Your Advisors?
Our advisors and service providers, who are essentially an extension of our advisors, are instrumental in everything we do. We try to surround ourselves with experts in various fields. What we’re working on is inherently interdisciplinary not just from the technology side, but the business is also very complicated and it’s certainly good to have various perspectives on aspects of that. It also allows us to focus on the key decisions that we need to make with a lot of information that we need to make those decisions and saves a lot of time, which at the end of the day, is money as well.
What Value Has Gesmer Updegrove Provided To Anodyne Nanotech?
We work with Gesmer specifically to work with our IP portfolio and that has been very important, especially for a biotechnology company like this. And as a business aspect as a whole being able to facilitate different introductions or resources that may be helpful for us, I think that’s one great thing that Gesmer does in terms of being proactive about making sure it’s not just the direct legal services that we may need, but any other ways that they may be able to provide help.
Why Go With Gesmer?
We go with Gesmer because there is clearly the legal expertise but on top of that the feeling of a small firm, in the sense that we get a lot of one-on-one discussion on certain aspects. Specifically, since we work with our IP portfolio here making sure we get those fine details correct is absolutely critical to our business.
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