We’re just a few weeks away from the final event for the Global Impact Award, our business plan competition that awards up to $50,000 to impactful, scalable, and sustainable Washington University in St. Louis ventures.
As the final event inches closer, we’re excited to introduce the four finalist teams who are vying for the big award. Check back each week for a new team profile!
This week, we introduce you to Geneoscopy.
Total Number of Employees: 3
When They Formed: February 2015
Total Funding (as of August 2016): $350,000
What problem are you solving?
Geneoscopy is developing a noninvasive method to diagnose and treat colorectal cancer (CRC) using human biomarkers in stool samples.
How do you solve the problem?
Geneoscopy has developed a proprietary and novel technology to pulldown and evaluate human biomarkers in intestinal cells that are sloughed off from the colonic walls. This method allows Geneoscopy to directly evaluate stool samples for human markers within cancer and pre-cancerous cells.
About the Founding Team Members:
Chief Executive Officer
Directs all research initiatives and protocol development as well as daily operations.
Erica received a BS in Biology and Business from Cornell University in 2013. She is currently receiving an MD/PhD from the Washington University School of Medicine.
Chief Financial Officer
Focuses on fundraising, capital budgeting and business development.
Andrew received a BS in Business from Cornell University in 2011. He is currently receiving an MBA in Health Care Management and Entrepreneurship from The Wharton School.
Chief Technology Officer
Develops gene selection and diagnostic algorithms for CRC.
Yiming received a BS in Biomedical Engineering and Mathematics from the University of Utah in 2012 and a Masters of Biomedical Engineering from Cornell University in 2013. He is currently receiving a PhD in Computer Science from Washington University in St. Louis.
What is your favorite part about being an entrepreneur?
Erica Barnell (EB): I love looking back at previous versions of powerpoint slides or business plans and seeing how much we have accomplished over the evolution of the company. In that moment, I realize how much I have learned over a short period of time and how much I have grown as an individual and as an entrepreneur.
Andrew Barnell (AB): Autonomy. I love the ability to help define the vision, create the milestones and pick the actions that will determine our company’s success. And for Geneoscopy, where success is defined as improving the lives of patients, it doesn’t get any better.
Yiming Kang (YK): I am always excited to transform technology at the edge of human knowledge into unique products. It is so rewarding to be acknowledged by the people we care about.
What is the most challenging part about being an entrepreneur?
EB: It seems like everyday there is a new, unanticipated obstacle to overcome or something that does not go exactly as planned. Learning to pivot and be flexible about the company’s direction is challenging, but a skill I have learned to embrace.
AB: Balance. There are not enough hours in a day to accomplish everything we want to get done. Especially as student founders, it’s difficult, but important, to find a balance between life’s competing priorities.
YK: The most challenging part is to have faith in the direction we pursue, especially when facing technological barriers or doubt from stakeholders in the community.
What is your #1 tip for building a strong team?
EB: Identify your weaknesses, then find people who specialize in that area and then ask him or her as many questions as time allows.
AB: Find people that are passionate about the company’s mission and buy into the values that you feel are important.
YK: Build an interdisciplinary team to make use of individual specialties, and allow the team to think outside the box.
What is your must-read book?
EB: A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
AB: Give and Take by Adam Grant
YK: A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
What is your favorite entrepreneurial news source?
Like what you see? Follow along Geneoscopy’s journey:
Check out last week’s profile on The Women’s Bakery, too!