Is has now been a little more than eight months since we started BioVirtua, and our future looks bright. In less then a year we have:
- Traveled across the country
- Engaged with thoughts leaders within our domain (needs findings, pain points)
- Are about to initiate our first clinical pilot at a tier-1 research institute
- Traveled internationally
- Accepted into a SF-based accelerator (paired with a $$$,$$$ VC investment)
But the purpose of this post is not to describe these achievements, because that is not helpful.
….”Oh you did some cool things? 👍 Good for you, don’t care”.
These ‘wins’ are meaningless without detailing the process of how they were achieved, and detailing what we learned along the way.
So what have I learned?
Coming from the world of academia (clinical research), I have grown accustomed to being in uncomfortable situations, and never being the smartest person in the room.
Both have been good experiences, but the two simple concepts I have taken from academics, that have translated nicely into our startup, and I believe can be applied to any startup or professional setting, are unrelentless patience & determination .
1. Patience & Determination
In academics, sometimes it can feel like your job is watching paint dry on a wall, or observing that rock in the desert that magically moves without being pushed. For example, a federal science grant can take 6-12 months to get feedback on – only to get rejected, a peer-reviewed study can go years without getting published, and dealing with the IRB (institutional review board) that oversees your study is like going to the DMV or the dentists office – you know you need to do it, but you hate every second of it.
Therefore you must learn and practice patience, reminding yourself that the fruits of your labor will come after blood, sweat, and tears have been put in. And for that to happen requires day-in and day-out determination.
2. Its about the Journey, Not Overnight Success
For myself, a big truth that has been reinforced during BioVirtua’s first 8 months, and the message that I want to deliver to others, is that this journey does not, and should not happen over night. This is just another reason you need to become an expert at patience and determination to see it through.
I obviously wish that certain things would happen overnight, that certain milestones could be achieved quicker. I mean, I have spent more than a decade receiving advanced education and training – as I was a nurse, then completed a doctorate, then a post-doc, so it should be time for some winning right?
But what if things were to happen tomorrow, that we get the big investment or partnership that we eventually want, would we be prepared? No. But could we still make it work? Maybe. For myself and BioVirtua, it goes without saying I really want to have that big $ investment land in our lap tomorrow, but at the same time, I recognize that there is much more work that needs to be accomplished before we can be as productive as we can with that opportunity. Its not just about getting the investment, which is vital, no $ = no job, but getting it at the right time, and having the right tools at our disposal to effectively utilize the investment is equally as important.
For example, what if a college pre-med student suddenly became a doctor over night? Would you want them operating on you? Diagnosing your disease? Or Donald Trump. He was elected to the highest political position in the United States, without having any experience as a politician, at the state or federal level. He got what he wanted, but how effective will he be as a president with zero political experience? 🤷
So keep in mind that sure, yah, you want this to happen over night, but do you really?
3. Make Your Own Luck
Outsiders may think that you got lucky when it happens…and there certainly is some degree of luck involved, but luck is ultimately up to you to make. How can you make your own luck?
For myself and BioVirtua, being aware of what situations and environments we place ourselves within, and setting a very high-bar for selecting individuals we will engage in conversations with, has increased our chances for making that next big deal, discovering that new investment, and forming new partnerships.
But this process can be painfully slow and grueling. There are many days where I have received no emails, no phone calls, or any contact from the outside world. Only now have I begun to see the pay offs that our team has contributed to over these first eight months.
…more to come
As our company moves forward, there will be many challenges, many challenges, seen and unforeseen, internal and external. Some of these challenges will be unique to us as a healthcare company, e.g., in a time where healthcare in the United States is changing at what appears to be an unsustainable pace, while others problems will likely revolve around other factors common to small and growing business, like operations and personal.
But it is my belief that if we:
- Practice and reinforce the importance of patience and determination
- Live for the journey and not the end goal
- Seek out luck, versus leaving it to chance
…we will succeed.
Looking forward to giving you guy’s updates as we progress. Best,
Hants Williams, PhD, RN
Chief Innovation Officer