Michael Johnson, a 27 year old CEO has a lot to tell to the young entrepreneurs. He is also the cofounder of a biotech company named Visikol that enables scientists to view tissues in 3-D space as opposed to the traditional 2-D slices. This technique helps to identify diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cancer in the body tissue samples.
Johnson has been recently named for the Forbes “30 under 30” lists for science. He started working with the company when he was completing his doctorate in applied microbiology at the Rutgers University. He also suffered some setbacks during his journey before joining Visikol. At first he worked in an energy company which used to produce biofuel out of algae. But as the technology was too expensive to compete with the declining oil prices, the technique didn’t worked as expected.
After that Johnson went to Argentina for his next project. There he used duckweed in order to decontaminate waste water. But the project ended due to various regulations in the country. After returning from his Latin American Voyage, Johnson saw simplifying booking vet appointments as a good opportunity to start work but it didn’t work either.
Johnson finally struck gold when he locked down $500,000 in venture capital that was used to jump-start Visikol. He explained in an interview that one of the individual in the industry liked the idea of his new project and offered $25,000 to him but it wasn’t enough. Admiring the thought, he actually connected Johnson and his team with the people at Ben Franklin Technology Partners. Those individuals offered Johnson an amount of $100,000 for the project. The team leveraged that offer to receive a $500,000 investment from the New Jersey Foundation Venture Capital Group.
The impediments of the previous companies made Johnson learn many important lessons which he wouldn’t have learnt otherwise. For the young aspiring entrepreneurs, he has two pieces of his precious advice. According to Johnson, young entrepreneurs choose something they are passionate about. There is no use getting involved in startups just for the sake of making money.
These kinds of startups never keep a person motivated for his/her journey. Also, it is essential to stay conversant about the industry’s trends. It is always good to read everything before appearing in conferences and events. Young entrepreneurs should always remain in search for people who can assist them in reaching their desired goals.
Via: Business Insider