Current time:0:00Total duration:3:30
0 energy points
Studying for a test? Prepare with these 18 lessons on Interviews with entrepreneurs.
See 18 lessons
Video transcript
Giles: My name is Giles Shih. I'm President and CEO of BioResource International. People ask me, "Does your PhD help you as you grow your business?" I think more than anything, the persistence, and perseverance, the discipline of just day in, day out going after something, and setting goals and achieving them. I think a lot of people that go through that PhD process, will tell you, you have to really be driven, and have to be detail-oriented, and you have to deliver a product, a dissertation at the end, and defend it in front of your professors and your peers. I think the training has helped me, to develop more of a long term view, in being persistent and diligent. I'm not the first one to say this, but usually when you start a business, there's three elements that need to happen. We call it the three legs of the stool. You have to have good technology. That typically is the research institute, or a academic or government research institute. The second is, good people. I work with a great team, and everybody's got a great vibe and spirit and culture. Initially we saw people as just kind of a list of skills and experiences. At least for me, that's how I looked at it. Realizing there's a lot of other issues, and things and fit and culture and drive and those non tangibles. I much rather hire somebody that I feel, is willing to learn and has a energy and spirit, rather than someone that is fully trained, but doesn't have those qualities. Those are things that I've learned about, in terms of hiring people and letting people go then, or putting them in different positions or spots, so they can perform better. People told me this and I didn't believe it, until I started the business is, the people are what makes the business. You could have a mediocre technology, but you have a great team, you can really build a good business around it. As opposed to if you have a great technology, and a mediocre team. It doesn't amount to much. The people are really key. Then, thirdly, you have to have capital. That is in form of venture capital or angel investors, or uncles with deep pockets, that can help support the business. Especially in life science ventures, those first few years are money losing entitites. We had to burn through a lot of cash, to get to a point where we had a product that we could take to market. For life sciences companies, there's just a lot of upfront investment necessary. To fund a research lab to do the research, to fund the scientists to do the work. Typically it takes several years, just to get even a prototype out there. I think that is a real challenge now, in terms of funding. Early stage companies to become middle and then late stage companies, that are successful. A good company is only as good, as the last problem that they've been able to solve. If you can't solve some problem, then you're going to be constrained by that. There will always been challenges and problems. Your success will be tied to how you solve those. I would encourage folks that are in the sciences, "Why are we doing this?" "What impact does it have?" Ask, "Why?" Then, if there's something that really gets you going, something that becomes personal and a cause for you, pursue that and harness that and go with it. I think that will get you through a lot of the difficulties and challenges. I think that helped me, knowing that what we were going to do at the end of the day, would help the industry and help feed the world.