If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content
Current time:0:00Total duration:3:36

Video transcript

- My name is Giles Shih, I'm President and CEO of BioResource International. My father is a co-founder in the company, and he is the inventor of the technologies. I have to credit him for being kind of entrepreneurial in the very beginning. It takes a certain amount of vision to kind of see things where they could be, or where there isn't anything yet. He was doing some studies to convert poultry waste into energy, biogas energy. And he noticed that the feathers that fell into the manure, that went into the digester would disappear, and so being kind of a entrepreneurial scientist, he said there must be some kind of bacteria or microbe that can digest the feathers. He knew that feathers are made out of protein. And so he had the idea, and the brainstorm, to take something from nature, and use it in some unique and helpful way to grow the industry. And from that genesis of that initial project, now has spawned two products that we sell commercially. As the cost of animal production increases, using enzymes like ours saves a lot of money. So we thought well, we're just a small company, but we have a unique technology, and then we can put some pieces together and just see how far we could take it. The idea of trying to do something that was impactful, that was what drove me to start the business with my father. I was finishing up my PhD in microbiology at Emery University in Atlanta, and just didn't see myself working in the lab for the rest of my career, and I wanted to do something that had an immediate impact, and had value, and so this seemed to be a good opportunity, and I figured well, how hard can it be compared to graduate school? Turns out it's hard in a different way, but it was been a very good process for us to go through. One of the unintended consequences of running this business, starting it with my father, and growing it to this stage, is that we have developed a newfound respect for each other, a new relationship that isn't often achievable between a father and son typically. And I won't lie, there were some difficult points, especially in the beginning of the company where we had to make a lot of quick decisions without a lot of information, without a lot of experience. And it was almost based on opinion, and gut, and we would often have differences of opinion. And we can joke about this now. I would go over to my parents' house for dinner on Sunday evening, and we used to call them the Sunday night fights because invariably we'd start talking about business for BRI, and have difference of opinion, and start to get more and more heated, and my mom would have to kind of step in and kinda settle us down a bit. What made it successful is that we put it out there, we didn't hold any strong resentment or hard feelings against each other. What we were all doing was trying to go forward and do the best for the business. I never took a business course, ever, before I started the company, and I just learned by doing, and being persistent, and diligent, and being honest about what I could and couldn't do. So I tell people that you just need to get started, just go and do it, and you learn as you go. The other part of it is working with my father, and being able to take something that's essentially a family business, and grow it and scale it to something that is now beyond the scope of what we ever thought was possible.