#11: Starting a Company
This month Jenifer and Adriénne talk with Elaine Horn-Ranney, President, CEO, and Co-Founder of Tympanogen, Inc.
Elaine tells us about leaving academia to start her own medical device company. We get the scoop on what it’s like being a young founder (with tons of scientific experience) learning the business ropes. In addition, Elaine talks about choosing team members and working with her husband. Furthermore, she shares insights on pitching her company to angel investors and learning to speak better in public (Jenifer helped with that!).
Elaine’s advice for developing an entrepreneurial mindset?: persistence with a whole heart. Since it might be a long time before a co-founder gets a paycheck, it really helps to care most about how your product will help people — in Elaine’s case, kids! For Elaine, building a business is like a jigsaw puzzle: she searches for a piece of info and then sees if it fits. Finally, she recommends knowing how to power through obstacles, being okay with making decisions (even when you feel like you don’t have all the information), and knowing your personal end-game, while having back-up plans.
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Elaine Horn-Ranney, PhD
President & Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder of Tympanogen
Elaine received both her BS and PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University. She possesses a robust knowledge of biomaterials and is experienced in synthesizing materials for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications, with a specialized focus on translating laboratory research into clinical products. Elaine has led the Tympanogen team and research projects since 2011.
Elaine competed in the largest graduate-level student startup competition in the world, pitching her business plan & product in front of hundreds of people, even though she considers herself an introvert – winning 5th place & $44,000!
Adriénne asked for help in an online developer’s forum.
Jenifer downloaded Run, Zombies instead of feeling sorry for herself.
Elaine made a business decision, but didn’t defend herself when someone less knowledgeable about her company questioned her executive decision.
Jenifer withholds important information from her husband and others…because???
Adriénne had a parking lot meltdown.
Elaine tells us about her literal Brazen BFF Raeanna Simcoe, who doesn’t let anyone push her around and always knows the right thing to say. She’s intelligent and thinks quickly on her feet.
Jenifer thanks Renée Olander who, aside from being a poet, told her to stop cleaning up other people’s literal messes. Jenifer decides to learn the lesson both literally and figuratively.
Adriénne tells us about her sister Coco who has worked so hard to achieve her dreams of becoming a practicing internal medicine & pediatrics physician and who helped a friend spend his final days of life peacefully this past summer.
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