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A chat on biotech & startups with Elizabeth Cook

An energetic individual – Elizabeth is a startup advisor for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as well as AI capital. However, her background is certainly interesting. She is a train stem cell scientist who has been an expert in the field for around 10 years. After finishing her undergraduate program, she enrolled for Masters in Cambridge.

According to Elizabeth, “Then I really got the startup bug. I had a start-up with a biotech software company in Cambridge UK.”

Back to the beginning

Eventually, she moved back to the states and led a series of programs at MIT. This talented stem cell scientist is highly enthusiastic about lab research and using it to help individuals launch startups. These include faculty members and postdoctoral students. Her commitment is proof of the fact that you don’t need a certain degree to be well-versed with business rules. It’s more about the experience.

“It became kind of really ingrained in the academic ecosystem for launching a company’s straight out of the lab.”

Then, she moved to the field of venture funding. This increased her level of exposure to startups and a range of industries. Due to this, Elizabeth was able to work with founders directly and start her own consulting practice. From raising capital to dealing with the market, a startup must be able to cope with all these phases.

The combination of AI and Biotech is something that continues to fascinate Elizabeth. She states, “I love where ai and biotech come together. There’s some sort of really interesting technology emergence that’s happening.” Now, she works at AI capital and has explored a number of seed investors in Boston.

Post-COVID19

As the world will adapt to COVID, there will be numerous sectors that will excel due to the current situation. Elizabeth continues by saying that there is a telehealth company by the name of XR health that has been quite successful in raising funds. Due to COVID, some startups are doing incredibly well while others lost a lot of capital because of the market. However, when we talk about investors, there is a mixed range of reactions. It is also very dependent on the networks and the type of industry.

Advice for startup founders

The most integral part is to “be real” and to show your commitment through your work. Of course, efforts are bound to pay off in the form of capital or profits. “I would say I am a big proponent of storytelling.” It is evident through Elizabeth’s words that being able to market yourself can really be a huge booster for a startup, this is what captivates the client. There are three questions one should keep in mind.

Who are you?

What do you do?

How do you make money?

Qualities of favorite founders

Elizabeth talks about the quality of resilience, it can grow a startup or help a company survive. This especially applies to companies that receive venture funding and pass through a series of pivots. During uncertain times, good leadership can keep a team motivated and that is what matters. Leadership is what keeps the whole team stable. A sense of security and comfort can get the brain juices flowing!

Remote work

The best thing about working remotely is the level of autonomy you get. You are your own boss in certain ways and this encourages more creativity. With a startup founder as a leader, it can set the tone of the whole company at the top. As a result, there is an improvement in the overall momentum.

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