Peeyush Shrivastava, founder and CEO of Genetesis, one of the 11 winners of the 43North business competition, is taking a year off from the Biomedical Science Program at The Ohio State University to focus on his company, Genetesis.
Genetesis is a development stage biotechnology company oriented towards the development of efficient and non-invasive cardiac current density mapping, which would eventually serve as a state of the art preoperative screening technique and diagnostic for evaluating the electrical function of the heart in patient-specific heart models.
Genetesis technology utilizes the body’s weak magnetic fields to reconstruct, computationally, areas of high and low electrical conductivity in the heart. The main product, the Genetesis CardioFluxTM Mapping System, is a software solution which is able to characterize deep sources of current that are consistently missed by the EKG, and does so with the utmost accuracy. Although the technology is not yet on the market, it has generated extensive excitement within the medical community.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you talk about how you came up with the idea behind Genetesis?
Peeyush: In 2006, my grandfather was diagnosed with a plethora of different, but interrelated, conditions. With each new therapeutic or surgical intervention, his condition worsened exponentially. Particularly as it relates to the function of the heart, current technology is ineffective in truly personalizing the internal activity of the heart. Genetesis is all about transcending the boundaries of cardiology with technology; we use software as a means of solving deep biological problems, like the cardiac problems my grandfather was diagnosed with.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you share how the software you’re developing can help truly transcend boundaries in medicine, and change cardiology for the better?
Peeyush: The current state of the art in cardiac electrophysiology is to measure what is called surface voltage. Our software is transcending boundaries because it is the first mapping system to be able to show current density in the heart. Here’s a good way of thinking about it: if I were to ask you to estimate the depth of a body of water, and give you nothing except a key decoding how the different colorations of the water indicate depth, you would be able to estimate the depth, but with quite a bit of ambiguity and potentially, very prominent inaccuracy. On the other hand, if I gave you a chance to dive into the water, and gave you access to deeper water, you would be able to improve your estimate substantially. That is how our innovation compares, but in the case of cardiology, it would be a misdiagnosis vs. a correct diagnosis.
BusinessInterviews.com: How has winning the 43North business competition helped influence your decision to take time off from your studies to further develop Genetesis?
Peeyush: A lot of people think that 43North helped me make the decision based off the ‘validation’. But that’s not actually the case. 43North diligence prompts the companies to think more than they ever have before, helping transition potentially disruptive ideas into viable businesses and market-ready technologies. I saw that advantage pretty immediately, and as a young, curious scientist dedicated to translating knowledge to the improvement of the human race, it just made sense to pursue it while it was hot. In other words, I saw an opportunity to do what I really loved, and my work with Genetesis is an education in and of itself.
BusinessInterviews.com: What’s the biggest insight about commercialization that you’ve gained that you couldn’t have learned in the classroom?
Peeyush: In the classroom, a lot of things have to be confined to theory, as opposed to application. That is beginning to change, but it isn’t an overnight progression. One of the things I think really separates classroom insights on commercialization and the actual thing is the value of networks. The people you associate with, the partnerships you attempt to establish and the way you present these types of things play a critical role in your success, or lack thereof. These kinds of intangibles are incredibly important to the commercialization pathway, and I think it’s one of the single most important pieces we don’t portray in the classroom enough.
BusinessInterviews.com: How do you plan to keep the momentum going?
Peeyush: My team is an intuitive mix of youthful, driven engineers as well as industry veterans with extensive management and startup expertise. For us to keep momentum going internally isn’t a challenge. In terms of generating traction and capturing value, we think it is best to continue building our company culture and expanding by bringing on similarly passionate individuals. In terms of technology, we like to keep our product vision on our minds always. As inspired entrepreneurs dedicated to saving lives, we’re always moving at a million miles an hour.
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