Boston Biotech Startup
My first BioEngineering role after leaving Boston University was with Boston-based startup, On-Q-ity. It was an exciting time, and to this day one of the favorite positions I have held. The company was small and nimble, the team was young and beaming with excitement, the technology was going to be revolutionary. We were developing a circulating tumor cell capture microfluidic chip, we had published our first patent, we were breaking ground in the liquid biopsy field as early as 2009, we were the third highest funded venture-capital backed startup ever by the end of Series A, and nothing could hold us back.
Then, about two years in, things started to change. The team was slowly disbanding, the market value of our product started to seem less and less clear, and the mood started to turn from once endless enthusiasm and progress to an angsty waiting game as funding dried up.
I did not realize then that the company’s last days were ahead. I did, however, tap into something very powerful in that time. In my entry-level-engineer’s ability to influence the outcome of a company, I found the power of vision and inspiration that film production can bring to a team. After advocating for this project for some time, I gained permission to turn the company and the labs into a movie set for a few weeks, I engaged the whole team to film and edit the company commercial you see here. It got us through one more round of financing successfully, it coalesced the team around a common vision for another year, and ultimately it remains a homage to a very cool technology and engineering effort in the history of biotech start-ups.