Happy New Year! Tina and I hope that you and your family had a safe, happy and healthy holiday season. While we had to celebrate the holidays a little differently this past season, it was still special nonetheless. I am hopeful that the upcoming year will bring back some sense of normalcy. Not sure when that will be and I know we have a lot to do to get to that point, but I am optimistic that we will get there. It was nice to have a little time away from the business and get a little mental break. That being said, it is sort of a catch-22. While it was good to get the break, I felt guilty that I w
as not getting done some of the things I could have been doing. As an entrepreneur, you can always be doing something and for the most part, you mostly are. That hasn’t changed over the past 18 years. It is a mode that is hard to get out of. There are definitely times like the holidays where you have to put yourself more in neutral to get some rest. I am always telling our team that they need to take a mental break. It is sometimes easier to give advice than to take it.
As you recall from our last blog, I had made ten New Year’s resolutions. I was going to give a progress update about how these resolutions were coming along over the past few weeks, but I figured I would save that for a later blog to see how I fare on executing on these over a period of time. Believe it or not, I am already starting to make some progress on my list. Hoping to get through at least 50%, but we’ll have to see. One item on the list was increasing the number of webcasts from last year. Last week, we shot our first webcast of the year entitled “BioSurfaces – A Look Behind the Science.” This webcast, which will be released next Friday, January 22nd, will provide you an overview about different aspects of the company. We are excited to share this insight with you and hope you enjoy it. We will be shooting our second webcast next week that will be released in February.
We have been busy over the past few weeks moving our technology forward on several fronts, from initiating new projects to expanding current programs. While the holidays slowed things down a “touch” (also known as “quite a bit”), things have picked up over the past few weeks. We executed two proof of concept research programs, one with our current partner Takeda and another with a leading consumer product company. Based on our agreements, I cannot provide details about these agreements related to what we are developing or what the terms of the deal are. One of these programs expands the use of our technology developed in a prior program and the other brings us into a new area. We have a few other R&D programs pending that I am hoping to be able to provide more information in the next few weeks. We continue to advance our cell culture insert plate technology that contains our Bio-Spun™ materials. We are internally developing new applications for this technology and expanding into different platforms. If all of these opportunities continue to progress, it will likely require us to change many different aspects of the company operations. We have begun to seriously plan for all of the specific areas that will need to be addressed. While I am not a meeting kind of person, it is important as we begin to tackle a lot of different tasks in order to get this plan to succeed. I look forward to updating you as we head down this path. We will be going through a lot of this together so buckle your seat belt!
Please keep supporting your local businesses as they continue to work through these challenging times. Many other businesses are nowhere near out of the woods yet and won’t be for a long time. One group that deserves more credit than what it has been getting in the press and social media for helping many small businesses is Barstool Sports (https://www.barstoolsports.com/the-barstool-fund?utm_source=barstoolsports&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=referral_barstoolsports_site_placement_alert_banner&utm_content=site_placement&utm_term=alert_banner). This group, led by Dave Portnoy, has single-handedly raised over $25 million. Portnoy himself donated over $500,000 to this fund. They have taken this money and are directly funding various types of small businesses that will keep them going through the pandemic. If you have some time to view some of the videos on this site to see what impact one group can have, it is well worth your time. Thanks to Dave and his team for providing hope to a lot of people who are feeling hopeless. While we do not have those resources, we have tried to do what we can in our local community to help some businesses and families. It never feels like it is enough but every little bit can help. As the winter weather in Massachusetts and other states continues and cases are significantly going up, more businesses are going to rely on curbside take-out. If you can, grab some take-out. Don’t forget to take care of the employees too. Please also consider donating to your local food pantry or to other nonprofit groups that are helping people who need it. So many people are hurting. Even something small does make a difference!