Week 14 – Permanently Closed?
Hope all is going well. To all of our US readers, I hope that you had a great 4th of July long weekend. I always somewhat dread this weekend as it marks that summer is going by way too fast. This year, Tina and I decided to extend the holiday weekend a little more by adding Tuesday and Wednesday as days off on top of the holiday. As I have mentioned to you before, as a small business owner, it is always hard to really be “off.” It is something that I do to myself but I figured this year would be different and that I could, for once, really get off the grid a little. While technology is a blessing, it is also a curse for someone like me who has some form of OCD (not officially diagnosed but a good guess). I hear about people shutting everything off and think that must be nice, but I do not think it is in my DNA. As the long weekend approached, I could see several things brewing on the horizon that I knew were going to affect my plans of trying to be less available. It really sucks because I know that these things do not just affect me, but also Tina. As I’ve mentioned in the past, being a small business owner affects those around you as well. I am fortunate that I have a great partner who understands me, knows how I operate and gives me latitude when it isn’t always easy. I’m sure there are times when she would like to strangle me and I’m appreciative that she hasn’t (yet). This is so different from most of our friends who can travel for extended periods of time and never worry about any of this stuff. I am envious of that ability to just go away but I knew what we were getting into. So many people say to us that you must love being your own boss. If they knew all that goes with it like we do, not sure they would feel the same way. When we talk to other small business owners, it is somewhat like a brother/sisterhood since we all know the sacrifices that need to be made.
One of the things that we needed to deal with when we were away was the topic of this week’s blog. I received a text from my long-time friend Tim (I’ve known him since high school) who said he was talking to a college student interested in science. He wanted to give her some information about BioSurfaces and did what everyone would do, performed a Google search. He then proceeded to send me a picture of the search that is this week’s image saying that BioSurfaces was “Permanently Closed.” He wanted to know what was up. Now obviously I know that is not true, but I got to tell you, seeing that on the computer screen put a pit in my stomach. Not sure why Google decided to change it (even though we are currently running ads with Google on our In Vitro Research Tools (IVRT) business), but they did and likely would not have known since we don’t search our business. I think of all of the business owners that have had to put that notice on their dream. While I would never be disappointed that we took the chance to start the company, it would be hard to see that it had ended. The fun part of this was to figure out how to prove that we are still in business so that Google could change that notification. Cam happened to be visiting us on vacation so we spent some time trying to figure this out. I hate to infringe on anyone’s vacation outside of Tina and me, but he's seen what we’ve gone through first hand over the years and jumped right in to help.
The ironic thing about getting this notice is that the areas that I had to work on during the “vacation” are really focused on growing the business and new business opportunities. Unfortunately, some of these things are taking time to unfold so it ran them right into the holiday weekend. We are in the middle of discussions with several companies and we needed to provide them information right away. We are fortunate to have a team that is productive, even when we are not on-site. We were able to pull together the information required by these companies through emails and a Zoom call and get it out the door in a timely fashion.
We have a lot of really good opportunities we are involved in, either as a development partner or areas like the IVRT business where we are developing customer relationships for our Bio-Spun™ products. Last Thursday, we were on a call with a research group in Austria at 8am and then with investigators at Takeda at 9pm, both focused on the IVRT business. Here is where technology is amazing in that we can have calls between teams to discuss technology, making it like we are almost all in the same room. We have other companies also assessing our Bio-Spun™ scaffold technology so it is great to be able to develop a product from the ground up. We are also working with several companies that are using our Bio-Spun™ Cell Chamber technology to deliver cells. So far, they are seeing good preclinical results with our chamber. We continue to internally develop different versions of this device (we are developing a device that is 5mm X 1.5mm – really small), and those preclinical studies look really good. We are also starting to work with new companies that have interest in areas that range from wound drains and catheters to cellular agriculture and dermal delivery. We will continue to share data over the upcoming blogs to continue to provide you information about what we are working on.
Please check out our next one on July 15th. We’ll see you back here on July 22nd.