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Week 5 – What Does a Company Have to Do?

Hope everyone is doing well and is safe and healthy. It has been a busy few weeks at BioSurfaces. I haven’t been in as many meetings (virtual that is) as I have over the past month. Is this a sign of things to come? Maybe. As you all know from previous blogs, I am not a huge meeting fan. I would much rather be kicking around in the lab conducting some research study than working on the business side of the company. That being said, I cannot ignore the business side since it is vitally important to move the company forward so that forces me to get my lab time on the weekends. This could create a problem with Tina, but I am lucky that she understands that this is what I love to do. I am fortunate that I never feel like research is a job. It feels like a hobby. I enjoy the challenge of doing something that has not been done before or fixing something that continues to have problems. It is a natural high when you get something to work for the first time.

I can honestly say that I did enjoy all of the meetings I’ve had over the past two weeks, which ranged from pitching various aspects of our technology to both new and familiar companies to speaking with potential customers for our Bio-Spun™ scaffolds as we continue to roll out our new products. I am excited to see where things will go on the product front. It has been fun to see the interest that researchers are showing about our Bio-Spun™ scaffolds. I am excited to announce that work related to our Bio-Spun™ scaffold conducted by our team led by Dr. Patrick Hayden, will be presented over the next two weeks at the Society for Toxicology. A formal announcement where to get a copy of this poster will be made next week. In terms of presenting, there are so many different facets to our technology that I can go from presenting about our NuSpun™ Vascular Graft in one hour followed by discussing our drug delivery technology to another company in the next hour. I used to be nervous presenting many years ago but I have grown to be comfortable with the process. It can be a little mentally draining hopscotching around to different topics but no one understands the technology like we do. I do feel like there are times when I just don’t feel on my “game” (for those of you who present, you know what I am talking about), but you have to power through it. Some of the people we spoke with from these companies really understood our technology and asked some great questions. I always enjoy the back and forth.

One thing that continues to bother me is that I feel like we need to prove something every time we present. This has been going on for almost 18 years. It doesn’t seem to matter that we’ve had successful development in many different areas of our technology. It doesn’t seem to matter that we have an extensive amount of data. It doesn’t seem to matter that we have worked with many large companies and have continued to accomplish a lot. It’s does seem to matter that we’ve accomplished so much with so little. I am at a loss as to what a company has to do to get a little respect and its props. As the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield used to say, “I get no respect, no respect at all!” Just to give you one example, I spoke with a person from the Department of Defense about technology that they have been looking for. As I continued to talk about all of the things our technology could do, she continued to agree, finally stating that this technology is exactly what they are looking for. I went on to inform her that we had been submitting this exact technology since 2005 and finally gave up after 8 years of being unsuccessful.

The other issue that bothers me is seeing other companies that have not really proven themselves any more than we have, getting either funding or acquired. You hear quite a bit that so many deals are made without knowing/understanding the data. We’ve seen deals worth tens and hundreds of millions of dollars get swept under the rug when they fail. We’ve seen this firsthand yet these companies continue to advance with not so great technology. It makes me wonder what does a company have to do to get recognized for all of its hard work and advanced technology. We get tired of seeing companies with okay technology continue to accel while we have to fight for every little thing we get. Money begets money and unfortunately, we are not one of the groups that has these intimate contacts. You can imagine my frustration as I continue to see different groups getting ahead while our hard-working team has to work many times harder just to get recognized. I can tell you that the one company that really takes a chance on us will not be sorry. We have delivered on our promises yet get no love. We hope that one brave company takes a bigger chance with us.

We still need to be vigilant in terms of continuing to wear masks, social distance and wash hands to keep driving the number of cases down until a majority of people get vaccinated. This means even if you are vaccinated right now, you still need to wear a mask until more than 80% of people get vaccinated. The reason for this is that you can still spread virus to non-vaccinate people even if you don’t get sick from it. If we all do our part, this should significantly diminish the virus and allow us to return to some sense of normalcy. Masks, if used correctly by everyone, do make a difference. They are still the best option we have until everyone is vaccinated. We cannot wait to get vaccinated. Please keep supporting your local businesses as they continue to work through these challenging times. Many businesses are nowhere near out of the woods yet and won’t be for a little while. More businesses are beginning 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!

Be on the lookout for our poster announcement next week and we’ll see you on March 26th!



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