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Week 6 – Giving Some Love to Social Media

Hope everyone is doing well and is safe and healthy. I was wrapping up my day yesterday evening and realized that it was already that time again. Moving the blog posts to every other week does not feel any different than the weekly posts since other things I need to do in the company fill in the “void.” Anyone that owns a small business knows exactly what I am talking about. Removing one item on your list typically results in two or more items taking its place. I am waiting for the day that reducing one thing really feels like I am reducing my workload. Hopefully, I can get to that point someday, but I am not holding my breath. That being said, it is my time to let you know what is going on at the company. I wish it was more interactive, but I hope you are stilling enjoying these posts.

I have a few announcements/shout-outs before I give some love to social media. First, I would like to congratulate Dr. Jayashree Chakravarty and the team for getting our research entitled “Sirolimus Delivery from an Electrospun Vascular Access Graft Material” accepted into the 2021 Society for Biomaterials Meeting (April 20 – 23). This work was conducted, in part, using support from a KidneyX Phase 1 award. The goal of this study was to develop a new hemodialysis access graft (NuSpun™-DE) that could locally deliver a target drug that will prevent cells from overgrowing at the graft/vein connection, a major complication with implanting these devices. I would also like to congratulate Dr. Patrick Hayden for virtually presenting his research this week at the 2021 Society of Toxicology. It will be nice when we can begin to meet people in person again at meetings. There is nothing better than making that personal connection. Lastly, we would like congratulate Nate Long and Rayan Kassab for becoming first time inventors on two patents that were submitted with our partners at Takeda related to our perianal fistula plug and cell chamber devices. We have made such progress in a relatively short period of time so we are excited to continue development of these devices.

These announcements make me think of how important social media has become. While there are many things that are wrong with social media that you hear about all the time in the news, there are also many benefits of social media especially when it comes to small businesses. As I think about the announcements that I just mentioned and getting them out to the general public and potential customers/partners, it would have taken a lot of effort as well as money to be able to reach a large diverse target audience. Using social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook allow us to reach people that are not only supporters but also work in areas that are related to our technology. For example, we announced Pat’s presentation last Friday evening on LinkedIn. By the time of Pat’s presentation, we had reached out to over a combined 1,500 people. Posting on these platforms allows for an announcement to reached an unlimited number of potential contacts. If someone in my network views and likes this blog, someone in their network could see that and decide to view it and so on. You can see how this can quickly expand.

I became a believer in the power of social media for our company after we onboarded Cam. Cam, as a teenager, was able to build a significant following related to gaming. He built this following from the ground up using other social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. I would never have guessed that this would apply to companies that wanted to sponsor his gaming and people that would pay to watch him stream. This simple business development led

me to become a believer in the power of social media. Cam had no training or formal education but he was able to really market himself. When he graduated with a degree in Marketing, we realized that this could be an important asset to the company. In the past 2 years, he has significantly grown our social media presence. We are able to use analytics to determine which companies are visiting our site. If you asked me a few years ago, I wouldn’t have known what analytics were but now it is something I view every day. It is an important tool that we will need (and use) as we continue to grow our 3D scaffold business along with our other programs. Social media will allow us to directly monitor trends without needing outside consultants.

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 may be able to spread virus to non-vaccinate people even if you don’t get sick from it. Hopefully, the data will eventually show that you can’t transmit the virus when vaccinated. 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. Our team members are starting to get vaccinated which I am happy about. These folks have been coming in EVERY day since this started so I’m glad they can begin to get protection. Please keep supporting your local businesses as they continue to work through these challenging times. Many businesses are still working their way through this pandemic. Businesses continue 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. Even something small does make a difference! Hopefully in the very near future, I will be able to remove this paragraph for good. One can dream!

Be back on April 9th!



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