Posted by: hmchang | January 9, 2008

Entrepreneurship: Raja Jindal’s Talk at UCSB and BIOIQ

Raja founder, an MIT Electrical Engineering graduate and currently on leave from UCSB, founded a company called Jentryx two and a half years ago. Their product/service is called “bioiq“, which provides quantitative analysis for one’s health status. His idea was inspired by a family tragedy – a sudden death of his father. Recognizing that many important items in life, such as the total assets you have, how many friends you have in your network, can be precisely quantified but not one’s health status, he started a service that uses some dedicated test kits for examining one’s health status.

The idea of this product/service is as follows: first the customer register one the BIOIQ website, where they will ask you basic question on your and your families’ health history. Based on the information your provided, they will suggest several health kits for you to purchase. Each health kit is send to you through regular mail and within the kit, there are tools to take either blood or other samples from you. Then you will send the samples back to the company and they will have a contracted clinic to analyze the samples. Your health status in terms of numbers will be available online within specific time and they also provide easy-to-understand interpretation of the numbers as well as suggestions on whether you should go to the physicians for further diagnosis or not. The cost of each test would be around 35-50USD and the market size can be very large.

He used his slides for funding raising from venture capitalists for his talk today in the ENGR285B: Entrepreneurship class. His pitch was one of the best presentation I have participated in these years, not only because he is a good speaker, his is highly energetic, his slides are very colorful and easy-to-understand but he is also a great story teller. He first explained why he got this business idea vividly – that was his strong motivation behind the startup. He has spent the past two and a half years building a supply chain of the service.

He starts with pitch with the motivation (story), key advisors, problem, problem is growing, solution, supply chain and a demo. He also shows the competition after his demo. He left the first slide of his presentation blank so that he would be able to explain his story before really get into the topic.

An important part of starting a company is demonstration. Get the prototype up and going. Many times, he and his team went to a household and see how others uses their products. There are a lot of knowledge on even the ways of packaging a products, and what and how to ship blood samples through the post offices. All of these takes time – he said that his team participated in at least 250 real trials and note every detail on how people use their kits. They also actively got feedback from the users and many of them become part of their services. For example, they have several reminder emails, confirmation emails or notification emails just to build up strong connections with the end users.

I questioned that how he could gain the credibility for fund-raising since he and his founding team does not have any health-care, biology or medical background. He explained that several angels invests in him just because of his touching story and his very trustworthy personality. Additionally, it is important to know where you are standing in fund-raising and sometimes need to have the courage to say “NO DEAL” for those investors. Having samples and be able to demonstrate your idea is very important for every startup.

I think this startup is one of the best business plan I have heard recently – and it can be a billion dollar business. Part of the supply chain itself can be worth millions by themselves. As many people anticipated, there are great opportunity for health care to become big money makers in the near future and catching such services at this time can be really big.

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Responses

  1. It’s difficult to find well-informed people about this topic, however, you seem like you know
    what you’re talking about! Thanks


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