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Ed Straiton, co-founder of GeneHub

StartIn: Hello and welcome on our Spotlight series. Ed, can you give us a quick introduction about yourself?

Ed: Hi, I’m Ed, Co-Founder and CPO of GeneHub . I studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Southampton and spent 9 years in the digital product space before GeneHub. I started at Vodafone then moved into Consulting, first of all Management (focused on IT Delivery) and then into Digital Product. I then took the jump to start GeneHub with my co-founder, Craig, last year.

StartIn: And shifting to your start-up, can you give us a three-sentence overview what you are doing?

Ed: At GeneHub we help patients access better treatments, faster. We do this by providing people with complete control over their DNA and medical records. This means they can securely share this data with whoever they choose, for the benefits they want.

StartIn: You have also been part of Antler’s cohort. Can you tell us about it more how you perceived your time on board of the incubator, specifically how they helped you to prepare for your investment round?

Ed: I went into Antler to find a co-founder. Luckily I found a fantastic co-founder and we have been building GeneHub diligently ever since.

The accelerator is very intense and set up in a way that forces you into making rapid progress. If you’re thinking of doing something similar I would highly recommend it. The process really sharpened what I wanted to do with my career, which is valuable at any stage of life.

Antler invested in a select number of companies from the cohort and each week of the programme we would pitch and receive feedback. It meant 3 days a week we could build the business and 2 were spent practicing for the pitch, but this preparation helped to refine all our messaging and prepared us for the investment committee.

It gave GeneHub the platform to make our first hire and we wouldn’t be in the position we are today without it.

StartIn: Who is your target group and how do you reach them?

Ed: Our first target group are patients. We are also looking to work with academic institutions over the coming months to help them connect with appropriate patients for studies (if you know any, reach out please! This is going to be an important part of our growth, connecting research with day to day lives.

At the moment we reach patients through advocacy groups, being a Type-1 Diabetic I have started here to build our insights and proposition.

StartIn: Cool! You have lots of data at hand – what is your revenue model and do you have paying customers already?

Ed: We are in the healthtech space, regulation is one barrier to entry to address before revenue is realised. We will be working diligently to achieve this and get to revenue in line with our ambitions. Our unwavering mission is to put patients more in control of their data and treatments, having experienced being a passenger in our healthcare. We believe by doing this the revenue models will follow.

We are in an R&D phase at the moment, the revenue model will follow.

StartIn: For the end, do you have one piece of advice for students finishing up their studies and thinking about becoming a full-time entrepreneur?

Ed: Always keep learning and never be afraid to try! The best way to learn is by doing, so keep pushing your comfort zone and pick up the lessons along the way.

If you’re thinking about becoming an entrepreneur try not to do it alone. It’s a long journey ahead and having people by your side throughout it is really important.

StartIn: Thank you very much for sharing your story!

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