Name: Dimitra Georganopoulou
Position: (Interim) Chief Business Officer
- Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am an innovator at heart, a serial entrepreneur, a biotech innovation expert and an avid supporter of women leaders
- What are you trying to accomplish with your work?
The work at MyGenomeRx is focused on bringing personalized medicine to consumers. Our online platform provides educational information, to help navigate gene-drug compatibility based on the consumers Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) genetic test results and personal medication profile. We are passionate about making personalized medicine accessible and relevant to all. One way we can do this is to use the information people have in-hand, the RAW data file they received from genetic testing companies like Ancestry, 23andme. We pair this up the customers current medications to detect issues that might arise based on an individual’s genetic make-up.
- What motivated you to take the first step in launching your business?
This was a perfect storm for company creation, two Springboard Alums Annette Gilchrist and Dimitra Georganopoulou met for lunch to catch up, and the conversation turned to personalized medicine, and the underutilization of commercial genetic data from on-line vendors. We wanted to maximize the information that customers received from their DTC genetic test by providing information about how an individual’s DNA results can help guide their medication therapy. Annette’s deep pharmacogenomics experience combined with Dimitra’s knowledge of the Digital Health innovation space made it fertile ground for this seed to be planted and then grow and thrive once they met Chris Norys, a software engineer specialist coder that who understands Biochemistry. Together, they founded MyGenomeRx.
- What was one of the hardest or most unexpected obstacles you had to overcome to get your idea off the ground?
Each of us had to learn to speak a new language of sorts, as software product development is different than identification of novel therapeutics or medical device product development., This has been eased by the fact that we have all been eager to learn from each other.
- Tell us about a moment you are particularly proud of in your start-up journey?
We ran thousands of individuals DNA (obtained from open sources) with our proprietary algorithm and tested these using a variety of medications to establish that our approach was valid. However, the true test was when we had friends and family provide their genetic raw data and personal their medication lists, and we were able to provide reports based on their DNA make up. We realized then the benefit to providing a drug-drug report, and their amazement about this extra information was really satisfying to us.; We felt relief in knowing that with our MyGenomicRx reports they are now better equipped to have meaningful conversations with their healthcare providers.
- Did you face any unique challenges as a woman in your field to get your start-up launched?
I think it has helped tremendously that both Annette and Dimitra are serial entrepreneurs and Springboard alums. We recognized the hurdles we would face trying to balance everything at once (work, life, children). This is an ongoing but the challenge, we have solved in part by being flexible. That might mean having business meetings at kid-friendly locations, or group meetings over meals, or on weekends.
- What advice do you have for someone thinking about starting their own business?
Do customer discovery FIRST to make sure you don’t spend all that time are not building something really cool, that nobody wants to buy or that nobody wants to pay for.
- Why .CO?
.CO has been a loud supporter of women entrepreneurs, and by doing so have created a network of women led businesses that can be easily identified and further promoted in a discreet yet powerful way.
- What’s next for you?
We are doing a soft beta-launch and hoping to gain customer acquisition, while simultaneously moving ahead with strategic partnerships.