Applications for Free Ventures’ Spring 2020 batch are open at https://www.freeventures.org/apply! Instead of talking about the program ourselves, we thought you’d want to hear from a recent past founder about their experiences in FreeV!
We’re extremely proud of Biosense, one of our Fall 2019 batch companies, on raising pre-seed funding from 8VC! We interviewed one of Biosense’s cofounders, Rohan Arora, about his experience as a founder and what he gained from going through our semester-long program. Here are some of his thoughts:
Q: Can you start by telling our readers a bit about Biosense? What does the company do? How did you and your co-founders come up with the idea?
Rohan: “Biosense is developing an end-to-end platform to automate the numerous procedures used to test new drugs, develop disease models, and investigate clinical outcomes with rodents prior to human testing. Our flagship hardware is a fitness tracker that can be placed non-invasively on any small animal, and we provide a software suite for rapid processing and analysis of the resulting data. Currently we service primarily academic researchers and are looking to expand into pharmaceutical markets early next year.
Two of the founders had some experience working in drug development in high school, and third working with animals. Chatting about our experiences during school is what eventually led to the idea, which we originally developed as a science fair project together.”
Q: And at what point did you decide to pursue this as a company?
Rohan: “So much of this began as a science fair project with the three founders on the same team. After competing internationally, we were invited to the NIH for a seminar and facility tour. After speaking with numerous scientists at the institution, we realized our core technology could solve a crucial need if developed out as a platform, and began looking into pursuing the idea as a company.”
Q: That’s awesome! While building Biosense, which FreeV resources were most helpful to you?
Rohan: “My favorite part about FreeV was that it gave me a comfortable space to think about our company’s progress twice a week. FreeV’s internal team is super friendly and sharp, and they provided constructive comments that challenged me to think through the various different dimensions of a startup, which was helpful since I’d often find myself stuck thinking very one-dimensionally. The VC trips were valuable exposure and led to us raising pre-seed funding from a firm we were introduced to during one of the trips.”
Q: What types of people did Free Ventures connect you with that you found helpful in building Biosense?
Rohan: “I think FreeV’s introduction to investors were most helpful to us, perhaps because our customer segment is a little different than most silicon valley startups. The all-student internal team was also a huge help because I could chat through small, almost embarrassing problems with them without fear of embarrassment.”
Q: What’s next for Biosense?
Rohan: “My co-founders and I have taken a semester off from school to travel throughout the country and execute pilots with university faculty. Hopefully we generate a solid revenue stream along the way as we work through kinks in the product with user feedback. At the same time we are chatting with pharmaceutical companies and exploring opportunities to provide value to them, and hope to begin the transition to this more enticing market sometime early next year.”