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Cell biologist turned fruit-fly fuelled biotech entrepreneur (you can do it too!)

Posted by , on 31 July 2023

I’m a trained PhD cell biologist (University of Alberta 2019), where I spent days and days locked in a dark closet taking confocal microscopy photos of fluorescently labelled organelles (my whole thesis was basically quantifying green and red dots). 

Somehow, after a brief stint as a postdoc, I stumbled into entrepreneurship. I started a biotech company, called Future Fields. We utilize genetically engineered Drosophila (yes, fruit flies) to mass manufacture growth factors and other recombinant proteins for supporting the growth of stem cells. We’ve grown to 35 people in just over 3 years, commercialized our first few products, and have our own 20,000 sf facility in the heart of Edmonton, Canada. 

Starting the lab in my basement in 2019. Back then it was just me in the lab.

Shortly after starting the company, I put the pipette down and hopped into the hot seat as CEO and what a wild ride it’s been. While I certainly miss being in the lab, I’m having a whole lot more fun learning how to operate a high growth business. Plus, I still get to talk science from time to time. And if I’m really getting sick of investor meetings, I can still go for a stroll through the lab and surround myself with really cool science. 

Anyways. I wanted to share this because I wasn’t exposed to many alternative career paths in my academic journey and I wish I had been. Starting a biotech company has been insanely rewarding and fun and if I can inspire just 1 more scientist to take the leap into entrepreneurship, that’d make me happy. 

The Future Fields team today!

If you wanna chat about anything biotech or entrepreneurship – hit me up! My email is matt@futurefields.io 

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