Interview with Anna Christensen, CEO, Co-founder Magnetic Insight
Q: When and why did you start Magnetic Insight?
After 17 years commercializing imaging diagnostic technologies, Magnetic Particle Imaging was striking new technology that provided solutions to challenges in the research and clinical diagnostics. After talking with Patrick Goodwill about his interests in commercializing the technology and stage it was in, the idea of starting a company was obvious. I felt the nimble ability of a small company had the best chance of shaping the final product to support a relevant market need.
Q: What has been the hardest part?
A small company comes with many challenges one which is wearing hats I never thought existed. The CEO position became Chief Everything Officer. If needed to be done, I had to find a way to execute. Having a great team is essential and that is even more pronounced when everyone is needed to maintain the company’s inertia.
Q: What are you really excited about right now?
The product is now hitting customers and it’s the researchers and biologists that will really extract the greater value of this technology. In the short time we have been working with other institutes in magnetic particle imaging, we have developed unchartered territory in diabetes, immunology and vascular imaging.
Q: Why did you recently join StartX and BayBio Fast’s startup programs?
Although I have worked in a corporate setting for a while, navigating a startup is a completely different endeavor. These programs where not only an excellent compass for the company, it gave us a core group of mentors that we still use to this day. Moreover, these groups create invaluable peer groups where I am able to join other medtech CEO’s on a regular basis to discuss challenges and resources.
Q: Tell us about your experience incubating at Triple Ring.
Triple Ring is simply a gold mine for new medtech companies. Most of the resources in the Bay (in fact the world) are aimed towards IT or Biotech. Medtech really requires resources in terms of space, technical labs, and infrastructure that does not exist in other incubators. Although we have a growing team, we often hit serious challenges and hard questions. Being part of TRT allows us to walk down the hall and usually find someone that has encountered this many times over. On a cost basis, using highly experienced people verses contracting or hiring for projects is a complete win for us in time, money and quality.