Being a Ph.D. Pursuing CEO
Being a Ph.D. Pursuing CEO
  • Matt Dong-Heon Ha CEO of EDmicBio
  • 승인 2020.02.13 19:09
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Since young, I loved making something. I also thought that it would be great if my inventions are used  worldwide. One day, I realized that “start-up” is means to fulfill all such desires. Ever since entering graduate school, I thought maybe my research material can become commercialized. One day, a friend from my laboratory suggested me to use his doctor's thesis to establish a new company and since December of 2015, we launched an entrepreneur team under the name of ORGANPRINT. Since then, commercializing ideas derived from research was always a consideration and eventually, in March of 2019, EDmicBio, a company based on the commercialization of 3D Bio-printing-based 3D Organ-on-a-chip for drug screening, patient-specific medication, and bio-resorbable stent, was established. Organ-on-a-chip can be used for drug screening during drug development as it offers a platform that can replace animal testing for toxicity and efficiency testing of drugs. It can possibly also be used later on for the development of patient-specific medication as an individual patient’s cell can be used to personalize a chip to reflect the patient’s health conditions. 
Other than the organ-on-a-chip, I always vision how I can introduce new items and services to the world. So I am sure that after organ-on-a-chip, I will pursue my start-up challenge with other items. 
Research, although exists similarities, is essentially different from start-up. While research shows the world best results, start-ups requires some trade-offs due to many factors to consider including time, money and consumer desires. For graduate students, their main priority and task is research and getting new findings . When pursuing a dream in the field of start-up as a graduate student, inevitable complexities in priorities occur. To be successful in managing both tasks, skillful task management is necessary. To be honest, anyone with a doctorate from POSTECH can acquire a stable career with a high wage. But start-ups can never achieve such stability for a while and the burden of responsibility from managing the company is enormous. Plus, managing a start-up requires wisdom, courage, connections, and knowledge to handle any accidents, mistakes, and issues which will arise from fields never anticipated before. 
Even when understanding such requirements, starting a business may still seem unreachable. Considering this, POSTECH offers many lectures and basic information that supports students in starting a business. I also received basic education from lectures offered in many different majors in POSTECH. For some classes, I even personally conducted with the professor to re-take classes or take them after my doctorates. Lectures offer opportunities for students to start from developing a business item, planning a business model, to actual presentation in front of investors. Multiple experiences of this process help develop a student to familiarize such steps and eventually, through challenging each class with a different unique item, students expand perspectives in business items. There are many opportunities out there on and off-campus for students to test their items, so I recommend students to participate.
Lastly, when starting a technology-based company, CEOs tend to overly focus on their research and obsess on the excellence of their technology, completely ignoring the business aspect of it. In the end, the item wanted by the world possesses business value, not the one using high technology. However, many STEM field CEOs obsess with high performance and ignore the consumer aspects of an item. The high performance of an item is certainly important. However one must consider whether such a standard is required in aimed fields. Also, when presenting your item to the public, in most cases, investors will not understand the functional part of your item. Simplification in explanation is necessary for the crowd to understand your product. One must remember that such approach in a business model presentation is very different from research seminars.
My goal is to develop EDmicBio into a global company to overcome diseases of the world and help foster a healthier and happier future for the entire humanity. EDmicBio is open to any individuals who wish to share this goal and develop with us. (