The genomics market is rapidly growing and expected to reach USD 19.99 Billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 9.9% during the forecast period of 2015 to 2020. The growth of the overall market has resulted in the increasing number of start-up companies; and a growing use of exome sequencing in diagnostics.
Recent developments in DNA sequencing technologies have lowered the cost of extracting genomic DNA, meaning the information contained in our DNA is no longer only available to big entities or the incredibly wealthy.
Further progress of the genomics research in recent years has resulted in the possibilities of associating specific genes with specific diseases or conditions with a high degree of certainty.
Futura Genetics is one of the pioneering companies in the field of lifestyle & healthcare genetic testing. This Vancouver based company is working towards bringing the knowledge of the human genome in a simple, accessible, and affordable manner to the society.
Our curator Mahantesh had a chance to interact with Lana who is currently the Marketing Manager of Future Genetics to learn more about their inspiration behind building a wellness genetic company.
Can you tell us about your team members and what inspired you to build Futura Genetics?
Futura Genetics is a direct-to-consumer Canadian-based genetics company that aims to bring knowledge about genetic diseases to everyone all over the world. The company was founded in early 2015 by Auro Pontes and Efi Binder. Now Futura Genetics is focused on building an international presence.
Can you tell us about your product/service and how does it work? How is it different from other products?
Our product is genetics test for predisposition to 28 common diseases. We focus on health only, so we include recommendations for our clients how to maintain their health.
The test procedure is very simple for our clients: they order a test – we send them test kit – they put their saliva in it – we collect their kit – take it to our certified laboratory – test for 28 conditions – and create the report.
Unlike many companies in our field, we don’t collect or store any genetic data from our customers so they can feel totally safety about that.
We collected and analyzed lots of research to create this all-in-one product. We understand that some of our customers may be mainly interested in discovering breast cancer risk and other ones in Alzheimer’s risk or melanoma. But our body is a complex system, so we test for the range of disease and condition, not just a few of them.
What are the greatest challenges you faced while pursuing the idea of Futura Genetics and how did you address them?
One of the biggest challenges was to create the highly-comprehensive report we have now. It was like translating from language of science to our daily language. Our science team made a huge job here to make result comprehensive to everyone. We include science information into the report too in case you need more precise studies upon your genes.
What’s Futura Genetics’ international presence now? What’s the goal?
Our report is available in English and German, for now, so most of our customers are from the USA, Canada, and Germany. Also, we are starting work with European customer and we have an office in the Czech Republic.
How is Futura Genetics funded currently?
Futura raised 500K euros from a private angel investor. Right now after the successful launch of our first product Futura is fully funded from its own sources of revenue.
What are your achievements so far?
We like to think of the thousands of satisfied customers. Receiving acknowledgment from a satisfied customer whom we helped build a future health plan is an amazing feeling for all of us at Futura.
From the business point of view, I think creating a self-sustained business at this new field at such a short period of time is a great achievement by itself. We truly believe we were able to do it cause we actually deliver important value with great service package to the customers.
What do you look in new hires and any advice for student entrepreneurs?
We are not currently hiring, but we are open to talented people. Some members of our team work remotely, so borders are not the limitation.
As for advice… Once I was flipping through the book in the bookstore and stumbled upon the phrase ‘Write the book you want to read’. I realized that this is what I’m doing all my life. And this is the key. Make a product you need, make a product you would love to use. Yes, you need to make all these investigations if there a market for your product, build the business plans, find the team, and find investments. But the first step is always a passion and willing to build the product you want to use.