The Stories vs. The Realities

By Ronald Angsiy WG’17, Cofounder of InnaMed

As startup founders, we tell stories.

We tug at the heart strings of our audiences when speaking to their pain points. We make you ache for nostalgia, or itch your temptation for something new. We promise the hockey stick. It’s natural to tell our stories to audiences unfamiliar with the vision we see. We grew up on stories as kids after all; we closed our eyes and dreamed about fairy tales. Once upon a time. The glass slippers. Prince Charming. The happy ending.

Mountains

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Here’s our story. I am the co-founder of a home blood testing device startup, InnaMed. We have won two international awards this summer, allowing us the opportunity to show our story to audiences in France, Japan, and throughout the United States. We’ve received a modest amount of funding ($60,000) in prize money from these events, and have multiple provisional patents filed. InnaMed just finished a healthcare accelerator program, with several FDA advisers championing us in the future. Most importantly, one of our main advisers is the CEO of a blood testing diagnostic company himself, with immense industry connections. His influence alone completely changed the trajectory of our startup, giving us a foolish level of hope. When combined with our strong levels of stubbornness and irrationality, we actually believe we can pull this off.

Here’s our reality. We not only face the bleak odds normally associated with startup success, but think about it for a moment: InnaMed is a home blood testing device. That means we’re a biotech company and a hardware company. Oh, and we have to pass through that little thing called…regulatory approval. Oh, and there’s that one company out there that made this entire field toxic.

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As a startup you need to tell stories to make people believe in you. And you need to be a great storyteller. That means more than just the presentation on the stage. That only encompasses 5% of your time. What matters is the 95%, the daily grind. Because, well…behind every story is an inspiration. It comes from a conversation you have with a prospective customer, when she says your home blood testing device will prevent her grandmother with leukemia from having to visit the doctor 3-4 times a month. I can turn that into a story. It’s one worth fighting for

Ronald Profile 200Bio: Ronald is a current MBA student at the Wharton School. He has created multiple viral marketing campaigns that have gotten him featured on ESPN, Yahoo, and the Huffington Post among other publications. At Wharton, Ronald is currently pursuing an individualized major on Corporate Innovation and has been intensely focused on the entrepreneurial community to bring long-lasting societal impact.