On Tuesday, January 25th at 5 p.m., there will be a Roadtrip with student entrepreneurs. This time, we will have W. Taylor Cottle (Aptabridge), Brent Ifemembi and Nelson Ndahiro (Drūl), to learn about their experience in starting a company during graduate school and obtaining funding and mentoring. I have included their bios below.
Taylor Cottle is a PhD candidate at Johns Hopkins in the Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology program with over a decade of laboratory research and a breadth of applied business and consulting experience. Taylor is the CEO and Cofounder of a preclinical immunotherapy company, President of the Hopkins Biotech Network, has consulted professionally for Beckman Coulter and Elavity, coaches the Hopkins summer Swim Club, and is a cellist, an eagle scout, and an awful but enthusiastic cook. With the goal of bridging industry and academia, Taylor plans to join a life science consulting firm in Boston after graduation where he will help jumpstart innovative biotechnology companies for the betterment of human health.
Brent Ifemembi is a 3rd year PhD Candidate in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. His doctoral research focuses on using microfluidic devices to predict cancer patients survival times, reoccurrence rates, and develop effective personalized drug therapies for breast and glioblastoma patients. Outside of his research, Brent is the Co-Director of the Black Graduate Student Association at Homewood where he organizes activities to enhance graduate life for URM students. Lastly, Brent is the Cofounder and Chief Executive Officer at Drūl, a consumer oral health startup that is utilizing microfluidics to detect oral diseases from self-collected samples of saliva. To-date, Drūl has been awarded over $25,000 in non-dilutive funding from national pitch competitions and accelerators. In his free time, you can catch Brent playing basketball at the Homewood gym, challenging his friends to chess matches on his phone, and trying new restaurants around the city.
Nelson Ndahiro is currently a PhD student at Hopkins Studying the intersection of mathematical modeling and bioengineering to improve bioprocesses for gene therapy and other biopharmaceutical products. Moreover, he is passionate about leveraging new biotechnologies to serve underserved communities, low resource environments and developing nations (Born and raised in Rwanda). That love for using biotech to make products to help society is what connected him and his co-founder Brent early on. Over time they brainstormed and talked to people until they decided to start Drūl, their early oral health company.