LLP Progress Report: BLAST-seq Canada


Interview with the BLAST-Seq Canada Team


Judith Bosire & Timothy Sexton

Can you tell us about the objective of your team?

To explore the potential of commercializing the application of DNA fingerprinting technology in the Canadian forestry, aquaculture and agriculture sectors by setting up a genotyping service laboratory in Vancouver.

What is your role in your team?

Judith: I am more business oriented therefore my role is to try to understand the potential market size, capital needs and the economic feasibility of offering this service.

Tim: I am a technical expert in molecular biology and population genetics. My role is to understand how DNA fingerprinting (genotyping) is currently being applied in agriculture and assess how our proposed service laboratory can be of value to Canadian industries. I have been speaking with potential customers to understand how our service will best meet their needs.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from the LLP sessions so far?

Tim: The LLP sessions have instilled great understanding about our potential customers and it has enabled me to view things outside my technical realm. The LLP has forced me to think business, not scientific research and has ensured this venture idea was pursued with expert guidance and pushed forward at an accelerated pace.

Judith: I have learned that the business expertise needed for start-ups is quite different for the business school principles. I have had to re-adjust my thinking around, for instance, identifying a minimum viable product (MVP) as a key step in prioritizing the services to offer.

What are some of the challenges that you (and the rest of your team) have encountered during the sessions?

Tim: I would say that the key challenge has been getting outside the building and talking to potential customers.

Can you share with us some of the highlights of your participation in the LLP?

Tim: It has been great observing how our team and the other LLP teams have grown over the weeks. We started without really knowing what value propositions were and now we can use the term in our everyday lingo. We have learned that each customer is different and each person requires the information to be explained at his or her level of understanding.

As we approach the end of the LLP sessions, what are you hoping to achieve?

Judith & Tim: We are hoping to gain a better understanding on the different business structures that we can pursue as we look into setting up this genotyping service laboratory. We are also hoping to identify ways to obtain funding that will enable us to start-up this business idea and help our customers incorporate DNA fingerprinting to improve their current business activities.

For more information on the LLP, please click here.


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