Teamwork readies new space
One of the Twin Cities most promising med tech startups is settling into a new office, laboratory and manufacturing space in a Maple Grove office park.
Members of the management and executive team that is propelling StemoniX forward literally rolled up their sleeves to turn the former semi-conductor manufacturing factory into their new showplace.
“This is good team-building,” says CEO and co-founder Ping Yeh, who took up a paint roller himself and worked alongside his fellow managers to transform the walls of the 15,000 square foot space with shades of white, orange and purple.
Previously the company was based at med tech incubator TreeHouse Health in Loring Park. StemoniX also utilizes research space in a San Diego incubator.
StemoniX was founded in 2014 and won the grand prize in the 2016 Minnesota Cup, an entrepreneurial competition sponsored by University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. Using stem cells from patients, StemoniX can determine the effectiveness of a medication before it’s taken. This eliminates what Yeh refers to as “guinea pig medicine,” where a medication’s effectiveness is determined after a patient has already taken it.
“One of the leading causes of death is adverse reactions to FDA- approved drugs,” Yeh notes.
StemoniX technology is also being used by pharmaceutical researchers at universities and the U.S. Department of Defense as they test the efficacy of new medications. StemoniX allows them to screen and bring new drugs to market more quickly and cheaply. Yeh, who currently employs a team of 15, expects growth in the next year as the company scales.
“A lot is in motion right now. We’re growing our revenues and expect to add a few more employees this year, and we’ll add more when we close the next round of funding early next year,” Yeh says.
In the meantime, Yeh is enjoying the physical labor alongside his co-workers. “They all pitch in and aren’t afraid to get dirty. We’re motivated by our vision and what we can do to truly make a difference in the lives of people who benefit from our work,” he says.