Disruptor26 is a new podcast series from Kineticos Life Sciences Founder and CEO, Shailesh Maingi. See inside the public adventures and private challenges that have shaped the lives of 26 maverick individuals working to disrupt the life science industry; and learn what drives them and their success. Join Shailesh as these mavericks share their personal stories, including the insights and ideas that led them to their innovative and transformative approaches impacting the current and complex life sciences ecosystem. Throughout the next year, Shailesh will engage 26 scientists and entrepreneurs in one-on-one discussions about careers, family and work-life balance, significant challenges, celebrated successes, accepted failures, and the future of life science and healthcare.
“We Didn’t Have Any Gun Powder Left!” Part 2
A Conversation With Derek Hennecke, Kineticos Disruptor Fund Investor, Part 2
We continue our Disruptor26 podcast discussion between Shailesh and Derek Hennecke. Listen to this insightful conversation as two investors discuss the processes that aided them in the successful launch of their ventures. In this second part, Shailesh and Derek dig deeper into the changing world of Life Sciences, what it takes to be an investor in this dynamic market, and what the future holds for Derek.
Shailesh: “Eventually things started to get better and you started to grow. Then a time came where you realized, ‘I’ve taken it as far as I can.’ What was involved in your decision to find a partner to take that business to another level?”
Derek: “One was the global regulatory aspect. We had an operation in the UK that taught me that we were going to have to be sharp. We’re responsible for drugs, people’s lives, and people’s programs and were we the right type of partner to do that?”
Shailesh: “This is one of the things that I think separates entrepreneurs from other people, is being able to grind it out and remain optimistic. That sounds easy, but it is really hard to do.”
Derek: “It really is. You have sources of optimism, you’ll deplete them, and have to find other sources like sports, family, or other hobbies… We’re in a derived demand business, it can be tough to wait for a spark of optimism in that situation.”
Shailesh: “No matter how balanced we are in our work, it’s always a-symmetric. How did you go back and balance things between family, work, and all these other interests that you have?”
Derek: “You’ve always got to think about these things… It’s important to try to find what you’re going to do, and have that passion for that’ll last you your remaining working years.”
“We Didn’t Have Any Gun Powder Left!”
A Conversation With Derek Hennecke, Kineticos Disruptor Fund Investor, Part 1
Hear how and why Derek Hennecke, founder and ex-CEO of Xcelience and Kineticos Disruptor Fund investor, took a chance, purchased, and later sold Xcelience (now a Lonza company). Learn about Derek’s personal challenges as an investor, how he handles work/life balance, and the unforeseen setbacks that affected his businesses; and eventually led to his ultimate successes. In Part 1, Shailesh and Derek discuss how his education, early jobs, and family shaped his career path and defined his unique and interesting life journey.
Shailesh: “If I didn’t have my family foundation of security and stability… I wouldn’t have been able to do any risky things like starting a business or investing; and wonder if you feel the same way…”
Derek: “Starting a business, my wife said, ‘Buy it!’. The recession hit and research services was cut to zero, but coming home to a stable family environment helped a lot.”
Shailesh: “I started my business in July of 2007 and you started a year earlier; we met shortly after that. Could there have been a worse time to start a business?”
Derek: “No. We started out at a break-even point, going incredibly well… We went out and bought a building and equipment, and then the recession hits.”
Shailesh: “So take me back. You’re in the middle of it, going through all of these things. With so many unknowns how did you manage through all of that?”
Derek: “We went through all of our cash that we had… with no lending possibilities. We had to adjust our processes and approaches… and set us back about 4 years in our growth.”