26: Making Sci-Fi a Reality, with Nina Tandon, Ph.D., Co-founder and CEO, EpiBone
Meet Nina Tandon, Ph.D.:
Nina Tandon, Ph.D. is the CEO and co-founder of EpiBone. She is a TED Senior Fellow, Adjunct Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Cooper Union, and a former Staff Associate Postdoctoral Researcher in the Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering at Columbia University. Dr. Tandon is also the co-author of “Super Cells: Building with Biology.” She received a Master’s in Electrical Engineering from MIT, and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and an MBA from Columbia University.
Nina Tandon, Ph.D. realized that the technologies running our bodies are a lot like the wires and hard drives that we build with our hands. Nina works in the technology between cells and circuits.
- Alternative Funding. EpiBone was incubated in Academia. Initial funding for research came from a translation grant. Grants are a good option for academic entrepreneurs like Dr. Tandon, because writing grant proposals is familiar, the rigorous peer review serves as due diligence, and the grant funding de-risks the investment. (8:03)
- EpiBone Explained. EpiBone technology utilizes a patient’s own stem cells to grow bone or cartilage into the shape and structure that patient needs. EpiBone has started with facial bones, but sees a future with orthopedic applications. (11:52)
- Entrepreneurship is like the Olympics. All Olympians should have coaches, and CEOs are no different. What is demanded of Dr. Tandon is constantly changing. Coaching helps her understand her weaknesses, manage stress, and realize problems before they magnify. (23:47)
This episode is hosted by Aaron Martin. He is a member of the Advisory Council for Day Zero and is Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at Providence, and Managing General Partner of Providence Ventures.