In this edition of FinanciElle “Statements”, I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Lois Nahirney, President and CEO of dnaPower.
dnaPower empowers you to make smarter health decisions based on your unique genetic makeup. They provide DNA testing for preventative health to help you learn about the nutrition, supplements, exercise and other wellness factors that are right for you. From a simple cheek swab, they provide easy-to-read personalized reports to help you understand more about your unique body. Now you can have a roadmap to your health grounded in personal genetic data. Each of our bodies and genetics are unique. Your diet and daily health plan should be too.
Paolina: What has been your hardest experience dealing with your business and finance and what did you learn?
I left my corporate executive job to become CEO of a small company in preventative health genetics in 2015. After a successful meeting with the new investor on the first day, I showed up at his office the next day to sign the cheque and kick off a growth strategy. I arrived and was shocked to find out he was dead. He had died hours before.
It was a daunting decision to decide to take on this biotech business. I created a new company, dnaPower Inc., and took on the employees, lab and contract liabilities of the old company which was very costly, and bootstrapped the business to profitability and growth. It was challenging restructuring and managing the rapid growth and evolution of the business but it has also been very rewarding. I couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds.
If you believe in a business and in the change in the world you hope to accomplish, then it is worth taking the risk personally and professionally to make it happen. I never expected to make the investments that I have had to, in order to make the business work, but building the business, all of the learning, challenges, and opportunities have been worth it.
Paolina: What advice do you wish you had gotten about finance when you were first starting your business?
Invest early in someone to set up the accounting and financials thoughtfully. Get support with the books as the more time you spend on administrative tasks, the less you have for business development, product development and growth. Know your numbers and set targets early to understand what actions will have the biggest impact on moving your business forward.
Paolina: What topics would you want to learn more about when it comes to finance and your business and why?
- How to find loans at reasonable rates for small businesses. I am trying to maintain full control of my business and would prefer to find loans versus investment.
- How to find investor partners. I would be interested in a partner that has skills to contribute to the business, in addition to investment in order to support rapid growth.
- How to find funding for research that supports biotechnology development.
- How to organize financials for investor and pitch presentations.
dnaPower Inc. is a top 25 SheEO venture for 2017.
Give yourself the gift of knowledge about your unique self.
Know your DNA. Empower your life.