MIT’s Storyteller In Residence, Dom Smith chats to Andrew A. Radin, co-founder of twoXAR discusses the formation of his business, and the usefulness of the Martin Trust Center.
Can you tell me a little bit about who you are, and what you do here?
A] My name is Andrew Radin, and I am co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of twoXAR, and we are an Artificial Intelligence-driven, drug discovery company. I did my MBA here from 2012-2014, and I spent a lot of my time here at the Martin Trust Center, and I did almost every entrepreneurship program that there was.
Have you always had that entrepreneurial spark?
A] I grew up in Thousand Oaks [California], which is where Amgen is based, the big biotech company. When I was in High School, Amgen donated some labs, and we were doing some pretty cool engineering of bacteria back then, and that turned me on to the biology aspect of what I’m doing now. That being said, my parents always pushed me in an entrepreneurial direction! I was doing some web-development business back then, nothing fancy or technical, but going out on the street and actually asking businesses if they wanted things like a website. For me, it’s always been a path to work towards. I had started a bunch of things, but nothing around more innovation-driven entrepreneurship that I wanted to get to. So, [my experiences at MIT] provided me with that catalyst to launch my company from.
What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in taking your idea out there?
A] We started twoXAR in 2014 right after I finished the program here, and the first thing we went out to do is talk to customers. We talked to everyone we could meet in the pharmaceutical industry, to understand, is this something that can add value? And is there some way that we can measure that value in a meaningful.
What would be your key tips for entrepreneurship?
A] The team is super-important, and the mentality of the team, especially at very engineering heavy institutions. Sometimes, the business folks can think that it’s all about the business, and the engineers can think it’s all about engineering, but the teams that are successful are the ones who recognize that both sides are challenging, and essential.
How would you best advice someone to best use the Martin Trust Center?
A] The main thing for me was just being here. It’s just having that community of entrepreneurs that are at a similar stage, and being able to share your ideas. For me, it’s about the community.