S2BN Waterloo: Transforming your Idea into a Healthcare Startup

On June 16, 2020, S2BN Waterloo held a virtual event with an innovative pair of entrepreneurs. Keean Surani and Purya Sarmadi shared key insights into how science students can transform their ideas into healthcare startups. They talked about the various startup challenges and how to overcome them, how to obtain non-dilutive funding, as well as how important selecting the right co-founders and advisors can be. Here’s a bit about our speakers and insights they gave.

Keean Sarani is a Co-Founder & COO at Avro Life Science. Keean is currently a 3rd year pharmacy student at the University of Waterloo, and began working on this startup in undergrad. Avro’s mission is to make transdermal patches the default alternative for oral medications, and they seem to be quite successful at pursuing this mission thus far. One notable point Keean brought up was that if there’s competition, that’s likely a good sign - it means what you’re working on is definitely worth it. He also proposed that anyone can be an entrepreneur if they have the drive and passion for it.

Purya Sarmadi is a Co-Founder & CEO at MedMe Health. With a background in health informatics, Purya teamed up with engineers and pharmacists to create what they think is the next big thing for clinical pharmacy care. MedMe is a digital platform that enables pharmacists to take on a new and improved clinical role in our healthcare system. Purya continuously emphasized the importance of being open to change and new ideas. He said you should never be the smartest person in the room, as part of being an entrepreneur is being a lifelong learner.

Both Keean and Purya advised against seeking the feel-good things at first. They both agreed that ping pong tables and fancy lounges come later. That’s not what builds businesses. It’s the passion, drive and determination that does. I think if there’s one thing we can learn from Keean and Purya, it’s that you have to work hard and never give up if you want to make your dream a reality. Check out the recorded event below!

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