Product | People | Potential – our chat with Gendius
We caught up with Rory Cameron, CEO and Co-Founder of Gendius as part of ‘Product | People | Potential’. Gendius is developing a diabetes pathway improvement system using novel technologies to empower, educate and help patients.
The purpose of article series ‘Product | People | Potential’ is to feature and showcase the very best UK start-ups with grand potential, truly inspiring businesses that are shaking up their sector. We capture and share the stories behind the name. We collate authentic peer to peer real-talk, while celebrating the growth and success thus far and gather a glimpse of what’s ahead.
Zoe @ADLIB: Hi Rory, great to meet you! Please can you kick us off with an introduction to yourself and Gendius.
Rory: I am Rory Cameron CEO and Co-Founder at Gendius. I have a background in Pharmaceuticals in creating and investing in companies that make a meaningful difference in health and/or the environment.
Five years ago, we set up Gendius with a vision to make living with diabetes easier. We now have 13 people in the company, and we are completing a £5.8m Series A round. We currently have intellin® a digital health platform that uses an individual’s clinical history to predict their risks of developing complications from their diabetes, and it then supports them with educational content to try and prevent these complications.
Zoe @ADLIB: How did the origin of Intellin® come about?
Rory: Intellin® was born out of my Co-Founder’s experience of being diagnosed with diabetes. He found that it was far harder to manage than he ever expected even though he was working in the diabetes space at the time selling a drug for diabetes, meeting clinical teams, and reading the latest data.
Five years after his diagnosis he got a foot ulcer out of the blue, he didn’t understand why, this dramatically brought home the seriousness of the condition for him. The seed was sown, and we started our mission to try and make living with diabetes easier.
Zoe @ADLIB: Speaking of people, can you share some challenges you have faced when scaling-up, and do you have any tips you could share with those businesses facing similar issues?
Rory: I think if you have a great product in an emotive space where people can see how they can make a difference, then you are halfway there. The rest is about empowering, inspiring, and ensuring individuals have clear accountability where they understand exactly the piece they have delivered and how this makes a difference to the company/product/user. In our space, everyone has equity in the business and we are all involved in understanding what people with diabetes want, what their healthcare teams want and we can then all see this take shape as we develop the offering. We now have a platform that has been downloaded over 310,000 times across 170 countries and we can all see how we are making a difference. This has meant people want to come and work for us.
Zoe @ADLIB: What has been your approach to understanding and implementing product-market fit?
Rory: Through our journey we have created a solution based on what people with diabetes want, what their healthcare teams want and then we have gone after answering some of the questions they currently can’t answer. It’s all been about understanding the issues and challenges. In our case, it is to understand how you can easily control diabetes to prevent it impacting eyes, feet, kidneys or heart, but also to use artificial intelligence to take an individual’s metabolic history to predict their risk of developing complications. It is also for financial and emotional reasons related to healthcare as 80% of current diabetes costs can be avoided.
Zoe @ADLIB: Can you share some challenges or barriers you had to overcome to create Intellin®?
Rory: We had to bring ‘inhouse’ the development of our app-based platform to ensure quality. We have also wanted to ensure we have a validated and secure platform and so ISO27001 and clinical studies have been part of our development. These are all costly, complex and take time. These are all necessary if you want to create a quality offering and set new standards in the market.
Zoe @ADLIB: Investment can often be a challenge for start-ups & scale-ups. Do you have any piece of wisdom you could share around best approach?
Rory: We always say, ‘you have to kiss a few frogs to find your Prince’ and investment is no different, and it takes a long time to gain new investors. Spend time understanding your business canvas, be prepared to take feedback, be flexible and don’t be afraid to pivot the business if needed. Most of all, you need evidence to support your idea, this can be in paying customers, downloads, clinical trials or by winning grants. As you scale and grow FOMO (fear of missing out) then plays a big part as investors want to be part of something successful. My final tip – ‘Deliver’. All your future investments will be based on your ability to deliver what you committed to in the timeframe you agreed. Any idea is one thing, but you and your team must be able to deliver it.
Thank you so much for your time.