Advice from a CEO: How to Survive as a Startup in the Business World

Meet Courtney Young (CEO and co-founder of MyoGene Bio) and take a look into what she learned while turning an idea into a company!

For many visionaries wishing to start a business, the startup process can be daunting. But for Dr. Young, when faced with wanting to create a therapy to help her cousin with Duchenne’s syndrome, a disease that has no known cure, she took matters into her own hands. Thus birthing MyoGene Bio.

So what is MyoGene Bio? As CEO and co-founder, Dr. Young’s mission is to fight Duchenne muscular dystrophy (also known as Duchenne syndrome or DMD) through gene-editing therapy. A rare and destructive genetic muscle-wasting disorder, DMD can cause symptoms such as frequent falls, trouble getting up or running, large calves, severe crippling deformities, and learning disabilities. These symptoms are due to the alterations of a protein termed dystrophin that assists in keeping muscle cells intact. Duchenne is usually detected at a young age, and while there is no cure it is imperative that action is taken early.

This is where Dr. Young and MyoGene Bio come in. MyoGene Bio utilizes pioneering technologies to help stop disease progression by attacking the underlying cause of the disorder. Her company is paving the way for new innovations to help fight this condition that as of now has no known cure.

(Image courtesy of Google)

Creating a company that is paving the way for new science and therapies doesn’t happen overnight. During the "Meet the CEO" event with Junior Judges in July, Dr. Young discussed how she turned her idea into a pioneering company. While MyoGene Bio is still in the early stages, Dr. Young has gained priceless knowledge and experience from her time as a CEO and co-founder. Some of her key takeaways from undergoing the process of building a startup are:

  • Having a passion for the subject area is essential

  • Learn to accept risk and possible failure → this is the only way to grow

  • Gain insight and advice from any and all you can

  • Learn to talk business (terminology etc.)

  • Grants take time, apply early

  • Pitches are the most useful and efficient way to get yourself and your business out there. Practice pitches as often as possible.

Mira Soin is a summer 2020 volunteer with the Women Founders Foundation.