Exeleon Magazine

Alina Su: Creating a Future of Hope

Alina Su

It is said that there is no better exercise for the heart than reaching out to lift people up. It is liberating, empowering, and transformational. It is powerful!

With the same intention of lifting people up and create a better future, Alina Su is spearheading a transformational vision through her company NovaXS Biotech Corp.

NovaXS is a smart medical device startup building a drug delivery platform to make it easier for people to get access to quality healthcare.

In this Exclusive Interview, the young and powerful entrepreneur talks about her journey, challenges, and her vision for the future.

What according to you makes one a powerful entrepreneur? How do you integrate the same thought into your leadership?

A powerful entrepreneur is someone who takes responsibility for human beings’ wellness and creates a better future. Powerful entrepreneurs design the future, align their own vision and act on it daily. Rome wasn’t built in a day and building our future will not be any different.

Creating positive change in the world is what powerful entrepreneurs do every day. As a leader, I am an action-oriented type. I outline and execute a strategy that makes my vision a reality. Instead of sitting around and philosophizing about how to change the world, I focus on creating real changes like the many patients we help every day at NovaXS.

Talk to us about your growing up years. What is your earliest memory as an entrepreneur that you can remember?

Growing up, I remember being very curious and always asking questions. I love school and being in the lab. Since starting my company NovaXS, I’ve considered myself a researcher and student before a businessperson. That being said, I am also a problem-solver and a good entrepreneur who focuses on solving a problem, not selling a product.

My earliest memory of this is when I had to balance three different roles as an entrepreneur, researcher, and student. My morning started with attending my classes and simultaneously finishing my breakfast while reading industry-related news and improving the company’s product design. I would brainstorm in the afternoon, go to the lab to research regenerative medicine, and discuss drug-device combinations with my professor, and our scientific advisory board from Harvard, ex-Pfizer, UC Berkeley.

I would then talk to investors about new updates and receive feedback and make a second round of edits on my pitch deck. I would sit in MBA classes in Biotechnology Entrepreneurship and Business Case Analysis at 9 PM.

Finally, I get to go home to think back and summarize all that I did today. I always find myself sleeping with my glasses on, with a pen and book in my hand since I barely have time to sleep. I learned how to become a good business leader from my dad and grandpa, who were serial entrepreneurs their whole lives. They had a large impact on me being the entrepreneur that I am today.

What prompted your interest and subsequently your foray into healthcare and tech space?

My inquisitive nature and imagination worked hand in hand with my love for science. Wanting to understand my sister’s medical condition pushed me to study bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and obtain a degree in Public Health and Bioengineering. Today I am a Ph.D. student at Harvard Medical School, furthering my education in Biological and Biomedical Sciences.

As a student, I flourish in the lab studying gene editing and degenerative diseases. Throughout my lab work, I’ve noticed how people navigate the healthcare system and often cannot access the necessary care.

What led you to start NovaXS, BioTech Corp.? What was the pain point you wanted to address through this platform?

When I was growing up, my sister was diagnosed with a chronic condition requiring her to make a one-hour round-trip to the nearest hospital every day for three years to get multiple shots.

Looking back on my childhood, I reflect on the time I spent finding ways to support my sister through her treatments. I am naturally curious, and I remember thinking of ways to improve such an agonizing process.

When I realized my sister is not alone in the struggle to access quality healthcare, I wanted to use my expertise for good and take action.

Did you know that one in four adults and two in three children have a needle phobia and that 50% of medications for chronic diseases aren’t taken as prescribed? My goal is to make healthcare treatments more accessible.

I assembled a team of my classmates, professors, mentors, and friends to start NovaXS Biotech Corp, a smart medical device startup building a drug delivery platform to make it easier for people to get access to quality healthcare.

What have been some of the biggest challenges in your journey as a young Entrepreneur, Investor, and Inventor?

One of the biggest challenges has been fighting the stereotypes people have about me. As a young female entrepreneur, my ability is often questioned, and I have to go above and beyond to prove that I deserve a seat at the table.

But I remind myself that these stereotypes are not true and are projections of others’ insecurities in themselves. I acknowledge when I am being treated unfairly and do not let it prevent me from doing my best work. I am determined, strong, and capable of doing anything I set my mind to.

What does a day in the life of Alina Su look like? How do you ensure work-life balance?

A goal of mine is to have a long-lasting career helping people access quality healthcare, so I realize the importance of a healthy work-life balance. To start my day on the right foot, I meditate with a peaceful mind and catch up on the latest news.

Creating a ritual for my morning routine sets me on the right track and keeps me motivated. I am the most creative in the afternoons, which I set aside for collaboration with my team. Since my team is all around the world, I usually have meetings with our partners overseas in the evenings.

After those meetings, my workday ends, and I get to indulge in my guilty pleasures. One of my favorite things to do after a hectic day is to read a good book and escape for a while.

What would be your advice for entrepreneurs and business leaders in the healthcare space?

I would tell entrepreneurs to connect with others and prioritize building relationships with clients and investors. It requires time and patience, but if you can create long-lasting relationships in this industry, you will be able to find ways to make your business relationships mutually beneficial.

I also recommend enrolling in accelerator programs like mHub MedTech Accelerator and Berkeley SkyDeck, which give business leaders access to resources and mentors to help fine-tune product development, leadership strategies, and much more.

Finally, what does the future look like for NovaXS? What are you most excited about in the coming years?

One day our app will help people with chronic illnesses self-administer treatments and provide their doctors’ data on treatment monitoring. The app will connect to an injector that doesn’t require needles. You just hold it to your skin, and pressure pushes the medicine into your body.

More injectable therapies are looking for more effective and convenient delivery methods that improve the patient experience. NovaXS is taking a patient-centric approach to make self-injections easy and centering our work around remote healthcare optimization.

For the millions of people who deal with chronic conditions like diabetes or growth hormone deficiencies or for hopeful families going the IVF route, I hope that NovaXS will play a role in making their lives easier.

Read Digital Version.

Visit NovaXS BioTech Corp Website.

Contact Alina Su on LinkedIn

Young Entrepreneurs of America

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