Nina Tandon on Being An Entrepreneur | Verve Magazine
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January 16, 2017

Nina Tandon on Being An Entrepreneur

Text by Zaral Shah. Photograph by Carla Tramullas

The CEO of EpiBone, Inc talks about her vision for the future and her work in the field of biotechnology

As the driving force behind EpiBone, she dons many hats. Columbia University postdoctoral researcher and Cooper Union adjunct professor, Nina Tandon is a self-confessed masala chai and gulab jamun fan. Her entrepreneurial drive, she jokes, was born when she started a babysitting business with her siblings while growing up. The New York-based company engineers stem cells to form a personalised bone graft ready for implantation. Their technology is aimed towards constructing and cultivating a superior bone graft that will provide exact defect repair.

“I was encouraged to explore how biology affects our day-to-day experience of life. My sisters are colour-blind, and my brother is night-blind — both of which are genetic disorders. My work with EpiBone is inspired by the thousands of patients needing affordable personalised bone graft solutions, and by the emerging world of biotechnology and all the promise it holds.”

“I’ve been an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember! But I also see how much my journey with EpiBone has helped expand my own perspective. I am very grateful for the opportunity this path has afforded me…looking back, I wish I could tell my former self something I recently found in a fortune cookie — ‘Better is the enemy of good’.”

“Finding the right team to get everything off the ground is the most significant challenge in any business. I would encourage anyone starting their own business to find their soulmates in the business; people who have complimentary skills.”

“One of my favourite pieces of advice — that I’ve learnt from my father — is that when meeting people, always ask yourself what you can offer them. I love this because it can be very empowering, especially for those who are learning the ropes of a new field, or spending time away from their comfort zones.”

“Despite all my efforts at organisation, my days tend to be full of surprises, which is why my mornings — which I spend quietly alone — are so important to me. I get a chance to reflect and focus on creative work, meditate and do some yoga. Then I like to drive to work with co-founder Sarindr (Sarindr ‘Ik’ Bhumiratana). Not only is it fun to drive through Brooklyn, it’s also nice for us to catch up in an unstructured way….”

“If the first industrial revolution was about machines, and the second about information, I would love to look forward to a future where the next revolution is a lot more natural and, dare I say, life-affirming.”

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