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Celsee Diagnostics

46701 Commerce Center Dr
Plymouth, MI 48170

Kalyan Handique

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
I had a wonderful learning experience during my entrepreneurial journey from start-to-exit at HandyLab and strongly believe the importance of entrepreneurial development program provided by different organizations across the region. The DeNovo Sciences team has greatly benefited from the Entrepreneurial Start-up Boot Camp organized by Ann Arbor SPARK, coaching services provided by the GLEQ and MISBTDC and the mentorship provided by our scientific and business advisors. I have also taken a strong interest in myself providing mentorship to upcoming young entrepreneurs in the local community.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
We are early in our product development right now and are fortunate to have collaborators from Karamanos Cancer Center and University of Michigan. These collaborators can be looked at as the first customers of our ideas, who have validated our technology and business direction. I would specifically like to mention our scientific advisers: Dr. Ramzi Mohammad, a cancer thought leader from Karmanos and Dr. Sunitha Nagrath, a world renowned CTC expert from University of Michigan.

Where did you find your first employee?
Two of the co-founders, Priya Gogoi and Chris Siemer met at another startup, Esperion Therapeutics. The third co-founder, Saedeh Sepehri knew Priya from the master’s program in molecular and cellular biology at Eastern Michigan University.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
The Company was bootstrapping its operations until recently. As the company makes further progress, we will look to increase the core team with additional expertise. We will definitely be on the lookout for passionate interns who believe in our mission to impact humanity with cutting edge science and technology. Needless to say, once interns prove themselves and show alignment with the company's goals and culture, we will do our best to retain them in the team.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
We are very thankful to have recently won the $500,000 grand prize in the 2011 Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition. This prize money definitely gives us an opportunity to stay on track with our company goals for the upcoming year. Prior to winning this award, the company had received $5,000 prize money from Great Lakes Entrepreneur’s Quest in June 2011 for winning the Best New Business Idea. We are currently also looking for additional seed capital from angel investors to maintain a high level of momentum in our prototype testing and achieve all the milestones required to attract multi-million dollar venture financing next year.

What are some of the advantages to doing business here?
The southeast Michigan region is definitely a strong hub for seeding great Companies with disruptive technologies. There is immense technical talent in this area and the resources provided through the services of organizations such as Ann Arbor SPARK and MISBTDC helps nourish these young companies and match up with the right mentors and business professionals. The string of successes such as Esperion Therapeutics, HandyLab, Accuri Cytometers and HealthMedia have created great experienced start-up and management talent in this area that knows how to commercialize products and services. New startups formed locally are also able to attract capital not only from the local funding sources but also from across the country. In addition, the great quality of life the region provides makes it a compelling place to seed, start and grow businesses as well as your family.

If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?
This region has all that it takes to become a technological powerhouse seeding and growing great companies that will shape the world in the future. All it needs to do is to believe in itself and do it.

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