Adam de la Zerda is the founder of Visby Medical. Furthermore, he is the company's CEO as well, meaning that he is the one who oversees it. Very recently, it was stated that Visby Medical now has a valuation of more than $1 billion, which was presumably helped by the fact that it had a couple of notable successes in 2020 and 2021.
1. Went to Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
For his bachelor's degree, De la Zerda went to the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. Said school was founded in 1912, meaning that it was founded back when the region was still ruled by the Ottoman Empire. At the time, the Technion was involved in something called the War of the Languages. Essentially, the board of trustees chose German for the school's language of instruction. However, that met with enormous opposition from American Jews as well as Russian Jews, so much so that German was switched out for Hebrew. In fact, the school is called the Technion rather than the Technikum because of this.
2. Went to Stanford University
As soon as De la Zerda graduated from the Technion, he went for a PhD from Stanford University. Even now, he has a very strong relationship with his alma mater, as shown by how he is an associate professor at its School of Medicine.
3. Spent Some Time Working At UC Berkeley
Having said that, De la Zerda didn't just go right from being a PhD candidate at Stanford University to being an associate professor at Stanford University. Instead, he spent some time working as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkely. This makes sense because postdoctoral researchers become postdoctoral researchers for the purpose of building up their credentials for their subsequent careers.
4. Very Focused On the Sciences
Chances are good that interested individuals can guess that De la Zerda's education was very focused on the sciences. At the Technion, he studied computer science, electrical engineering, and physics. Later, De la Zerda pursued a PhD in electrical engineering.
5. Has a Strong Interest in Molecular Imaging
As a researcher, De la Zerda has a strong interest in molecular imaging. For those who are unfamiliar, that refers to imaging molecules of medical interest inside living people rather than in preserved samples. Sometimes, those molecules of medical interest come about through the body's natural processes. Other times, those molecules of medical interest have been introduced from the outside. Molecular imaging has huge potential. However, that huge potential won't be realized without the continuing expenditure of time, effort, and other resources from a wide range of interested parties.
6. Motivated to Found Visby Medical By Convenience
Entrepreneurs can have a wide range of reasons for founding a wide range of companies. In De la Zerda's case, it was convenience. Specifically, he wanted to make a diagnostic that could be used by anyone at anytime and anywhere. Something that would have huge benefits because an earlier diagnosis and thus an earlier intervention often mean a better health outcome than otherwise possible. Naturally, a more convenient diagnostic would increase the chances of people finding that there is a problem with them than, say, being forced to head into a doctor's office for medical testing.
7. His Company Decided to Focus On Sexual Health
De la Zerda's company didn't set out with a specific market in mind. Instead, it examined a number of them. After which, De la Zerda's company decided to focus on sexual health as the market that made the most sense for it to pursue. There were presumably a whole host of factors that influenced its decision-making process. However, it isn't hard to guess at least one of them. In short, a lot of people find subjects related to sexual health to be embarrassing to some extent. As a result, that can make them less reluctant to seek out the relevant services, which can be bad for them as well as for others. More convenient testing would presumably make it possible for them to keep a watchful eye on their sexual health without speaking with other people about the topic.
8. Had a Major Success in 2020
It took De la Zerda's company some time to turn his thoughts into a usable product. For context, he founded the company in 2012, his company chose the sexual health market in 2013, and then his company came up with a functional prototype for a handheld device in 2017. In 2020, De la Zerda's company had a major success with the launch of a new product. Having said that, it is important to note that this wasn't quite the device that it had been working on all along. Instead, De la Zerda's company was one of the numerous companies that became involved in the fight against COVID-19 with the result that it managed to launch a handheld testing device for COVID-19 in late 2020.
9. Had Another Major Success in 2021
Subsequently, De la Zerda's company had another major success in 2021 with the launch of another new product. This time, it was its handheld device meant for detecting three STIs, which would be gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomonas. The device has the distinction of being the first instrument-free PCR test for these three STIs.
10. His Company Managed to Extend a Series E Funding Round
Earlier in 2022, De la Zerda's company managed to raise $100 million in a Series E funding round. Very recently, it revealed that it had managed to extend that funding round with another $35 million. Combined with its previous efforts, that means that it is now valued at a bit more than $1 billion. De la Zerda's company has revealed that its fundraising efforts have been focused on investors with more of a long-term perspective. It seems safe to say that it has been successful in this regard, seeing as how short-term investors would presumably be much hesitant with their money under current conditions.
Written by Allen Lee
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