Innovative Laboratory Solutions offers new lab tech
September 28, 2021
By Katie Aldridge
After working for hours on end in the lab, you must complete your final task: disposing of several trays of vials of specimens from blood and cells tests from thousands of individuals. You finish disposing of the first tray, and your wrist hurts from manually emptying every vial. You pick the next tray too quickly and something drips down the back of your neck. You report this incident to your boss, but since neither of you know what the specimen is, you are required to stay home and wait until you get the OK to return to work.
Enter Innovative Laboratory Solutions, lead by founder and CEO Michael Doran.
Innovative Laboratory Solutions is making equipment to help diagnostic laboratories increase operational efficiencies, decrease risk, and increase personnel retention. Specifically, their devices help with the specimen disposal process.
Michael recently participated in the Early Risers Academy Tech cohort, a 10-week business-building bootcamp powered by Launch Dayton partner Parallax Advanced Research. We recently caught up with Michael to learn more about his company and how the Launch Dayton community can support.
Launch Dayton: How did your company start?
Michael: We started about three years ago with myself in my basement with a piece of cardboard, an exacto knife, some rubber bands, a hot glue gun, and popsicle sticks. I had this idea in my head of what I wanted to create. I went to an intellectual property attorney and asked him to point me in the right direction to get me started. I took action on his words. I reached out to some design companies, and they put together the concept models. We have just kept the ball rolling.
Why this idea?
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mind where I would see things and be like, “that could be better. We could improve this; we could improve that.” This is the first thing I’ve acted on. I don’t know if the idea just generated from being in the lab. I’ve been in different labs in different areas for different companies. I’d say we learn from our experiences and our histories, and that’s my background, working with the samples and being in the lab. This was a common problem throughout each lab that I realized needed solved.
Did you always want to be an entrepreneur?
Yes. I come from a very entrepreneurial family. My dad was an entrepreneur; he ran a restaurant for 27 years. My sister owns a business. It’s always been something that I’ve been around and been interested in. The whole idea of the 9-5 life never appealed to me. I wanted to do my own thing and be in control of my own situation. That’s how we were raised.
What identities do you bring to entrepreneurship that helped prepare you for this lifestyle?
Having an attitude of resilience, grit, determination, and perseverance. There have been different roadblocks and bumps along the way where it seemed like I didn’t know where to turn. You have to have that vision and pull to keep you going. My friends in the lab need something like this, and no one else is making it, so I feel like I have an obligation to them and the industry to keep moving forward.
Why do you love what do you?
I feel almost drawn into it. I see the impact it has. I do this job almost every night, and I know how frustrating and disgusting it can be. I feel the pain, and I’ve witnessed my friends’ pain. I want to help people. This could be something very positive that would boost people. It is something cool and gives them a new way to do their work. It helps me give a portion of people’s lives back to them. And it’s fun!
How was your experience with Early Risers Academy?
I loved it. Coming from a science background and not having a business background, the Early Risers Academy was so valuable. It was very fast paced. I felt like I was being shot out of a cannon, but it was awesome. I met some good contacts from that. It gives you the foundation and building blocks of a business.
How can the Launch Dayton community support you?
We’re seeking non-dilutive funding and looking to have outreach conversations with labs. Any kind of references would be helpful.
Reach Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org.