Why this Ohio State student isn’t dropping out of classes while running a funded, prize-winning startup

Columbus Business First | Carrie Ghose

 

Your startup has funding and a working prototype – plus a long slog ahead for regulatory approval as a medical device. So what do you do? That’s right: Re-enroll to complete the second semester of your sophomore year at Ohio State University.

Peeyush Shrivastava, 20-year-old CEO of Genetesis LLC, took a one-year academic leave to take the biotech company to a Buffalo, New York, business accelerator after winning $260,000 in the 2014 43North business competition. The obligation ended in December, and in January he started the spring term back at Ohio State in biomedical science.

I wrote last week how he took a break from mid-terms to go win another national business competition, the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards. He’ll represent the U.S. at the international finals in Thailand in May – after OSU’s school year is out.

This week I was able to talk to him on a break between classes and running the business. Shrivastava says he still has a lot to learn that will apply throughout his career.

“It’s a really unique value proposition to be able to go into an electromagnetics class and have an understanding of what you’re building,” he said. “You learn a lot of interesting techniques that improve your way of thinking in general.”

With five employees, Genetesis is developing technology for non-invasive 3D mapping of electrophysiological signals in the heart, for precision detection of abnormal heart rhythms and other conditions. The staff including other OSU students is split between Columbus and his hometown, Mason, but he says to watch for Columbus developments.

“We kind of rotate who has to be committing all-nighters,” he said.

“We’ve been able to grow quite a bit from the (43North) experience,” he said. “The product is ready; it’s now being tested.”

But this won’t be his last startup, he said, nor will an undergraduate degree end his academic career.

“I want to be at the forefront of developing novel technology … to be a scientist and always gear it to entrepreneurship,” he said.

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