Advice For Entrepreneurs From A Young CEO

Advice For Entrepreneurs From A Young CEO

For many of us, the hardest part of achieving success is getting started.

This article is for you - you who have dreams, ideas, and goals you want to accomplish. For many of us, the hardest part of achieving this is getting started. We don't know where to start, what to do, etc.

With this article, I hope to motivate you with the story of Cathy Tie, a young, 19-year-old entrepreneur who pushed forward with her ideas and become the co-founder and CEO of a fast-growing biotechnology company named Ranomics.

Here are some of the highlights from our interview, I know her story will motivate and inspire you guys as well.

What is your story and what do you currently do?

"I loved science fairs growing up, so every year in high school I would do a science fair project and I just loved doing independent science fair projects which led me to do what I am doing today."

"When I started university in 2014 I was working on a really cool genomics project with my professor, Dr. Frederick Roth at the University of Toronto and with my Co-founder Leo Wan. Together we started this company called Ranomics. We shortly moved to San Francisco in early 2015 to build this company and accelerate our company. Now we are operating in San Francisco and Toronto."

"I am currently the Co-founder and CEO of a biotechnology company called Ranomics. I am an entrepreneur and I am also a scientist; I have been doing genomics research since I was 14-years-old and I published my first research paper when I was 16-years-old."

What is Ranomics and what is the purpose of this company?

"Ranomics is a company in the genetic testing space. Our goal is to improve the quality and accuracy of genetic testing. Essentially, genetic testing is an industry where companies use genetics to predict hereditary diseases through genetic makeup. Basically, they sequence your genome and they look for genetic markers that show that you are more prone to certain inherited diseases. However, a huge problem in the industry is that the accuracy of these tests is being hindered by the lack of data on most genetic mutations. That means that over 60 percent of genetic mutations seen by these companies are actually not understood, most likely due to the fact that they have no clinical precedence."

"This is a big problem and so what we do at Ranomics is we solve this problem with science. We take a human disease gene, we make every possible mutation on this gene and we put all of these mutations into animal models or human cell lines and we observe the phenotype (physical characteristics) of these models. Based on that, we can classify the variant as harmful or not harmful. Then, we distribute this data to our partners which will use this data to improve the quality of genetic testing."

What motivated you to start Ranomics?

"The motivation behind why I started Ranomics was really my fascination for the human genetic code. I feel like the human genetic code is the software that programs all of our proteins and basically who we are physically as human beings. I think one of the most important ways that we have been using this knowledge is through genetic testing; using our understanding of the human genome to predict diseases. Therefore, changing the healthcare system from one that is treatment-driven to one that is prevention-driven and genetic testing helps us to do just this."

"I really wanted to help solve a meaningful problem and clearly there was a huge problem in the genetic testing space with all of this lack of information on genetic variants which really lead me to starting this company."

What did you want to be when you grew up?

"I've actually always been interested in outer space exploration. I actually wanted to be an astronaut; I really liked stars, astrophysics -- learning about satellites, planets, and stars was a huge passion of mine."

How do you structure and organize your agenda?

"I try to keep a balance between work and personal life with my family and friends; I think that is very important."

"Being an entrepreneur you always have a big to-do list and for me, it is very important to prioritize what needs to be done, what events I need to attend, etc. It is important to prioritize these things before jumping into this to-do list"

What is it like to be a young, female CEO?

"I think it is really exciting! It is a rare role, but it is also a great opportunity. I am excited to be working on something that I am passionate about and to be supported by a talented and supportive team and advisors."

"At the end of the day it's not about who I am, it's more about what I am working on and that makes me excited."

"Also, being a young, female CEO allows me to inspire other people who have similar dreams and similar backgrounds who are interested in biotechnology and entrepreneurship."

If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be and why?

"The CEO of a chocolate company, so I could be surrounded by chocolate."

What advice would you give to young people who want to become entrepreneurs?

"The most important advice that I can give is to solve a meaningful problem in society. You can skip the networking events, skip the parties and conferences; the key is to build a product that people will love and generate revenue."

"There are so many distractions in the entrepreneurship space at the moment and it is very important to block out that noise and just focus on building a good business and a good team. Everything else comes after that."

Is there anything else you would like to add?

"Another piece of advice for young entrepreneurs is to be passionate about the problem that you are solving. Often times there is a difference between giving up and keep going. Success and failure are really how passionate you are about the problem you're solving and the product you are building."

Throughout the interview, Cathy Tie showed both professionalism and great character. As fellow millennials, we can all take from Cathy Tie's story the importance of passion and dedication. Challenge yourself to follow Cathy Tie's advice: identify a meaningful problem in society, build a way of solving this problem, and keep your eye on the goal.

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved

To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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Severus Snape Is The Worst, And Here's Why

Albus Severus, sweetie, I'm so sorry...


I grew up being absolutely obsessed with the Harry Potter franchise. I read the books for the first time in second and third grade, then again in middle school, and for the third time in my last year of high school. Recently, I had a somewhat heated argument with a fellow fan of the books about Severus Snape. As I've reread the Harry Potter books, I've noticed that, although J.K. Rowling tried to give him a redemption arc, he only got worse because of it. Here's why I still think Severus Snape is the absolute worst.

His love for Lily Potter was actually really creepy. When I was younger and reading the books, I always found the fact that he held fast in his love for Lily to be very endearing, even noble. However, rereading it after going through a couple of relationships myself, I've come to realize that the way he pined over her was super creepy. It was understandable during his time at Hogwarts; he was bullied, and she was the only one who "understood" him. However, she showed zero interest, and if that didn't clue him into realizing that he should back off, her involvement with James Potter should have. She was married. He was pining after a married, happy woman. If he truly loved her, he would have realized how happy she was and backed off. Instead, he took it out on her orphan son and wallowed in bitterness and self-pity, which is creepy and extremely uncool. When a girl is kind to a boy during high school (or in this case, wizard school), it's not an open invitation for him to pine for her for the literal rest of his life and romanticizes the absolute @#$% out of her. It's just her being a decent person. Move on, Severus.

He verbally abused teenagers. One of the most shocking examples of this is in The Prisoner of Azkaban when Snape literally told Neville Longbottom that he would kill his beloved toad, Trevor if he got his Shrinking Potion wrong, and then punished him when he managed to make the potion correctly. Furthermore, poor Neville's boggart was literally Snape. The amount of emotional torture Neville must have been enduring from Snape to create this type of debilitating fear must have been almost unbearable, and even if Snape was simply trying to be a "tough" professor, there is no excuse for creating an atmosphere of hostility and fear like he did in his potions class for vulnerable students like Neville. In addition, he ruthlessly tormented Harry (the last living piece of Lily Potter, his supposed "true love," btw), and made fun of Hermione Granger's appearance. Sure, he might have had a terrible life. However, it's simply a mark of poor character to take it out on others, especially when the people you take it out on are your vulnerable students who have no power to stand up to you. Grow up.

He willingly joined a terrorist group and helped them perform genocide and reign over the wizarding world with terror tactics for a couple of decades. No explanation needed as to why this is terrible.

Despite the constant romanticization of his character, I will always see the core of Severus Snape, and that core is a bitter, slimy, genocidal, manipulative trash being. J.K. Rowling's attempt to redeem him only threw obsessive and controlling traits into the mix. Snape is the absolute worst, and romanticizing him only removes criticism of an insane man who just so happened to be capable of love (just like the vast majority of the rest of us). Thank you, next.

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