Health and Wellness
- View Printer Friendly Version
BiogeniQ helps people take the reins of their health by offering simple, appropriate and relevant recommendations based on their DNA. The way individuals react to medication, metabolize nutriments and develop certain diseases can be largely influenced by their genetics, although most people ignore the potential impact their genes can have on their health. Through collaboration with health professionals, genetics tests on nutrition, medication and certain diseases are delivered in a responsible and ethical manner.
BiogeniQ was borne from an idea Etienne had in 2010, while taking his Masters in genetics at the University of Montreal and, by chance, while his father (a physician with over 30 years of medical experience) was participating in a large provincial genetics project. The project was looking into the correlation of genetics, the subjects’ predisposition to different disease areas, and how preventive medicine could be adopted into regular medical practice.
Sadly, in 2012, his father died of a heart attack, a disease – Etienne later learned after speaking with the project leads – his father was predisposed to and could have prevented had he known more. These events motivated Etienne to focus on how individuals could get affordable access to information about their health at a genic level to facilitate prevention and not just treatment.
Launching a technology company in the more traditional field of healthcare presented Etienne and his partners with two main hurdles. The first challenge was how to respond to criticism from other companies in the field of genetics who did not support the idea of taking the science of preventative medicine out of the lab and into the mass market. The second challenge was how to secure approval and support from key opinion leaders and influencers so that the business could better validate its approach and offering. “Through pitches to investors and presentations in competitions we have gained confidence and received positive feedback that is still helping us today,” said Etienne.
Responding to the question of how Futurpreneur Canada has helped his business, Etienne appropriately used a scientific metaphor: “Entrepreneurship and innovation are natural resources in Canada, it’s in our DNA. But, like any biological reactions, nature needs a catalyst. For BiogeniQ, that catalyst has been Futurpreneur Canada.”
BiogeniQ offers its services direct to clients in Montreal and through private health clinics and services and there are plans to expand it out to markets around the world.
“Always listen to your own voice. It’s okay to doubt and have fear, but what’s the worst that can happen? If I had the chance to do it again, I wouldn’t wait so long before doing my first pitch. The more you do it, the better you become and people love to give feedback – it’s the most valuable data an entrepreneur can get for their business model.”