Founder Tips. Denis Kuzmin, CEO, Solix Biosystems East

    “Founder’s Tips” once again introduces Megamind readers to the stars of the IT market, the founders and managers of their own business.

    We do not so often manage to communicate with a person working in an innovative and narrow-profile field that is not directly related to information technology, that is, not on the Internet. But since IT has already penetrated absolutely all areas of private and professional life, we decided that it would not be superfluous to dilute startupers and their advice with the history of the person who creates a biotechnology company in Russia. In addition, Denis already answered questions from users of Geektimes.

    Denis graduated from the Faculty of Biology of Moscow State University. M.V. Lomonosov in 2007, graduating from the Department of Molecular Biology with honors. He entered the graduate school of the IBCh RAS, where he worked at the “Laboratory of the Structure and Function of Human Genes” to create anticancer drugs of molecular targeted action, which were based on “suicidal genes” - now these gene therapeutic drugs are undergoing preclinical trials. In 2012, under the leadership of Academician E.D. Sverdlova Denis Kuzmin defends his thesis.

    As Denis admits, in 2010 he began to actively seek practical application of his own knowledge and, as a result, ended up in the Independent Laboratory Invitro company, where until 2014 he was involved in the creation and management of a network of medical centers operating under the franchising model. After leaving Invitro, Denis became the CEO of Solix Biosystems Vostok (an R&D center created by Rusnano and Solix Algredients), which is still the only company in Russia specializing in the industrial cultivation of microalgae and the allocation of unit cost substances from the resulting biomass.

    He also notes that he has gone from preparing a business plan and forming a team to launching a laboratory and semi-industrial production; implemented a technology transfer to our country - import and localization of Solix photobioreactors of the Lumia AGS260 series, which have no analogues in the Russian Federation. Today, in his laboratory, a strain of microalgae from collections of leading Russian research institutes has been screened for the presence of substances with a high potential for commercialization (Omega-3, astaxanthin, etc.) - Denis modestly adds that they found a strain of one of antioxidants, in a number of parameters superior to most currently known in the world.

    Denis Kuzmin is an expert at the Skolkovo Foundation (Biomedical Cluster), a mentor at the Center for Entrepreneurship Development in Moscow at the Department of Science, Industrial Policy and Entrepreneurship (areas of medicine / pharmacology / biotechnology).

    It turned out a great introduction, but we believe that everyone should know such founders and enthusiastic people "in person" in full detail. And now - the word to Denis, who summarized his experience in three simple tips.

    First tip:
    Despite all the geopolitical difficulties, sanctions and various restrictions, it is not worth accepting the isolation logic imposed on us. This is especially true of the "world of high technology." 

    Extremely important is the transfer of technology and know-how, followed by implementation in domestic realities.
    Using Western technology and our scientific potential (including the achievements of previous generations of scientists), we will be able to get the synergy that, ultimately, will create a unique product.

    Instead of protecting our customs territory more promising, I see the protection of value chains generated by domestic innovative business.

    Second tip:
    The most difficult, I would say the main task, is the fight against skepticism, against the wall, which was erected among themselves by people of science and people of business. The biased attitude of domestic scientists towards any investors, including leading development institutions, leads to the fact that many promising developments remain on the table. Instead, many research groups go after the state. so-called “grant millstones” also get financing.

    On the other hand, people from the “world of money” often perceive scientists as some kind of marginalized and treat them with light irony and condescension, which does not contribute to normal communication. At the same time, it becomes obvious that only projects that include balanced teams have a real future. Now any high-tech project is first of all people with a high level of expertise in the profile field, management and finance, specialists in the field of promoting the final product.

    And the third tip:
    As F. Kafka said, “All human errors are impatience, a premature abandonment of methodology, and an imaginary focus on an imaginary matter.”

    Try to get a good basic education, if possible fundamental. The main thing that education gives is meta-ability - the ability to acquire skills / knowledge. Constantly develop new skills. Now there are many opportunities to receive online education. Be sociable and open. Often, meeting a person from a completely different field of activity can open up new horizons for you.

    From the Editor: if you have a desire to take part in the “Founder's Tips” section, write to us at editor (at)

    Also popular now: