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Dr. Nina Patrick
Nina is the founder and CEO of Memido (formerly known as MiProbes). Memido tailors health & wellness advice to customers based on data from their at-home test kits. The memido test kit measures 10 different health biomarkers once a week and uses that data along with proprietary algorithms to translate an individual's metrics into digestible scores across five key parameters - immunity, nutrition, hydration, liver health and kidney health. Memido leverages AI to give personalized wellness advice for its customers to own their health.
Nina was born and raised in the U.S. and moved from San Francisco to Germany in 2019. She then started the Berlin-based company with her Venezuelan co-founder, Dr. Augusta Modestino, who is also based in Berlin. In San Francisco, Nina was amongst the first employees in two top biotech startups, where two of her patents in diagnostics went on to be acquired by world renowned synthetic biology company, Ginkgo Bioworks. She holds a PhD in Pharmaceutical Science and studied pharmaceutical chemistry in her undergrad.
Nina, what motivated you to start your own business?
The possibility to help people look after their health was what motivated us. As a pharmaceutical scientist and bioengineer, we knew the techniques behind the laboratory tests ordered by doctors at a health check-up. It is possible to measure your body’s indicators of health at home, and if you take measurements regularly, over time you can act preventatively to improve your health instead of getting to a point where it is harder to recover from illness.
What kind of challenges have you faced during your entrepreneurial journey that you wish you had more help with?
As a migrant founder with limited previous exposure to Germany: the culture, the language and especially the bureaucracy before moving here - it was definitely a challenge. I had all the challenges of moving to a new country, but also that of setting up a new company here as well. There are so many nuances of the bureaucracy in particular that as a migrant, you just aren’t aware of, that someone who grew up here, perhaps would know more about.
Many issues I faced were small, but required a lot of time and effort to resolve, which can add up over time. Even something as simple as setting up my internet, or changing or canceling a contract, was a challenge due to the language barrier. This often meant that I needed to rely on someone else for help in these situations. I would have appreciated more support on dealing with bureaucracy both as a new resident and a new founder.
Who or what empowered you during your entrepreneurial journey?
I’ve been fortunate to have the support of many advisors, mentors and fellow founders throughout my journey. The Grace Accelerator of course, which provided support as we grew and helped us establish ourselves as a credible and viable business.
Through Grace, I was able to meet many other founders, and this network of founders has been an invaluable resource. It kept me going through some of the hard times, because we could share experiences, best practices and learnings. It was nice to have other founders around you who could relate to your specific situation.
My investors are very helpful as well, but I’ve found that in order to get the best from them, I need to be precise and know exactly what to ask for. I’ve also had the support of some great mentors, who have helped me to grow my network as well as advising me. Now I have a stronger support system, with people I can call when I need advice, but it took a while to develop that.
How did your cultural background influence your career?
Being American and having worked in Silicon Valley, was really well received in Germany and helped me make a good first impression. Additionally, I’ve done several years of training in public speaking to be able to introduce myself and talk about my business very clearly and concisely.
What is your personal tip for women with a migration background to start their business?
Don't give up! Sometimes it feels like the whole world is against you, and you're going to get so many “No”s, and people not being helpful. You just have to keep going. The longer you keep going, the more seriously you're taken, and the more people will see and trust you. Good things will come with your patience and perseverance!
Nina, thank you very much for your valuable insight!