Gavin (left) has graduated the University of Houston with a Ph.D in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the University of Florida with a Masters in Chemical Engineering.
Binh (right) has graduated the University of Houston with a Ph.D in Chemical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemical Engineering.
What’s your startup?
Gavin: It’s a tech development company. We work in the healthcare space so we’re developing medical devices and therapeutics. Primarily, we’re focused on a diagnostic device that can detect bacterial infections and it can also tell you which antibiotic will work the best to eliminate the infection. The test is all to be done in about a 6 hour time frame, which is considered a rapid test because the current tests can take up to two days to give you the answers.
How’s your summer been going so far?
Gavin: Tough. It’s been tough. I had been through RED Labs in 2014, Class 2, and it was kind of tough but it wasn’t as difficult as this. There are a lot more lessons and activities packed into this summer this time around. Plus all the work we have to do for the company. It’s kind of tough, but I like being busy. We also have kids.
Binh: An additional kid this time.
Gavin: (Laughs) At first, I only had one, now I have 2 this time.
Binh: Busy. Same as him. Same reasons and I also have a kid and he’s super demanding.
Gavin: But his kid is super smart, might ever be smarter than him.
How is working in a co-working space?
Gavin: I like it. A lot of people look at us, because we both have Ph.Ds and whatnot, as more experienced, but I find that I learn a lot from all the teams that we work together with in this space.
There are problems that we don’t know how to solve that another team encounters, and just learning how they solve that problem, I think that’s invaluable. I don’t think we would’ve learned that as easily or get access to that knowledge as easily if it wasn’t for this space.
Binh: I’ve really learned a lot about the business side. We’ve probably shared the same problems. If they’re solved ahead of time, we can see and reflect on it. We can see what we can do to deal with those problems.
Gavin: I’ve probably said “holy crap, that’s a good idea” here more times than I have during grad school.
What’s your favorite aspect of the program?
Gavin: I like access to the mentors, having that access is great. It’s really great that they’re coming to us. Just being able to meet them and spending their time with us is extremely valuable. We’ve also made some really good contacts through RED Spark that would’ve been difficult without it.
Binh: I like the Founder Series. You can learn from the mistakes that the Founders talk about. You can see them fail at some point and you’re not afraid to make mistakes.
How would you describe the culture?
Gavin: Free and open. Advice is being given freely. It’s easy to walk up to somebody and ask for help. Through this open culture, Binh has helped some teams with technical aspects of their project. I’ve both received and given advice.
Binh: The free and open communication. Also, it’s great here.
If you guys doing weren’t doing this, what would you still be doing?
Gavin: We would still be pursuing this. My first company was when I was 12. I’m originally from Jamaica, and at the time my family and I were one of the only group of people in the neighborhood that had cable. I taped all of the movies on VHS tapes, and even built a ledger to record who rented the movies; I was basically a Blockbuster. I was making a little bit of money renting the movies until my father found out and shut it down. Since then, I’ve continued being very interested in entrepreneurship. We registered this company last year, so we would still be doing it regardless.
Binh: This place gives us good constructive feedback that gives what we know what we’re dealing with.
Gavin: This is helping us get through the different stages faster and help develop better plans.
How do you feel about the consumption of La Croix here?
Gavin: I think if one can of it gets consumed, that’s one can too many. I think they should go out of business, I’m just kidding. But, they should be purchased by a larger company and stop the La Croix production. It’s a win-win.
What’s a random fact about you?
Gavin: Well, I’ve already said I was a firefighter. I play all racket sports pretty well if I do say so myself. Anything that has a racket and you hit something, I can play it well. In Jamaica, I was national level in table tennis, tennis, and badminton.
Binh: I do hoard many equipments and tools. I’ve built cars before.
Gavin: Binh has put two halves of different cars together.
If this team was a pop culture character/group, what would it be?
Gavin: The Green Hornet? It’s a little old school. Binh’s the one that makes everything work. He’s the real hero here. I’m the bumbling idiot that happens to be there when everything works out fine.
Is there anything else you want to add?
Gavin: Yes, LaCroix water is a very bad idea. It’s terrible. It’s just so bad.
DxRuptive is a duo with Gavin Garvey and Binh Vu.
Check them out and support them on LinkedIn.
– As told to UH RED Labs