They had no business plan! They had no investors! They had an idea and built a product with the best of their abilities and tried to sell it.
“When we started this, I thought we had like a 20-30% chance that we were going to succeed. It was a surprise – we had no idea we were going to be doing this.”
-Co-Founder, Jerry Boonyaratanakornkit
Last fall, Exact Diagnostics, a company formed by Boonyaratanakornkit and Richie Petronis in 2015 and a TechFW client since, was sold for $60 million.
That, too, was not part of the plan.
The co-founders met while working for a pharmaceutical company that sold external controls to diagnostic laboratories to assure the quality of the tests being run. They started their company with the goal of producing a better product for the quality assurance market and providing better service.
Boonyaratanakornkit always wanted to do something remarkable, to make a difference. Something simple, like cure cancer.
Instead, he and Petronis built a multi-million-dollar company with more than 92 products that make a difference by significantly impacting patient care. “I don’t see myself doing anything else but diagnostics right now,” Boonyaratanakornkit said.
“We believe in quality products – and because of that over-arching mindset, I think that has driven success to the company.”
Exact Diagnostics is a leader in developing and manufacturing a broad range of innovative diagnostics products designed to meet the quality control needs of molecular clinical labs and assay manufacturers. It provides quality products and services to laboratories and manufacturers. By doing that, Exact Diagnostics is able to enhance patient care by ensuring the validity of diagnostic and screening test results.
Bio-Rad Laboratories, a public, California-based molecular diagnostic quality control manufacturer, acquired Exact Diagnostics in August of 2019. In its third-quarter report, it reported an acquisition it had made for $59.8 million. “Jerry and I have bosses now!” Petronis joked.
Exact Diagnostics has had office space at TechFW and the Health Science Center (HSC). It recently purchased the historic Katy Depot in the Near Southside and expects to begin operations in the fall.
How did Exact Diagnostics succeed with no investors and no business plan? The founders say focused entirely on internal capability and creating quality products. They also focused on providing the absolute best customer service. “Have intent,” Petronis said. “Have a purpose. Have a plan.”
“From first contact we knew the Exact Diagnostics team brought a lot to the table. From the science to the sales and everything in between. They had that co-founder chemistry. What we came to learn was that the selfless leadership and hustle and drive in the leadership team of EXD was boundless. Theirs is a story of putting a vision into motion and tirelessly growing. They are an excellent example of launching a high growth company with a global focus right out of the gate and it is an example others should look to follow as they prepare to launch. I have seen everyone on their team come together to achieve goals, seen the founders (continually) show that there is no project or task beneath them and seen them lead with clarity. It is no surprise to us to see the success they have experienced, and we don’t expect that to slow down. When I think of the founders of EXD I think of the Stoic philosopher Epictetus who precisely put it, “Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.” This has been evident in everything they have done since day one and can be seen today.”
– Hayden Blackburn, Executive Director at TechFW
Currently, Exact Diagnostics is supporting COVID-19 research. The company announced the launch of the SARS CoV-2 Standard and SARS CoV-2 Negative for Coronavirus (COVID-19) research testing. The SARS contain genomic DNA that allows laboratories to validate the entire process of a molecular assay that includes extraction, amplification and detection.
EXD is offering the first 200 standards (one per account) of SARS CoV-2 Standard free to laboratories across the U.S. to validate their COVID-19 assay results, which will accelerate the access to testing for the community.
At TechFW, we believe that everyone is capable of doing big things if they’re willing to work hard for them. As a startup incubator, our goal is to help grow young businesses by providing them with all the support, resources and advice they may need - but they are the ones with the talent and skills that lead them to success. We have proof that consistency and hard work can become a success story; and Exact Diagnostics is a perfect example of that.
To learn more about Exact Diagnostics, visit: http://www.exactdiagnostics.com/?mc_cid=ed2b8a9def&mc_eid=c8cd8d315d