MENU

You are here

Entrepreneurship News

May 2, 2014

Linda Chase-Jenkins: Developing Wearable Technology


Tell us about your company and what is unique about it?
My husband who is a Neurosurgeon was constantly telling me about the increase in devastating sports injuries that he was seeing in his patients. We knew that they could be prevented or at least reduced with the help of smart, technologically advanced products that we weren’t seeing in the market. We decided to engineer a line that would help prevent major injuries to the spine, head and neck, and thus Neurotect was born.

Our products focus on innovative and wearable safety technology that protect from major sports injuries. Our patent technology is embedded into stretchable materials that easily conform to body shapes without inhibiting movement and immediately work to prevent injury when needed. What makes it even more unique is that the technology does not compromise comfort and is lightweight, giving it the ability to ‘kick in’ (or change from a flexible material to a rigid brace) just before the moment of impact.

What has been your biggest “A-Ha!” moment to date? How has it changed your business?
Like any entrepreneurial venture, the key is focus. Particularly since everything takes longer than you think.  We got sidetracked a bit on our business direction pursuing new applications and ultimately trying to do too much in the market all at once.  It’s so easy to do that in a start-up as everyone is excited about what’s possible and there are so many ideas and opportunities. However, as Tom Peters says, ‘stick to the knitting’! We still listen to lots of ideas but we are more actively fixated on keeping our focus and minimizing distraction.

How did the Columbia Business School classes you took shape your business/management approach?  
The biggest influence from Columbia Business School on my business and management approach was learning to collaborate and negotiate in team settings.  It’s very tempting as an entrepreneur to want to do everything yourself but Columbia taught me to harness different perspectives and views, whether they are from team members, partnerships, friends or potential customers — it is ultimately the most effective way to develop your product.  Particularly given that at Neurotect, we rely on multi-disciplinary skills and expertise for understanding and designing the best solutions.  Our team is small, but we seek out advice and collaboration from friends and through networking with experts in their fields. Columbia was instrumental is bringing that learning to life.

The Columbia Alumni Connection: How have you used it? How do you stay involved?
I have a core group of business school friends that I have stayed close with since graduating.  We recently attended our 20th Class Reunion this past fall – time flies.  Being a Columbia alumna gives me instant recognition in the business community and a shared connection among fellow graduates.  I am also a member of several Linked In Columbia Business School groups where there are plenty of interesting discussions and networking opportunities.  You never know who is going to have a similar issue that they are dealing with at the same time.  And especially recently, Columbia has been great at reaching out and encouraging ways to get and stay involved.  For me, this has included participating in the 20th Reunion Committee, development meetings and events, and being connected to the Entrepreneurship Center.  I definitely plan on using the resources of the Entrepreneurship Center much more going forward.

What advice would you give to a graduating Columbia student with entrepreneurial aspirations?
There is no perfect path to entrepreneurship.   I pursued the more traditional path after graduation and went into management consulting.  After 17 years and millions of frequent flier miles later, I became an entrepreneur in a completely unrelated industry.  For me, it was finally the right time.  I’m grateful for what I learned in the consulting industry and especially for what I could then apply to my business.  Sometimes it’s helpful to have some traditional experience and of course, some savings to help get you started.
 

Summer Fellowship Program

The Summer Fellowship Program enables MBA students to contribute management expertise to growing startup organizations.

Apply by April 6th>

 

Spring 2015 Events

March 13, 2015

Columbia Startup Lab - Summer
Admission Decisions

March 19, 2015

Entrepreneur in Residence Workshop - Asha Saxena
"Big Data"
12:30-2:00PM, Uris Hall 142 - Register

March 23-31, 2015

Columbia Startup Lab - WeWork
Interviews

March 26, 2015

Entrepreneur in Residence Workshop - Barbara Roberts
12:30-2:00PM, Uris Hall 307 - Register

April 3, 2015

Columbia Startup Lab - WeWork
Deliberations, Alumni Center, 302 Kluge Room

April 5, 2015

Spring Venture Showcase
Applications Due By 11:59PM

April 6, 2015

Columbia Startup Lab - WeWork
Decisions Announced

April 6, 2015

Summer Fellowship Program
Applications Due By 11:59PM - Apply Now

April 9, 2015

David Rose ' 83 Investor Pitch Workshop
12:30-2:00PM, Uris Hall 331- Register

April 16, 2015

Entrepreneur in Residence Workshop - Kevin Quinn '91
"Spring Training for Entrepreneurs: Avoiding Unforced Errors"
12:30-2:00PM, Warren Hall 209 - Register

April 20, 2015

Spring Venture Showcase
6:00-9:00PM, Columbia Startup Lab-WeWork SoHo West, 69 Charlton Street

April 22, 2015

NY TechDay
10:00-5:30PM, Pier 92

April 23-24, 2015

#Startup Columbia Festival

April 24, 2015

Summer Fellowship Program
Selected Students Announced

April 27, 2015

Entrepreneurial Greenhouse Program
Annual Alumni Reception
6:30-9:00PM

May 5, 2015

Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Columbia
Demo Event
6:30-9:00PM, Morgan Stanley

May 20, 2015

Columbia University Commencement

The Marketplace

Browse businesses from our community of entrepreneurs.

Visit

 

Join the Mailing List

Learn more about the program by subscribing to our email list.

Sign Up

ie@columbia

Innovation and Entrepreneurship @ Columbia provides a platform to develop new ideas by leveraging the cross-functional capabilities and knowledge of the University at large.

VISIT IE@COLUMBIA >