During the recent StartmeupHK Festival 2021’s Asia Healthcare Innovation Summit, we received expert insights from Prenetics’ CEO, Danny Yeung, on his entrepreneurial experiences and his predictions for the future of healthcare.
After founding 3 other companies- Groupon, SXE Ventures, and Fave– serial entrepreneur Danny Yeung wanted to create something impactful, providing something of value to the individual. Realising that the medical industry has not been disrupted by technology, Danny consulted with multiple healthcare professionals, and decided to co-found the leading genetic testing and digital health company in Southeast Asia, Prenetics.
After a genetics analysis, Danny received results that he has higher risk of colon cancer compared to the average individual, even without the family history of colon cancer. Wanting to take charge of his own health, he then started to improve his lifestyle by dieting and exercising. Which became Prenetics’ slogan of “to give everyone the power to be in control of their own health.” Danny successfully launched CircleDNA along with Barry Gnome, to provide at-home genetic testing kits for cancer and disease detection in 2014.
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a lot of businesses to shift their models, and with Prenetics, it inspired Danny to switch to another route of genetic testing. Since many do not want to leave their home to take a test at a hospital, Danny took this as inspiration and created the first affordable and accessible at home Covid-19 test kits. Since January, the test kits have become the key providers in covid testing on the behalf of the Hong Kong government and issue 30,000 tests daily. Within 3 – 4 months of launching its first at home Covid-19 test kits, Prenetics has processed over 3 million kits in the UK and Hong Kong. Prenetics works closely with both the Hong Kong government and the UK government, to provide private organisations with the ability to resume their workforce by conducting frequent testing to safeguard their employees and workers.
When creating a new business, it is often very risky, especially since Danny had no healthcare background at the time of his founding Prenetics. This is why he devoted 100% of his time to researching and surrounding himself with healthcare experts to guide him. Prenetics started with 11 employees and now has reached 500 employees globally, creating jobs even during the pandemic, hiring more than 300 full time and 1,000 part time employees.
The Future of Medicine
Danny aspires to expand further into the US, hoping that with the increase in individuals taking the vaccine, travelling can resume once again. He foresees a future in which vaccinations and testing will be complementary to one another.
Advice for Startups
His advice for raising funds is to work hard in finding the right investor who understands your industry and business, whilst also finding a unique selling proposition for why your company is different. He also strongly suggests finding a strong team to execute your vision.
Danny believes that with the overall trend of people wanting to be more proactive with their health and lifestyle, the future of healthcare will be changing dynamically, becoming more accelerated, and digitized.
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