Biotech Startup Stories: Echo Laboratories

By Leah Cannon, Ph.D.

Echo Laboratories has developed the world’s first hybrid microscope that can easily convert from an upright to an inverted configuration. I sat down with Echo Lab’s CEO, Eugene Cho, to find out how he turned an innovative idea into reality.

How are your microscopes different from what’s out there?
The Revolve is different in three ways. Currently, users have to choose between an inverted or upright microscope based on their application needs. We offer the first microscope that offers the versatility of both. We also replaced the eyepieces with an iPad tablet to view and capture images. With the Revolve you can share images wirelessly and directly upload your data to various cloud platforms. No other system offers this.

Who invented your technology?
Our team.

Do you have co-founders?
We have a founding team.

What did you look for in your founding team?
I looked for amazing product developers as well as a world-class sales team. Often times companies focus primarily on their engineering. What differentiates us, is the unique combination of both.

Do you have outside funding?
Yes, we have raised $3 million to date, mostly from angel investors.

Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs who are looking for funding?
You have to have an incredible product with significant traction and be able to tell your story. Prioritize getting market acceptance all the way through.

Is your product on the market?
Yes, we launched our revolve microscope this year and generated over $1.5M in sales from our first two production runs. Our target markets are research, biotech and pharma. Our early customers include Stanford, Pfizer, Columbia, Yale and the National Institute of Health (NIH).

What has been your biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge has been the strategic timing of our R&D, procurement, and product release.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the whole life science industry?
While the U.S. is the leader in this industry, we also have very strong regulations here. We need to be conscious of international markets with less stringent regulations where product development pipelines are faster.

If you would like to tell your Biotech Startup Story, please contact Leah at lcannon@lifesciencenetwork.com.