Tell us about yourself?
Timmy Chou’s corporate experience includes serving as a Chief Financial Officer, Controller, and CEO, as well as a management consultant for numerous companies.
He is a founding partner of Spectra Consulting Group, where for more than 25 years he has performed consulting on growth issues in tech, life science and consumer product startups, including specialized consulting in strategic planning, cash management, and capital structures.
He is a serial entrepreneur and currently serves as an officer of several operating public and private companies and sits on various Boards as a director.
He has participated in architecting numerous capital structures and has developed strategies for development-stage enterprises that have produced significant debt and/or equity investment
What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?
Probably the biggest misconception I see these days is that people think that great ideas are the most important thing, when in reality there are numerous great ideas, but what is far more important is execution.
No one buys ideas today, they buy markets.
If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?
Never take a job for money, take a job for the experience and exposure and moxie you will be able to obtain, and as soon as you learn all you can, move on!
There are many book-smart graduates, but there are far fewer that have real world experience and expertise in execution and boot-strapping in the real world, fewer still that have experience understanding the interests and incentives key to enrolling a broad-based constituency of stake-holders in the success of a startup venture.
What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?
For me I have always recognized that I will do better and succeed more if I think of myself as always learning and evolving through my interactions with outstanding and brilliant founders and executives.
I strive not to “stand out” but to collaborate. To elicit the trust and willingness of amazing people and to seek to facilitate their dreams and accomplish common goals.
What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?
Listen a great deal. Ask numerous questions. Seek consensus and consent. Look to build 360 degree wins.
Hire slowly, fire quickly. Be direct. Define risk-managed expectations and then exceed them.
Never accommodate dishonesty. Always ask, “what am I missing,” because it’s not what you know that is a problem, it’s what you don’t know.
Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?
Opioids are the most widely prescribed drugs for moderate to severe pain.
However they are plagued by serious side effects, including euphoria (which leads to abuse and addiction), withdrawal, constipation, and death from overdose.
Millions of Americans are addicted to opioids, and most of them (approximately 80%) initially became addicted after taking prescription opioids.
The CDC estimates that the opioid crisis costs the US economy more than $ 1.3 Trillion / year, including lost productivity as well as direct costs, in addition to the 100,000+ overdose deaths just in 2021.
Billions are spent every year on rehab & regulation, very little is spent on trying to find a permanent solution, but a permanent solution is what Phoenix PharmaLabs is advancing: a new class of powerful pain-killing opiates without addiction, without any euphoric “high”, and without fatal side effects.
Our lead compound is entering Phase 1 human trials and represents a ground-breaking chance to solve the problem of addiction and death and safe pain relief, permanently for the world.
Where do you see your business in five years?
In five years, the Company’s lead compounds will be advancing to Phase 3 human trials, either sponsored by Phoenix, or more likely as an out-licensed compound by a larger global Pharma partner.
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?
The largest challenges faced by drug discovery companies developing next-generation pain therapies is the cost of scientific and manufacturing development, and clinical trials.
Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?
The Company has had many. It’s most recent was the award by the U.S. National Institute of Health of an $8.5 million Grant for the advancement of our lead compound into Phase 1 clinical trials, guaranteeing study financing for at least three years.
How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?
I have personally been a startup professional for almost 30 years and at this point I have far more opportunities presented than I have time to pursue.
What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?
There is nothing more fun than sitting around a table at lunch with brilliant people, scribbling notes on napkins, and two years later there is a real operating company, with a cool value proposition, employees and customers.
You can work for a paycheck, but you could also build an asset you own a significant part of at the same time.
And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?
I’ve had the most excellent career as a founder and startup expert, and I have had the pleasure of seeing many of the ventures I have started or advised become successful, and I am planning on continuing to work to see brilliant founders see success, and to be able to be a part of bringing paradigm-shifting technologies to the marketplace.
In the case of Phoenix PharmaLabs, the strength of the science strongly suggests that the Company will be able to deliver a powerful pain reliever, 100x the strength of morphine, that can’t get people high, that can’t kill them, and finally the long human nightmare of addiction and death just because people need pain relief can be over for good.