SkyTeam Spotlight with Inkspace Imaging
SkyDeck Intern, Kevin Ley, had the opportunity to sit down with Balthazar Lechene, Inkspace Imaging Co-Founder. Balthazar is from France, attended Ecole Polytechnique for his undergraduate degree, holds a Masters in Engineering from Cornell, and a PhD from Université Grenoble. InkSpace makes comfortable patient customized Magnetic Resonance Imaging surface receive coils that help MRI operators decrease their costs by improving patient comforts and the speed of exams. Balthazar discussed Inkspace’s formation and their journey to SkyDeck.
Why did you decide to do a startup?
Two reasons. The first was personal. Since I was an undergraduate and all the way through my Ph.D, I wanted to create value in the world with scientific knowledge and through developing new technology. I was on a quest to make something valuable. Second, as a team, we wanted to share the value of our research with the world and add positivity back to it.
What are the problems that you are solving?
Two problems: one is that MRI exams fail 10 percent of the time and the second is that they are uncomfortable for the patient. We tackle both of these with our own product called an MRI antenna that makes it as comfortable as possible and gets the best image possible. Simply, we improve the process of the MRI scan from both the patient and operators’ perspective.
Has the idea changed since you’ve started?
Yes. The product has not changed, but our understanding of what people value in the real world. When creating our product, we realized we had to be aware of the political and economic impact it would have on society.
How did you come together as a team?
We met as coworkers at UC Berkeley. Two professors and two post doctorates. The two professors initiated the idea, then they hired a PhD student to do research. After that is when I joined. Since then, we have stuck together because we work well as a team.
What is the biggest challenge you faced?
Every day is a new challenge. New questions pop up that I didn’t even know was going to be a question. Everyday is just figuring out how to do things and addressing those problems.
Do you have a team motto?
Work hard, be nice to all, and take joy in every step that you do.
Did you ever consider working for an employer instead of being a Founder of a startup?
No, because what I am currently doing is what I am passionate about.
Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Solve hard problems that create goodness in the world. Be critical of yourself and your idea.
Can you share a fun fact about your product?
Our MRI scans have dinosaurs that say “rawr”.
by Kevin Ley, SkyIntern