The Interview Series: 006 - Jimmy Huang , Taiwan
Jimmy Huang is founder and CEO of CMA Continuous Glucose Monitoring System
Jimmy's background is in IoT and hardware/software integration, specifically working with cloud technology and data analysis. He worked as a manager in MediaTek for twelve years designing IC chips. While there, the heart rate monitor chip project came across his desk and changed his career path. Jimmy took his idea to a close friend who happened to be a doctor and has been developing it ever since.
What does your Company do? / What is your Project about?
Our company is developing a multi-biomarker diabetes health monitoring system for early disease detection and prevention. Diabetes is the world’s fastest growing chronic disease, affecting 450 million people worldwide. Traditional glucose meters require diabetics to prick their finger several times per day to test their blood sugar, an ineffective and painful and method that causes many patients to have poor control of glucose levels. This can lead to a myriad of health complications, including coma and even death. Our device continuously measures several key biomarkers for diabetes and its complications to give a more complete view of patient health. This technology allows us to detect serious diabetes complications early so patients can receive better long-term treatment.
Why are you doing this, what is driving you?
I worked for a long time developing IC chips for several different projects. Then, one project came across my desk that really inspired me. It was a project to develop a chip for a heart rate monitor. I realized that this kind of technology could be applied to other severe health conditions and I immediately thought of my grandfather, who had diabetes. Developing this technology has given me a real sense of purpose, knowing that it could potentially save lives.
What is your background? How did you end up doing this?
My background is in IoT and hardware/software integration, specifically working with cloud technology and data analysis. I worked as a manager in MediaTek for twelve years designing IC chips. While there, the heart rate monitor chip project came across my desk and changed my career path. I took my idea to a close friend who happens to be a doctor and have been developing it ever since.
What does success look like?
In my opinion, success should be measured in the positive effect a business has on its customers, shareholders and society as a whole. I will truly feel successful the day someone tells me how our product changed their life.
What is your biggest challenge that you have to overcome to make your company/project a success?
For any medical device or pharmaceutical startup, the largest hurdle is regulatory approval. In each country, we need to conduct clinical trials and receive FDA approval, a process that takes many years and millions of dollars. While our initial testing meets international standards, there is still a long road ahead.
Do you have time to do anything else? What do you do outside work to keep sane?
Trying to get this company and product up and running keeps me pretty busy, but when I catch the unusual break, I like to go for a jog to let off some steam.
What would be your biggest tip to aspiring entrepreneurs? Don't be afraid to talk to people about your idea and learn more about the market you are trying to enter. I think I spent too much time closely guarding what I was working and it was hard for me to trust others. This led to delays, wasted time and money. Of course, you need to protect your intellectual property, but getting ideas and opinions from many different sources can completely change the direction you take, usually for the better.
And finally… what keeps you awake at night?
Thinking about all the things we still need to get done. I lay in bed every night drawing out a mental timeline of the next week, month and year.