People of Landscape - Tom Collings, Co-founder of Kalium Health

Tom is the Co-founder of Kalium Health which aims to provide real-world electrolyte data to transform the management of cardiorenal diseases. He is based in Cambridge.

How long have you been a Co-ounder for?

3 years.

Are you a first-time or serial Founder?

First time.

What's your backstory. How did you come to be a Founder?

I’m an engineer at heart, so I can’t help trying to fix problems. After helping countless startups and corporates turn great ideas into successful products I wanted the challenge of building a business to do exactly that. Cambridge, with its combination of technology, early stage investment and entrepreneurial network, was the obvious place to do it.

What has been the highlight of your Founder career so far?

Easy, I get to do what I love every day! My passion is developing ways to improve the health and lifestyle of everyday people. I am fortunate to be surrounded by a smart, creative team of experts in their field. While I focus on growing the business, they are the ones breaking new scientific ground, figuring out how to innovate within clinical pathways and developing and testing products.

What has been the lowlight?

I don’t have lowlights… I am one of life’s optimists.

How did you come across Landscape?

I got an early invite through a connection at an accelerator. Landscape has become a unique and powerful source of diverse insights and founder knowledge-sharing.

What is your biggest challenge right now?

Growing our team and setting up new facilities without slowing down the pace of our development.

What's the biggest mistake you’ve made so far and what did you learn from it?

It’s hard to pick out a mistake because we haven’t had any disasters so far. However, we’ve faced unexpected delays to most of our key suppliers due to Covid-19 and Brexit. We have learnt to work around supply chain issues by running development cycles in parallel and avoiding sole suppliers where possible. It’s made us more resilient.

What piece of advice would you give to other people in similar position as to you?

Team, team, team. It sounds like a cliche when people say their team is their greatest asset, but funnily enough it turns out to be true!

What is the most frustrating thing you find about the startup fundraising ecosystem?

In our business, success comes with hardware development, regulatory approvals and a degree of patience - things that not all VC funds are designed for. We’ve learnt to spend our time with investors who genuinely share our conviction in the healthtech space.

What you would like to see change in the startup fundraising ecosystem within the next 5 years?

In the UK we are surrounded by startups at the forefront of their fields - in synthetic biology, quantum computing and fintech, for example. I hope they can blaze a trail for more plentiful local venture capital to help more companies go from seed funding to commercial.

Tom is the Co-founder of Kalium Health. His LinkedIn profile can be found here via which he is happy to be contacted.

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