Adam Beal’s goals were no different than other graduate students arriving at Purdue’s Krannert School of Management looking to secure an MBA.
He arrived in West Lafayette with aspirations of starting a company, but his journey took a slight detour when a colleague introduced Beal to Vibronix, a start-up focused on fighting cancer.
Beal, a 2nd year MBA student, is Vibronix’s Vice President of Finance and is responsible for financial projections, business planning, business development and strategy. The company is one of 10 finalists in a nationwide competition sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Beal was granted a U.S. patent in 2014 for an exercise machine he invented and planned to start a business based on the device, but his attention turned to Vibronix.
Vibronix’s product – MarginPAT – uses a novel technology to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy tissue in the patient during surgery in order to minimize secondary surgical procedures, save time and cut costs for patients and insurance.
“MarginPAT only takes 5-10 minutes to analyze tissue, compared to the current protocol of histopathology - which can take a week,” Beal said. “Overall our product’s performance is better than anything in the market and has the potential to improve the outcomes of breast cancer patients globally.”
Beal works closely with Dr. Pu Wang, co-founder and CTO, and two post-doc students, Lu Lan and Rui Li. Beal’s business background brings balance to the team with his ability to access the market, design business models, formulate strategy and reduce risk.
“When I joined the firm, the (Vibronix team) had already won several competitions, but didn’t have anyone with business training on their team,” Beal said. “A major challenge is that the majority of our competitors are privately held companies, so it’s difficult to find solid information. Some of the competitors are ahead of us in terms of business development, but we are close to entering the market. We’re working to close the gap.”
Beal’s journey started at Colorado State University where he studied Microbiology. He pursued an MBA with Krannert in 2014 after applying to 12 different schools.
“When I visited some of the other business schools who had offered me a scholarship, they didn’t excite me. They weren’t Purdue,” Beal said. “Purdue was attractive because it was a top tier business school with an impressive alumni network. In addition to its high achievement in business, Purdue is a leader in technology and engineering. Since I had a STEM background, Krannert’s STEM focus in MBA programs was attractive as well.”