HOW WE GOT STARTED
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Founder of Label Independent and the visionary behind Visual Assay™
Mannix was a student when the first kernel of an idea was planted for the product. In 1999, Mannix, then a graduate student at Tufts University was working in a lab on his dissertation. He dropped his laptop and watched as it broke into two pieces – the monitor and the keyboard. Not yet thinking about his broken hardware or lost data, he picked up his monitor and thought, “This is what I want in the lab – something small enough to carry around with me that allows me to document my research in real time.”
He took the monitor and walked around the lab imagining what it would be like to only need the slim, light-weight monitor.
The tablet had yet to be invented, so the idea was temporarily pushed to the side. At that point, Mannix remembered his lost data and broken hardware, freaked out, yet still managed to move on.
An entrepreneur in spirit and a scientist by education, Mannix started Label Independent, Inc. in Boston in 2008. The company provided drug discovery services for pharmaceutical and biotech companies. While overseeing his business, he realized there was a need for companies to be able to document, share and collaborate their assay research and data. At this point the tablet had been invented, and his vision of carrying around his ‘computer monitor’ in the lab to document research was beginning to become a reality.
After developing the alpha version of Visual Assay, Mannix took the platform and approached five industry thought leaders who could benefit from Visual Assay. He told himself that if three seemed even ‘remotely’ interested, he would build a company around the product. After speaking with the five contacts, every single one of them asked, “When can I get this product?” confirming Mannix’s hunch that he was onto something.