Location: Aurora, CO
Industry: Biotechnology / Food Science
*Second Year Honoree*
Despite the turbulent year of 2020, MycoTechnology, Inc. came out on top.
Jonathan Jachimiec, CFO of MycoTechnology, Inc., said he raised additional capital during the most volatile part of the year with no reduction in valuation, unlike other firms who took valuation hits as large as 60%.
“Over one third of our $48.2M Series D was raised in the second and third quarters of 2020. On top of pitching our R&D pipeline, it was equally necessary to showcase our resilience and humility. Secondly, we also were able to take a new product from ideation to commercialization in just over 90 days. This required us to mobilize every department and validate the product through our stage-gate process, ensuring the business case was there,” Jachimiec said. “Finally, we also used these unforeseen circumstances to intentionally strengthen relationships with major customers. Rather than pushing for orders, I was able to connect on a more personal level and empathize with our customers current market situation, often sharing ideas for the challenges they faced.”
He believes the extra effort put into these relationships will continue to fuel growth in the years to come.
Still, he said, the immediacy to roll-out work from home was a hard challenge.
“I had to consider logistical issues and our existing IT services that we implemented when we built out our facility just in 2019 were extremely helpful during this time. We had carefully selected IT platforms that included mobility criteria, allowing us to quickly adapt to the new norm of working from home,” Jachimiec said.
He said they managed to get 75% of their workforce remote within 2 days and the remaining 25% were considered essential workers and had to maintain a presence in the production facility.
“I took the lead for this initiative locally and was in frequent communication with our CEO in another state. Secondly, our board-approved budget for 2020 was essentially thrown out the window, less than three months into the year. When we became aware of sales trends that were not lining with expectations, I immediately worked across the company to strip all nonessential activity and spending, allowing us to extend our runway for as long as possible and presented to our board our strategic plan, cutting nearly $6M of spend out while still ensuring growth and company success. I am quite proud that we were able to achieve a significant burn reduction without furloughing or laying off a single employee.”
The past year has tested all of us, and Jachimiec said from a leadership perspective, he had to balance supporting his and his employees’ home situations, like repeated quarantines or childcare issues, while still ensuring the highest level of service to stakeholders. He added that he measures his success as a leader by the growth of his team, taking pride in seeing the organization accomplish goals that push the boundaries of what once believed was impossible.
“We could not stop living just because we all began working from home; our business would not have survived,” he said. “Impactful, lasting change requires buy-in from your team. We all saw in 2020 that change is inevitable. It may be better to execute with 80% of the information rather than waiting for 99% of the data, when the world around us is changing so rapidly,” he said. “Pivoting to take advantage of less-than-ideal situations is essential.”
He added, “More than ever, a leader needs to lead from the front, not push from the back.”
"More than ever, a leader needs to lead from the front, not push from the back."