No matter the field a startup is, there are always challenges on the road to success that need to be surpassed. This is why on Mobiteam Top Interviews we reveal the most promising business models and people behind it.
From founders, executives, to top managers – the stories behind these startups can be told by few people.
A startup model we found to be impressive is Ospin GmbH – The leader in modular bioprocessing. And for this Top Interview, we invited here Nina Buffi – CTO at Ospin GmbH
#1 Nina Buffi – Interview with Mobiteam
Thank you for accepting our invitation, please Tell us a little about yourself. Your background and how did you come to this point?
As a kid I never knew what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. But I knew two things: I wanted to change the world and I loved LEGO. So when during high school I visited the microengineering department at EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, Switzerland) and I saw some robots I thought: “I also want to build these things!”.
After my Bachelor’s degree, I decided to pursue a Master’s in biomedical engineering, because I had the feeling the combination of engineering and biology is really cool. And I was right: when I was doing my Master’s thesis at UBC, in Vancouver, and I had to develop a device to count cells, I realized how much I loved to provide technical answers to biology questions. I kept going in this direction also during my PhD, but my enthusiasm cooled down because I had the impression my work had an impact only on a tiny fraction of the world.
After my PhD I tried to follow an old passion: writing. I followed my (at that time) boyfriend to Berlin and for almost three years I spent my days putting on paper a novel idea and writing articles for different newspapers. However, at some point I started to get tired with the fact that I almost didn’t have enough money to live on and I was missing engineering. So I asked a friend of mine who was working in a tissue engineering company in Berlin if he could help me with providing me some contacts. Two days later he tells me two guys came to his company presenting their startup. “They do something with bioreactors, you like this combination of engineering and biology, right?”. I sent them an e-mail and after a few months I started working at OSPIN as an intern. From the very beginning I thought that the OSPIN idea could have changed the (biotech) world and that motivated me to work extremely hard. After two years I became OSPIN’s CTO.
When and how did you start “startuping”? Is there an interesting story here?
As you read in the previous question, I started startuping by chance. At OSPIN I found a dynamic and exciting environment, where I believe my childhood dream of changing the world can become true. I’m not interested in earning a lot of money or in having a secure 9 to 5 job: I need adrenaline and I want to leave a trace behind me through my work. Here I have the opportunity to do so.
What do you think you’d be doing right now if Ospin didn’t exist?
Maybe I would be still working on my novel (I want to complete it someday), hoping it would make many people think and see some aspects of their lives under another perspective.
What’s your technique for staying productive throughout the day?
I give myself a time slot for finishing a task. For example, I told myself I have to finish answering these questions by 00:30. I’m already late..
How do you define “being successful”?
For me, success if freedom. Freedom to choose where to live, freedom to learn, to be surrounded by the people I like, freedom to transform ideas into the business, freedom to choose my own path.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I play tennis – I ́m in a team and we play in a league – and I read novels. Recently, I read a very good one: “A little life”, from Hanya Yanagihara.
What are your recommendations for a startup novice?
Find a mission you love and work very hard on it.
Thank you Nina, it has been a pleasure to have you here at Mobiteam. It was indeed an inspiring and useful experience, and your story and recommendations for sure will help others to succeed in their businesses & life.
Mobiteam Top Interviews blog, aims to help startups and companies to increase their online presence and acquire new audience. If you think your story is worthy and interesting enough to be told on Mobiteam, don’t hesitate to contact us – It’s free