Today, we’re bringing you a fascinating conversation we had with Jonathan Cohen, the founder and CEO of our recently recommended company 20/20 GeneSystems.
20/20 focuses on reducing cancer mortality worldwide through early detection. It has pioneered a novel approach of continuous machine learning using large data sets of medical signs that can be accurately measured – known as biomarkers – alongside clinical factors such as age, gender and smoking history. Looking at all this data together significantly improves the ability to diagnose cancer earlier and begin treating it.
Andy Gordon: Just to recap, how did your recent raise go?
Jonathan Cohen: We were very pleased. It was a lot of work. But when we set out to do this, we thought it would be worth the effort – and not only because of the money we thought we could raise, which, by the way, was $1.07 million, the maximum permitted under current SEC rules related to Regulation Crowdfunding (Reg. CF).
AG: You had other goals in mind?
JC: From the beginning, we approached crowdfunding as much more than just a financing tool. We thought it would be a way to identify early adopters and ambassadors who could spread the word about our early cancer detection technology.
AG: And it worked out to your satisfaction?
JC: Absolutely. We issued vouchers for more than 1,000 of our tests during the fundraising campaign. These are investors and soon-to-be customers. They’ll be telling their friends, family and hopefully medical professionals about our blood tests. Another nearly 1,000 people also invested.
We gained not only a war chest but also an army of exactly 1,943 investors to serve as our champions. We think this is an undeniably important aspect of what crowdfunding brings to the table.
AG: Before we get too far ahead of ourselves… Since you mentioned your tests, exactly what tests are you offering?
JC: 20/20 develops blood tests with machine learning algorithms for the early detection of cancers. We’re in the final stages of being able to offer OneTEST to help identify several deadly cancers at earlier, treatable stages.
AG: When do you think it’ll be ready?
JC: We hope by April or May. We’re working very hard to make it happen by then, but it might be a little later.
AG: What exactly is left to be done?
JC: Mostly nailing down how the blood draw will take place. Initially, it’ll probably be done by the patient’s own doctor. We think we can get a national blood testing outfit to take this task over in the not-too-distant future. We have good reason to be optimistic on this front. But right now, I can’t divulge the details of our progress.
AG: No problem. It’s a very exciting time for you… and a very critical time. If nothing else, you have 1,000 pre-orders to fulfill.
JC: Yes, it’s keeping us busy, as is making plans for our next raise, which will be under Regulation A+.
AG: Our Members are familiar with Reg. A+. Several of our recent recommendations have been Reg. A+ fundraisers, including StartEngine and DSTLD.
JC: Well, we had a very successful Reg. CF raise. From the research we’ve done, it’s a good indicator of doing well in a Reg. A+ raise.
AG: Could you talk a little more about the success you’ve enjoyed in your Reg. CF raise?
JC: Sure. In reaching the maximum raise of $1.07 million, we became only the second medical technology firm to do so.
JC: Not only that, we’re now listed as one of the “Top 20 Regulation Crowdfunding Campaigns of All Time” by Crowdfund Capital Advisors. By the way, our campaign was hosted on Indiegogo’s equity crowdfunding platform, MicroVentures.
AG: Of course. We’re very familiar with MicroVentures and its hard-charging CEO, Bill Clark. What made your campaign so successful, in your opinion?
JC: It was in no small part thanks to your members, for which I’m very appreciative. I’ve told you, but let me repeat this directly to your members…
We’re building a major medical company. If we accomplish our goals – both financial and commercial – we will change the paradigm of early cancer detection. What that means for our shareholders and your members is the potential for an outstanding return.
AG: Well, I’m a big supporter of your company and the potential investment returns it represents for our members.
JC: Thank you, Andy, for allowing me to bring your Members up to speed on our latest plans and accomplishments.
AG: You’re welcome, Jonathan.