Posted by Stephanie A. Smith, Ph.D., on Fri, July 25, 2014 @ 11:00 AM
I have been asked many times how we arrived at the name Beagle Bioproducts for a company that really has nothing to do with beagles, but rather is about algae and products derived from algae. The name originated in late 2011, when I was discussing “taking the plunge,” meaning I would abandon a safe biotech industry job offer to start a business with the person that would become my co-founder, Eric Roy.
Eric had asked me if I had considered names yet, and of course I had. I rattled a list of monikers that Eric failed to appreciate, such as “Cyantific.” Eric, recognizing that he was going to have to go out to the world and raise capital using such a name, finally stopped me in the midst of an explanation of the origins (and brilliance) of Cyantific. The first thing he pointed out was that he thought it was boring (he actually yawned to drive home his point). Second, he pointed out that a business’ name really shouldn’t require technical explanation. Then, he posed the following question:
“What’s the most famous company in the world?”
“I don’t know, I guess Apple?” I replied. Steve Jobs’ passing was a recent event at the time, and ipads were taking over the mobile device world.
“I would agree with that,” he went on, “and what do apples have to do with computers?” Rattling off a few other examples, like “Yahoo” and “Google,” he suggested that instead of trying to sound smart, we needed to name our company so that people would easily remember it, associate it with positive feelings, and identify it with our personalities and the company’s personality. So he asked, “What makes you happy? What do you think people think of when they think ‘Stephanie is really happy when…’?”
“Well, my beagle, Louie, makes me happier than darn near anything else I can think of. And so did my last beagle, Mandy. She used to go to the office with me every day when I worked at Wright State. I love those hound dogs. What about Beagle Bio, or Beagle Bioproducts?”
In characteristic fashion, Eric smiled and put his hands up with his fingers spread out. “We’re done now!”