Five Questions for … Austin Biotech Entrepreneur Laura Bosworth

Austin—A few minutes of conversation have made up many of the pivot points in Laura Bosworth’s professional life.

Bosworth is the founder and CEO of TeVido BioDevices, an Austin regenerative medicine company aiming to use 3D printing technology to construct a more natural nipple in breast reconstruction. Her path to entrepreneurship came, she says, from a conversation with a former boss at Dell. He mentioned to Bosworth that her background as both an engineer and an experienced executive in strategy and product development is the sort of perspective novice startup founders need.

“It’s one of those conversations where I get these epiphanies,” she says. “They have no idea how it changes my life.”

One of the founders she worked with was Thomas Boland, who had developed TeVido’s technology at the University of Texas at El Paso. (Bosworth, a West Texas native, is an alumna of the university.)

The pair founded TeVido in 2011. In addition to nipple reconstruction, the company announced last month that it was looking to apply its technology for treatment of vitiligo, a skin condition characterized by the appearance of white patches on parts of the body.

In our latest “Five Questions for … , ” Bosworth speaks about confidence gained from an unstructured childhood, embracing mistakes, and mini-vacations on Lake Travis. Here is a lightly edited transcript of our conversation.

Xconomy: How do you relax outside of work when you want to tune out the noise?

Laura Bosworth: I have probably a kind of variety of things. The daily activity is watch a bit of TV. For going to sleep, I have found I like to read, but I have to read a novel. If I read anything that’s a technical paper or something where you learn, I’m not relaxed and I stay awake. Even if I read something like Cosmo or Glamour and I’m reading about fashion, that keeps me awake, thinking, ‘Oh dear, maybe that dress I’m wearing is no longer fashionable. I shouldn’t wear that tomorrow!’

It has to be nothing that’s engaging me with the real world, so I have to read a novel and totally escape into somebody else’s life and somebody else’s problems. That’s one of my escapes, and I do that every night.

I still play soccer, which is great exercise. I love to sail. We have a sailboat on Lake Travis. Just getting it out there, getting out on the water, really helps. It’s like a mini-vacation for a few hours.

X: If you could change just one regulation that affects your industry, what would it be? And what could be the unintended consequences of making that change?

LB: The greatest challenge in this space is the FDA. We’re using an approach that’s used outside the U.S. and practiced quite a bit on thousands of patients. There’s lots of data and articles in peer review journals. It seems to me to have been proven safe. We’re trying to make it more—the manufacturing—higher quality. You could argue that it’s safer. But it’s an agency mindset. What … Next Page »

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