Spotlight: Serena Oppenheim

Evolvher_NowCureMe_GRP_9153.jpg

SERENA OPPENHEIM

Founder,Now Cure Me– London

Serena recently launched Now Cure Me, which is aiming to make alternative remedies from around the world accessible for all. Having suffered herself from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which had her sleeping up to 20 hours a day, she always knew she wanted to help others learn how to heal themselves. As a Columbia Business School graduate she was able to build her company while working out of their Startup Lab, but soon after she moved her company back home to London. Read below to hear her advice on building a company in the U.K., blending remedies and science, and her advice to future entrepreneurs.

WeWork_Lab
WeWork_Lab

How Now Cure Me is leveraging science:

"We’re building out an amazing database of experts for Now Cure Me and currently have 40+ experts. All of these are experts in different health and wellness fields, such as doctors, nutritionists, midwives, and so on. What we’re trying to do is build a database of cures, remedies, and alternative therapy so that people can find different ‘cure’ options for different health issues but where we could ultimately work with scientists to potentially prove out some of these cures. A couple of our interns are biochemistry majors, recent graduates in nutrition, and more who are interested in going into health in some way. What they’ve been doing is researching for our articles and going through scientific journals to see what research is already being done to help prove that these cures work."

Columbia_Sign
Columbia_Sign

Advice for students interested in building companies outside of the U.S.:

"If you’re going to start a company it’s not a one or two year process, it’s a seven to ten year process at the minimum. You’ve got to really think where do you want to be in seven to ten years. I made the decision to go back to the U.K. after one year here because I knew I had a more natural network in the U.K. and that in seven to ten years time I wanted to be there - that’s where my family is, that’s where my support network is. Entrepreneurship is really tough, fun, interesting but tough. It’s lonely, it’s relentless, and so you have to be where you feel happiest and most comfortable. But the key thing I would say in starting a company in a new country is network. It’s not just network for advisors and mentors, it’s network to help you build it, to help you hire, to give you advice, partnerships, and you’ve got to do that where your network is strongest."

Website
Website

On the difference between the New York and London startup scenes:

"I was very nervous about moving back to London. I was lucky enough to be invited by the U.K government to be a U.K. trading industry entrepreneur so I came back having that help. In London there are a lot of tax breaks for investors and entrepreneurs. The government is seeing what more they can do help tech in the U.K., and they’re looking at everything from visas, to investors, and hiring. There’s a real sense that London is on the verge of doing something big. Google Ventures opened an office last year and I know a couple of the big investors are potentially looking to move into London. So actually if you don’t want to be in San Francisco or New York or some of the other great tech hubs in the U.S. London really is actually an exciting place to be right now."

Wall_Logo
Wall_Logo

On the hardest and best parts of being an entrepreneur:

"I think one of the hardest things that people need to know if they’re going to go down this route is it’s relentless. It’s very hard to switch off because at the end of the day you’re putting your entire life into this. With entrepreneurship it’s your life. You’re always on, you’re always selling, you’re always being excited, and you have to be because there is no one else. It’s your company, it’s your responsibility, and the only way it’s going to succeed, especially at the beginning, is if you are driving it forward. So it’s just relentless. And that’s the worst thing but in certain ways it’s the best thing because you are doing something you love."

Startup_Lab
Startup_Lab

Advice to her high school self:

"One is really don’t worry, things have a weird way of panning out. I’m actually fairly dyslexic and I had no clue what my career and my future was going to hold. But at the end of the day if you’re determined to make something happen it will happen. The big thing to realize is that everyone is faking it until they make it. The realization is you might not feel that you should apply for that job or that internship because you don’t have the skills or the experience, but maybe you can learn on the job. If someone says “no” that’s the worst that can happen. Just really have no fear, be bold, and go for it."

Now Cure Me is now live! Be sure to check out the site and add your own remedies at NowCure.Me.

Photos byGuarionex Rodriguez, Jr.