Q&A  | 

Pol Cervera discusses the impact of tech transfer


Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Collider combines the strengths of science and business in order to transfer laboratory research to the market and society. Pol Cervera is the co-founder and COO of Exheus, a biotech start-up that created a unique genetic test (RNA) to improve people's performance, health and nutrition. He talked to us about the process of going from MVP to his highly in-demand product with help from The Collider’s formula.

As co-founder and COO at Exheus, please explain what your job entails.

The name Exheus comes from combining the first two letters in the phrase ‘Expression of Health for Us’.


Basically, I am everywhere. Whenever there is an issue – something needs to be fixed or needs improving – I am there. I’m also developing the business with Teresa, Exheus CEO. We are working to increase connections with the correct ecosystem and other start-ups with corporates while upgrading the value chain for stakeholders.

How do you split work with the CEO?

Teresa and I work well together and divide our roles based on our strengths. Teresa not only has a scientific background, but also has a lot of business experience, so she is good at dealing with different investors and stakeholders. My strength is marketing strategies, communications and business development.

Why did you pivot from your initial MVP to your current products?

We went through various stages with The Collider. Initially, we did not even have an MVP. It was science based on research but nothing tangible. We started by looking at all the biomarkers because we had a lot of information from more than 22,000 genes. We were dividing and clustering information in order to create the first MVP Report.


We’ve since evolved the product to an automated process. Exheus analyses how genes are expressed in one specific moment of your life through RNA analysis and AI. We make recommendations that help people reach their optimum health level and well-being.

What did you lack the most in the deep tech ecosystem?

I needed to make the concepts easier for people to understand. Sometimes, tech can seem insurmountable but it is the scientific approach. We need to bridge the gap between the user experience and the scientific experience to make it feasible for everyone. Only then can we create something of value for both customers and corporations.

How did you jump from B2B to B2C with deep tech and what were the main challenges you encountered when moving to B2C?

Our approach is exactly the opposite. We started with B2C and will go to B2B. We decided on this strategy because for us, it’s really useful to understand the final customer. So we went directly with our e-commerce to final customers using a B2C strategy. Now all this knowledge, information and feedback allows us to create products for B2B.

Could you talk about combining different research groups from different universities to create a spinoff? How is it more difficult than just one?

In my opinion, it’s all about people. It doesn’t matter how many different solutions there are. Connecting with people who you know, like, and can easily work with makes your job easy. Otherwise, the process is complicated.

Could you share what's next in your development? Tell us your plans.

We have expanded to products related to obesity and diabetes to reduce the rates of these chronic disorders. We are doing an observational study to bring validation in this field. The next step will be creating a clinical study with products. Also, we are working with subscription models because it’s not a test that people do once in a lifetime or once a year. You can take an RNA twice or even more times to track your health status. Our goal is to generate these subscription models with more than one test, perhaps for a monthly fee.

Why are initiatives like The Collider important?

The Collider’s formula is invaluable. It’s a model that’s probably more common in the United States than here in Spain. We are getting traction with more of these product models appearing on the market. It makes total sense here where we’re an EU leader in science and technology. Creating this connection between both areas creates value for the final customer.

What is the importance of the tech transfer? What opportunities does it present to new start-ups?

I can talk in general terms. I think tech transfer is useful, especially in this fast-paced world. We need the combined strengths of scientists and business people to change the world. Business people and scientists are like puzzle pieces that, when fitted together, reveal clear visions and strategies that will positively impact society and the economy.

Who has been a source of inspiration to you over the course of your career?

My coach when I was young, and also my father. I remember both telling me that when you are training, you can try anything; you can play and have fun. When you are playing a match, you have to score. The same principle applies to what I do now.


You’re validating, you’re doing an MVP, then you put all that training into practice. You have to bring your technology to market. You have to score. This quote explains it perfectly: “You don’t have to be good all the time, but you have to be good when it counts.”

What quote do you live and work by?

I really like the quote, ‘luck is an attitude’. You don’t have time to wait for luck; you have to go to the streets to find it. Luck doesn’t care if you’re poor or rich, if you’re yellow, black, or white. Luck is an attitude. Find it.

What has been the most difficult or rewarding lesson learned in your career?

Good things in life take time. We are living in a society where you can get whatever you want in no time. Be patient and resilient. We can construct whatever we want with time. Fight instant gratification.

What professional advice did you wish you had received when you started?

It doesn’t matter what you study – maths, art, business or whatever – it’s about the experience. All experiences combined create value. For example, you can build a prototype and it doesn’t matter if you’re working on the technical, creative or business part. The end result should add value. Keep going.