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Cryonics Company. What It's Like to Work in One?

Fernando Azevedo Pinheiro, talks about his experience working in cryonics.

I was quite motivated to write about what it is like to work in a cryonics company, because this is one of the most common questions that people who know me tend to ask. Every time I explain what I am working on, the first reaction is always a mix of disbelief and a "Wtf" face. I can understand that, because I've been there myself. In my first blog post "why I became a biostasis startup co-founder", I spoke about my overall reasons for why I decided to join this project. Still, the first time I was seriously talking about Biostasis, it gave me some odd feelings too. By odd feelings, I mean an overwhelming sense of complexity and controversy. The simple mentioning of it to people that don't have the same context as myself, makes them feel like it is too sci-fi-ish. It is the same as telling your family that you are working on a Teletransportation Startup (which obviously would be insanely cool, although Biostasis is almost that).

So as a quick recap…. My name is Fernando, I am the COO and Co-founder of Tomorrow Biostasis. I was born and raised in:

Fernando Azevedo Pinheiro
Brazil

What is Biostasis?

The basic definition of Biostasis, aka known as Cryonics or Cryogenics (here you learn what's the difference between the terms), is the practice of preserving human bodies at sub-freezing temperatures (-196°C) with the intent of restoring good health when medical technology has the capability. I won't deep dive about the technicalities of it, but if you want to know more about how it works, click here.

I want to talk about actually working here. I can't talk, of course, about other organizations around the world, but we can talk about Tomorrow! =)

Why "Startupfying" the Biostasis Industry?

In the last 50 years, since the dawn of Cryonics in the United States, there hasn't been much progress in the technological development of Biostasis. There were for sure some technological improvements like the utilization of CTR Scans and better cryoprotection solutions, but still far from making any breakthrough. Our perspective about the topic believes that, unless the private sector in partnership with non-profit organizations, jumps into the game, not much will change in the coming decades.

We think that the best approach is to build a system of independent, yet cohesive, organizations that could outlive our grandchildren. Our goal is to, independently of the success of Tomorrow Biostasis as a company, in any scenario where the company ceases to exist, all clients that were cryopreserved by then wouldn't be affected at all. How is that possible?

Securing the Future

The cryopreserved patients are protected because the patients funds are managed by an independent Patients Foundation. The foundation is legally bound to protect and maintain the patients cryopreserved for as long as it is needed, in a secure storage facility.

The Patient Foundation board is formed by people signed up for cryopreservation for several years, while "Tomorrow Biostasis" clients can oversee the foundation activities as an interested party. The long-term storage facility is also a separated entity. It is a non-profit organization, focused on research and development of Biostasis technology. You can learn more about our companion organizations HERE.

We believe this approach is more adequate for maximum security and stability in the long term. Another advantage is that this frees Tomorrow Biostasis (A for-profit organization) to pursue and develop the market more aggressively, with funds that are also independent from the patients. Tomorrow's goal is to make the Biostasis topic mainstream, be faster and much more dynamic than the current existing organizations, aiming also for a younger audience.

Cryonics Company Building

There is no A-B-C about how to build a startup in this industry, not even a traditional organization.  Although not new, Biostasis (aka Cryonics) is still in its infancy stage. People are simply not aware this exists and when they do, due to ignorance or pure prejudice, some tend to believe it won't work (too sci-fi-ish), it is too morbid or this is even some type of scam.  Hence, with all this negative background towards the topic, building a happy place to work becomes even more critical if we want to succeed with this project in the long run. So where to start? First, find and attract a group of open minded international talent:

Team Tomorrow eating
On Fridays, one team member cooks something typical of his home country. Here, we eat tyhe best Indian butter chicken (or paneer).

Berlin is a very cosmopolitan and international city. This allowed us to start building a team with different nationalities, expertises and walks of life. I always believed that building a real international team, from the beginning of a company, is the best way to think global and eventually go global.

As a result, we started to "freshen up" the image of a traditional Biostasis organization, from older people to younger people, from slow to dynamic, from nonprofit to startup.

Talking about fresh, this is my Co-founder and also our CEO Dr. Emil in his classic attire ready for business or party.

Tomorrow Biostasis Team Building
Dr. Kendiziorra proving he can Stand Paddle

Emil has this vision for Biostasis, in which we spoke several hours about it before building a cryonics company named Tomorrow, and I have to admit, I was hooked. It does make so much sense, there are so many opportunities for human kind on it, but this is a subject for a future blog post.

So what's next? Well, you start putting your team to work on challenging projects and get them involved in building their own environment. One of the beauties of an early stage startup is that once you start growing, you need to move to a bigger office. Our previous office was very small and quickly became super crowded. The current office of Tomorrow Biostasis gave us the opportunity to set up the place as a team, the way everyone wanted, in the most cost effective way. I always believed in hands-on teams, as we say in Brazil "Pau pra toda obra". ​

Tomorrow Biostasis Team Building
Biostasis Office
Team Building while Building the Building

As you start to bring younger minds in such an old-school industry, we started to see some innovations sprouting fast. Product-driven orientation, Customer journey, UX-UI, App development, Performance marketing, Custom built engineering solutions, etc. You give opportunities, challenges and training to your team and watch them grow personally and professionally with your organization.

tomorrow biostasis employees
Bday celebration at Tomorrow


I think as a manager, that is one of the happiest professional moments, once you begin to see that your team is evolving and getting better and sharper.

So What's like to work on a Cryonics Startup Company?

I am very biased to talk about it because I am one of the founders, but I really enjoy it. I love the fact that we are building an industry from scratch in Europe and albeit all the challenges of the beginning, it is very satisfying. Every new customer we acquire, we celebrate inside the office! It is a step closer to our mission to make cryopreservation mainstream, desmitified and accessible.

But let other people that work here give their opinion. So guys, what do you think about working for a Biostasis startup? 1, 2, 3, go!

Conclusion

As the team grows in our cryonics startup company, people come and go, so the image below will always change.

Cryonics Company Tomorrow Biostasis Team
For everyone involved since the dawn of Tomorrow Biostasis, my sincere gratitude!

But the legacy of what we are building here, today, will remain for the future "Tomorrowers". Our mission is to make Biostasis something mainstream, invest in R&D  and open a frank conversation with society about death, cryopreservation and the future. In the end, on its core, this whole project is all about loving life and its perpetuity. Life always finds a way.

Cryonics Company and Life
Thank you Dr. Ian for your wisdom words
Tomorrow Bio is the worlds fastest growing human cryopreservation provider. Our all inclusive cryopreservation plans start at just 45€ per month. Learn more here.