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July 15, 2019

The VentureFizz Podcast: Ryan Boyko - Founder and CEO at Embark.

For the 114th episode of our podcast, I interviewed Ryan Boyko, Founder and CEO at Embark.

You are probably familiar with the DNA testing companies like 23andMe and Ancestry. I actually tried out Ancestry and was really surprised with my results, as certain parts of my heritage were very different than I originally thought.

Embark is a venture-backed company that is providing a similar service except for dogs. So, I was excited that Embark offered to test our family dog, Stella, as part of this podcast interview. What’s cool about Embark is that you are not only able to determine or confirm your dog's breed, but a key part of their testing is to help discover if your canine has any underlying health conditions. Embark provides the most comprehensive DNA testing in the market which tests for over 170 genetic health conditions.

Before making an investment, most VC’s usually ask the question of “Why this team?" and "Why now?”, and as you’ll hear from my discussion with Ryan, he and his brother spent an extraordinary amount of time building what is a very defensible foundation in terms of the technology and what they are able to provide with this service.

In this episode of our podcast, we cover lots of topics, like:

  • Ryan background, including his time with Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard. 
  • How Ryan and his brother, Adam, gained an interest in dog genetics and the details behind all their research.
  • The story of how Embark was built over time and how their testing works.
  • A walk through Stella’s (our family Cavapoo) test results. 
  • Advice for scientists who are looking to commercialize their research and start a company.
  • The things he didn’t expect when he first started running a business.
  • Plus, a lot more.

Embark announced a $10M Series A round of funding back in April from a very impressive list of investors and I have some good news for you. They are hiring aggressively, so if you are interested in working at Embark, you can go to their BIZZpage on VentureFizz to see a list of their openings. Go to venturefizz.com/embark for all the details.

You can listen to the podcast in the player below. To make sure you receive future episodes, please subscribe to us on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherSpotify, or Soundcloud. If you enjoyed our show, please consider writing us a 5-star review—it will definitely help us get the word out there! 


Keith Cline is the Founder of VentureFizz. Follow him on Twitter: @kcline6.

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