Fengru Lin is the co-founder and CEO of TurtleTree Labs. The Singaporean biotech startup creates cell-based milk to make dairy production more sustainable and reduce the carbon footprint of the milk industry. Fengru has eight years of corporate sales experience informed by her time working for global companies such as Google and Salesforce. With co-founder Max Rye, she has steadily cultivated the team and operations of TurtleTree Labs using her business background and corporate expertise.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
KrASIA (Kr): What was it like to jump from a corporate environment to co-founding TurtleTree Labs?
Fengru Lin (FL): Being in a big company means that you have a much narrower job scope. Having worked at Google and Salesforce, everyone is a well-placed cog that helps the bigger machine run. In the startup world, everyone wears multiple hats and we are constantly picking up different skill sets across the business.
Kr: Since your professional background is in sales—not scientific research—were there people who cast doubt on your vision for TurtleTree?
FL: The fundraising process was the most difficult in the initial stages. As Max and I have business backgrounds, a lot of investors questioned our ability to lead a science team. However, it was precisely because we come from very different backgrounds that we are confident in the diversity of thought and value we bring. There have been many instances where we were able to provide out-of-the-box thinking or activate the right resources to help the team move forward.
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