People of Synthace: Adam Paton – Commercial Biologics Director
With over 20 years of expertise, Adam joined Synthace in November 2018 as Commercial Biologics Director. Since then, he has helped us expand our client base and empowered many Life Sciences companies to start their journey with flexible lab automation.
We have a mission to disrupt and change the way people do biology. When we achieve this, we will have positively impacted many, many lives.”Adam Paton Commercial Biologics Director
What is your role at Synthace?
My role is to work with customers and prospects to identify opportunities for the use and implementation of Synthace's software platform, Antha, within their business.
Where were you before joining Synthace?
Originally a Zoologist, I started my career in the lab, swiftly followed by an exit to embark on a new path in IT. Soon after I was able to combine the two by working for a Life Sciences software startup where I remained for 20 years. Throughout that time, I worked in a number of roles, from deployment consultant through to running the global professional services team until finally running strategic accounts with up to 3,500 user deployments of a life science data management system.
Why did you want to join Synthace?
Previously working in a larger organization with mature and in-depth processes, I missed the dynamic nature of a fast-moving company where innovation and making a difference to real life problems in biology were the focus.
Think about the expectations you had before you joined. Is life and work at Synthace in line with how you thought it would be?
The organized chaos of a startup environment is what I was looking for and wanted, although the initial dynamic changes of strategy were more than expected, as was the readiness of the software to meet the market need.
Do you think that there are clear career progression opportunities? Do you agree that it's possible to move around within the company?
Although I have not moved myself (due to not needing or wanting to) I have seen a number of people progress or switch during my time at Synthace, and a desire to do both or either of these is actively encouraged.
Would you say that you can clearly see how your work has an impact?
Yes. Being someone who is involved in making initial contact with prospects and customers, I can see how these interactions turn from something exploratory into a fully fledged deployment project for a new technology. Helping to translate the need of a biologist into the capabilities of Antha is a key element of my role.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing a prospect who knew nothing about Synthace become a satisfied customer who is using Antha to transform their business.
What do you enjoy most about life at Synthace (outside of your actual job)?
Everyone who works at Synthace has time to engage with others. It is cliché but it feels like a big family.
Which activities/events have you enjoyed or found useful (including the virtual versions)?
The company lunches and company events have been great as they are a way of engaging with colleagues who you do not work with directly, and they foster the culture of inclusion.
Would you say that you're encouraged and able to be your true authentic self at all times?
A relaxed working environment is encouraged at Synthace so being yourself is not difficult (whist maintaining a working professional attitude).
What do you think are the biggest challenges for us at the moment (personally, in your team, and/or company-wide)? And how do you feel we are addressing these?
Often, the biggest challenge for startups is having a fully functional product to address the market needs and requirements. Our Engineering and Lab teams have invested a huge effort to build and enhance Antha and incorporate the functionality needed to make it market ready. We use the voice of customers to understand the pain points scientists are experiencing and continuously expand Antha’s capabilities to ensure those pain points are addressed.
On the other side of this, what do you think are the biggest opportunities for us at the moment (personally, in your team, and/or company-wide)? And how do you feel we are addressing these?
The market opportunity is huge, and if we are able to deliver the right technology to address the target market, then we have a great chance to be successful.
Synthace is in a unique position to positively change the way that biologists perform their experiments and empower them to get better answers faster. Technology is changing at a rapid rate throughout our daily lives but in research and development this has been happening at a slower pace. Now we can see that this is changing, and using the power of laboratory automation and rich experimental data will mean we can help the next evolution in scientific research.
How do you think working here is different to other companies?
People's knowledge and passion for science really stands out at Synthace, along with the investment and belief in doing something that will possibly transform the industry.
How would you describe the people and culture at Synthace?
Hard working, productive, friendly, focused, driven, clever, willing to learn, moving fast.
What are the best things about working at Synthace?
- Working for a company with a noble cause
- Great colleagues
- Prepared to act fast rather than having to work through too much process that stifles innovation
- No office politics
What are you most proud of when thinking about Synthace as a company and/or group of colleagues?
We have a mission to disrupt and change the way people do biology. When we achieve this, we will have positively impacted many, many lives.
What would you say to anyone considering joining Synthace?
Be prepared to adapt and work hard. Synthace provides an environment where a number of interconnected disciplines come together, allowing science and technology to merge. Approaching your role knowing you have access to some of the most exceptional people in their fields means you will get a huge amount of reward in your day-to-day activities while contributing to the overall goal of Synthace.
What advice would you give to someone if they were looking to apply to your team? What traits and/or skills are important?
Communication, confidence, knowledge and being prepared are what makes you successful within a commercial role.
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