Re-engineering a New Start Headshot

Filippo Menolascina

Executive MBA 2021

Chief Financial Officer, GenCirq Inc

With extensive board level experience in biotech ventures and having recently completed his Executive MBA, Filippo has been appointed as CFO of GenCirq Inc, a start-up that is re-engineering probiotic bacteria to treat cancer.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Edinburgh Business School?

I chose to study at the University of Edinburgh Business School because of its prestige and connections with the business community in Scotland.

Tell us about your career path (before and) after graduating?

I am a bioengineer by background (BSc 2006 and MSc 2008) and I obtained my PhD in Synthetic Biology (biotechnology) from the University of Naples in 2011.

I then moved to Boston to work as Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While there, I took on the job of Chief Scientific Officer in my first start-up, Oliba. Since then I have been serving as a Board Member or Observer for a number of early stage ventures and as an advisor to start-ups and Venture Capital investors.

I decided to study towards my MBA to strengthen and systematise my understanding of what makes businesses work better. I have recently been appointed as Chief Financial Officer of GenCirq Inc, an American start-up that is re-engineering probiotic bacteria to treat cancer.

How did your degree prepare you for your future career?

My degree primarily gave me a deeper appreciation of the importance of soft skills in my job. On top of this, it made me discover a passion for finance that I did not know I had!

What key thing that you learnt at the Business School do you still rely on today?

'Active listening' and 'situational awareness' above all. Understand what motivates people to create solutions together.

What is your proudest work related achievement to date?

Through my inventions I have been able to help pharmaceutical companies design better, patient-tailored therapies that now benefit all.

Alumni wisdom — if you could offer one piece of advice to current students, what would it be?

Do not underestimate the power of experiential learning: those simulations in class provide a unique opportunity to try new things in a safe environment.

Understand what motivates people to create solutions together.