Researching At India’s DoD at 9 y/o To Founding A Medtech Startup 👨‍🔬

A journey in accelerated learning pathways

Welcome back to Delta X Newsletter!

Super excited to jump right into this edition — this week’s podcast inspired me to pick up some new books, reach out to a few new people, and overall have a more “hallucigenically optimistic” outlook on life. 🔍📚

  1. 🛣 Accelerated learning

  2. 🚀 Entrepreneurship

  3. 💜 Social impact

🎙 Δx podcast

Nikin Tharan discovered his love for electronics at 9, and became the youngest research assistant at India’s DoD. 💻 He discusses his journey in accelerated learning pathways and founding a medtech startup. 🩺

“Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help or to ask for opportunities. Very few opportunities land in your lap… you have to hustle and create the opportunity.” 💪

From piloting projects on anti-train collision and smart homes starting from when he was 9 to attending Northeastern on a full ride scholarship when he was 16, Nikin describes how he paved his journey through curiosity and a passion for reading and learning. 💗

This podcast episode provides actionable insights, lessons, and mindsets for future founders and technologists.

💎 Δx takeaways

When I asked what he believed fostered his love for learning, Nikin replied that it was having a love for reading. 📖 STEM books and biographies from inventors (such as Edison and Einstein) became his early heroes.

85% of rich people read two or more education, career-related, or self-improvement books per month, compared to 15% of poor.” ~source

Later on, he continued to soak up information and experience from those around him through getting access to a research lab at 7 to 8 y/o and learning as much as he could. 🥼 By the time he graduated high school, he had already read and finished Electrical Engineering textbooks for undergraduate school through his lab experience. 👨‍🔬

The factors for how Nikin was able to accelerate his learning? 👇

  1. Fostering a love for reading/learning

  2. Maturity/responsibility gained from a lab environment — such as long term planning, delegation, etc.

“What we do lack is definitely experience, but our asset if we have the right attitude is teachability and being eager to learn… that naivety sets us apart and more than compensate for lack of industry experience.” ~ Nikin

To gain access to these types of opportunities, Nikin advises to find topics you are naturally curious about and then reach out to nodes and centers nearby. 💭

  1. 🤔 Find the thing you are curious about (reading literature, exploring, etc)

  2. 🔝 Find the best in class for those areas (experts, industry leaders, researchers)

  3. 📧 Reach out and meet them (Linkedin, email, phone call)

There are also experiences you can create for yourself, such as entering the nonprofit space and engaging in social impact.

“Essentially doing service at scale - how do you multiply your efforts with structure, with incentives, with a methodology, with system and processes?” 🙌

Through nonprofit work, Nikin learned how to create partnerships and bring different stakeholders to the table — experiences which later helped him in launching his own startup. 🚀

Just like finding mentors, research opportunities, and valuable experiences requires a lot of cold email and outreach, getting funding was the same way in founding his company Medsix. 💸 He sent thousands of messages, but those few “Yes”’s from investors would not have been possible without the perseverance and numerous rejections. ✅

I’ll never forget that day when… I signed what’s known as a SAFE on my phone. At 5:15 I refreshed my bank account and they had wired the money. Even today, I need to pinch myself. 😮

Through all of this, the biggest lesson he learned from founders’ journeys was that perseverance is the key to success. 🔑 Using the phrase “hallucigenically optimistic”, Nikin described founding something as a process that takes time to develop and needs a lot of positive thinking when we as human beings are wired to be pessimistic. ☁☀ On the flip side, his biggest advice to founders is to choose a big market to tackle. 📈 What matters most is what you work on and who you work with.

📰 Δx change

Changes and innovations in the last 2 weeks…

  1. 🕶Facebook rebrands to Meta: Speaking of the metaverse in a previous edition, FB has changed its company name to shift its focus to the metaverse. This refers to efforts to combine virtual and augmented reality technologies in a new online realm. “In our DNA, we are a company that builds technology to connect people. And the metaverse is the next frontier just like social networking was when we got started."

  2. 🪐 Signs of first planet found outside our galaxy: Nearly 5,000 "exoplanets" - worlds orbiting stars beyond our Sun - have been found so far, but all of these have been located within the Milky Way galaxy. The possible Saturn-sized planet discovered by Nasa's Chandra X-Ray Telescope is in the Messier 51 galaxy. This is located some 28 million light-years away from the Milky Way.

  3. 🏙 Crypto investors building blockchain city: Wyoming passed a law legally recognizing Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs)—blockchain based entities in which members vote on the group’s direction with tokens—so long as they are registered as companies in the state. Now, one DAO that has aspirations of founding a blockchain-based city says it has actually purchased land in the state.

Thanks for reading and catch you in the next Delta X newsletter! :)


Ellen X

Thanks for reading!

reading = 💙