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Western New York Trailblazer: Jenna Crisp, Circuit Clinical


Western New York is full of innovative people, blazing new trails as they work to build a better Buffalo. 43North has teamed up with our friends at AleronBe In Buffalo and TechBuffalo for a special blog series celebrating a select group of Western New York Trailblazers.

Jenna Crisp is the VP of Product and Digital Services for 43North portfolio company Circuit Clinical, a company founded to make it easier for people to find, understand, and choose clinical research as a care option for themselves and their loved ones.

We connected with Jenna and talked about what people should know about Circuit Clinical, what makes Buffalo’s startup scene different from others,  why people should explore opportunities with startups and more!

What should people know about the impact Circuit Clinical seeks to have on the clinical trial space?

Circuit’s impact on the clinical trials space is all about the patient. We seek to make clinical trials more accessible – to bring more trials into the community, to make their benefits more understandable and relatable to people here in WNY and across the country, and make it so that ALL types of people can participate in trials with an experience optimized for them. Clinical trials can truly make a life-changing impact on a person’s quality of life and the future of new medicines. At Circuit, we all work to make the process of finding, choosing, and participating in a clinical trial more aligned with a patient’s needs, which we believe will drive new medicines to the market faster.

Is there anything unique or different about Buffalo’s startup scene compared to others you’ve experienced?

I have found the Buffalo Start-up scene to be less “dog-eat-dog” competitive than others I have been a part of. Instead, it is much more of a community with ready-access to support and resources. Don’t get me wrong, there are no participation trophies in Buffalo, and it certainly doesn’t yet have the national entrepreneurial recognition that NYC, SF, and Boston have to help us start-ups out. Every company here is hustling hard to succeed. What I love is the teamwork and collaboration here that is incredibly supportive of one another… we *want* each other to win, and we are eager to provide help to other companies rather than block them out or feel threatened by them. I attribute this in part to the Buffalo start-up community and in part to the ethos of Circuit’s founder & CEO, Dr. Irfan Khan – he is a great role model for how to collaborate with those who others might see as a threat and make room for them at the table.

For people out there looking for a career change, why would you encourage they explore opportunities with startups? 

Start-ups provide great lessons in how to think quickly and creatively, adapt, prioritize, and lead. Start-ups also provide fantastic exposure to the many important facets of what it takes for a business to be successful. Typically start-ups are also made up of smart and passionate people who make work fun.

What’s your favorite thing about working for a startup?

I like being able to work very quickly – launching new projects fast and also making nimble decisions on when to move on from something that is not working well.

What are you most thankful for?

My fiancé, Jeff, who loves, encourages, and challenges me to be true to myself every day.

Tags: 43North, Circuit Clinical, startups, Western New York

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