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When She Founded with Somer Hamrick, CEO & Founder of Channel Clinical is an insider view on what it really takes to start and scale a company in STEM. Each episode takes a deeper look into one such business venture and the woman who started it. Industry mavens describe their personal path to entrepreneurship through one-on-one conversations with a host who has been figuring it out herself. Somer Hamrick launched her own company in early 2019. With 20 years’ experience in business development and half that specifically in global health and clinical research, Somer found herself having to reach outside the life science community for support and mentorship. She created When She Founded as a platform to share what she has learned and is still learning, on her journey. This podcast demystifies some of the steps for female founders in industries where representation is lacking.

Jun 4, 2020



Deemed a “Remarkable Woman” by Chapel Hill Magazine in 2016, Robin Whitsell has twenty years of experience in the life science and medical writing industries, including degrees in biophysics and physics. She is the founder and president of Whitsell Innovations (WI) and formerly worked at Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Glaxo Wellcome, and PAREXEL International CRO. Additionally, she was the winner of the Count Me In pitch competition for entrepreneurs. Robin is a public speaker and has contributed her insights to the American Medical Writers Association Medical Writing & Communication Conference as well as the DIA annual meeting and DIA Medical Affairs and Scientific Communications Forum. Robin is also on the board of the Diversity Alliance for Science.

Today, Robin joins me to share the niche that she serves with Whitsell Innovations, her journey to growing the business, and the significant changes she faced along the way. She discusses the importance of creating a culture of safety, how this can drive growth, and the strategies she has used to maintain and uphold the company’s growth and mission-driven culture over time. Robin also highlights the benefits and drawbacks of being designated as a woman-owned small business.




“There are plenty of ways to grow a company.” - Robin Whitsell




Today on When She Founded:


  • The type of company Whitsell Innovations is and the type of clients WI serves
  • The power of “the girlfriend network” when it comes to professional recommendations
  • What “stack ranking is” and why Robin feels it is the antithesis to success
  • Robin’s experience with transitioning her employees from hourly to salary workers and the role of un-billable time
  • The competitive landscape WI entered into and the three “buckets” WI competitors fall into
  • How the decision to be a remote company benefitted WI’s organizational culture
  • The two types of stories medical writers tell and which kind of story is harder to tell
  • How company size relates to infrastructure needs and the importance of recognizing inflection points
  • The benefits and drawbacks of being designated as a “women-owned small business”



Resources Mentioned:



Connect with Robin Whitsell:






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