From a young age, Brian Pryor excelled in math and science. He loved physical chemistry in particular because it was the perfect combination of both subjects.
However, it wasn’t until 2006, when Pryor founded LiteCure LLC, a Newark-based medical laser technology company (which we covered along with 12 other Delaware tech companies last November), that he discovered his true passion: customer service.
While earning his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, Pryor had his mind set on becoming a brilliant academic. After he got his degree, his plans changed, he says for the better.
“I started doing some contract negotiation outside of the lab work. At that point, I realized that I liked the business side,” Pryor said. “My drive was influenced from baseball and other sports I played in college. That, combined with learning about business little by little pushed me to form my own company.”
Pryor’s science background was an added benefit when he got into the business scene. He claims that scientists (despite stereotypes about their being a reclusive bunch) make the best CEOs.
“Scientists are good at starting companies because they are jacks of all trades,” Pryor says. “They can fix their own computers and start a business with less money. You also learn very quickly [as a CEO] that you need to hire people who make up for your weaknesses.”
For Pryor, holding the CEO title has been an exciting journey, but one with many challenges and new roles that he’s had to take on over time. The one element that he insists must remain stable even during the most chaotic times is an intangible one.
“The most important thing to monitor is the culture,” Pryor says, “keep the culture of the company intact, keep customers in the know about the culture. Everybody in the company has to be living and breathing it. This is a CEO’s number one job, and it’s easier said than done.”
As of now, LiteCure has two divisions in the veterinary and medical fields. The company’s main goals going forward are to expand the versatility of its medical devices and maintain its reputation for satisfying customers.
Pryor is known for being well-established in Delaware and having a close relationship his employees. Of course, that kind of individualized approach takes years of practice. Pryor encourages college students and recent grads with dreams of becoming a CEO to not give up on the job search too early and to take as many risks as possible.
“When you are younger it is a perfect time to take advantage of opportunity. When you’re older you have more liabilities,” Pryor said. “I’d suggest getting a mentor. Listen to the advice. Go off and take a shot.”