Texas Tech University

Eshell's CEO Returns to His Entrepreneurial Roots

Innovation Hub Team

October 28, 2019

What a law degree taught Angus Jackson about entrepreneurship and startups

Rebellion comes in many forms. For Hub tenant company CEO Angus Jackson it was getting a law degree. Jackson is the son of a co-founder of Lodi, Wisconsin-based Atwill Medical Solutions, one of the largest contract manufacturing freeze-drying and medical device companies in the U.S. While initially he intended to go to law school to turn away from his father's career path, the younger Jackson's path led him to become a biotechnology entrepreneur in his own right, heading up Eshell Skin Science.

Eshell Leverages Innovation in Biotechnology

Eshell is spinning out a hydrogel peptide technology invented by dermatologists at Stanford University in 2010 to promote cell growth and healing. It's licensed exclusively to Eshell, a division of Atwill Medical Solutions, founded in October 2018. Jackson says, "Our current product market is for cosmetic wound care. It reduces the downtime for procedures like laser skin resurfacing and chemical peels by about half." Eshell sells its product kits directly to medical spas and dermatology practices. Jackson says Eshell is also working on getting FDA approval for a product specifically for post-surgical medical use.

So You Want to Be a Lawyer...

Jackson earned his B.A. degree from Syracuse University in political science and a J.D. from the University of Georgia Law School. He says, "Initially I  wanted to be an attorney. After law school, I still had no idea what kind of law I wanted to practice. I did know that I wanted an outlet for my creativity that law by itself could never be for me. I grew up around the biotech industry. I was always interested in science and technology. So when I got out of law school I decided I might as well be a lawyer adjacent to the innovation community." That decision led him to enroll in Duke University Law School's Master's degree program in law and entrepreneurship. Internships in venture capital or startups were a requirement. Jackson did both. He says, "I realized I really liked being in the trenches. I also realized I didn't want to be a lawyer." He adds, "There are a lot of skills from my legal education and background which allow me to excel in this job. I'm able to handle most issues myself that many startup entrepreneurs have to pay lawyers to do for them."

Research Triangle to Lubbock, Texas

Jackson's law background also played a part in bringing him to Lubbock from North Carolina. He moved here about a month ago when his girlfriend, who is a lawyer, got a job working for a Lubbock bankruptcy judge. Jackson says the location has additional benefits for Eshell. Once here, he began looking for co-working space near hospitals and Texas Tech University. He soon decided to make the Innovation Hub the home for his company. Jackson says, "I got a lot of positive experiences working in the Research Triangle. But it's hard to differentiate yourself there because there are so many startup ventures. Here people are genuinely interested and willing to collaborate. It's great to see what other creative people are doing. It allows you to think of different ways to approach problems you have as well. I see Texas Tech and the Innovation Hub truly helping to create an ecosystem where entrepreneurship can flourish." Jackson is also negotiating with another Innovation Hub company to potentially produce a key component of Eshell's product. He says he's interested in working with the local medical community and Texas Tech on further product studies too.

Startups and Hustle 

Although it's a part of parent company Atwill, Jackson says he's running Eshell as a startup. Given his internship experiences, he's most at home in that environment. Jackson says, "It's tough when you have a small company to treat it like a big company. All the work I've done is with startups. So I've been keeping Eshell lean and trying to save costs wherever I can." Another key lesson Jackson learned from his experiences is what inspires his hustle. He says, "There's a lot of truth to the startup catch-phrase of wanting to make the world a better place. That's my motivation to hustle. I see so much potential in biotech innovation. It has the ability to significantly extend longevity and improve quality of life. That's incredibly rewarding in itself."