Updated: Mar 30
As a part of our interview series on women-owned businesses, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alex Chu, Founder of MedCreate.
At age fourteen, Alexandra Chu founded MedCreate, a global non-profit dedicated to merging the worlds of medicine and creativity. She has impacted thousands of students all around the world through her work to bridge the divide between the two fields. Now sixteen, Alexandra is continuing to inspire Gen-Z by making an impact in healthcare and education all while juggling rigorous schoolwork and college applications.
Thanks for joining me! Tell our readers about what you do.
Thanks for having me! I'm a high school junior in New York, and I'm currently the Founder and Executive Director of my organization, MedCreate.
What does being a woman-owned business mean to you?
It means that I have the opportunity to empower other women to realize their dreams. It's not easy, but I'm incredibly proud of what I've been able to accomplish with MedCreate, and I hope that our work will continue to inspire other women.
How did you come up with the idea for your business?
I've always wanted to pursue a career in medicine. However, I also really enjoy the arts as a writer, dancer, music producer, etc. Because of my seemingly conflicting interests, I could never really give a definitive answer regarding I wanted to be when I grew up. But as I grew older, I slowly considered the possibility that I didn’t have to make a choice between science and the humanities. Maybe I could combine them instead. That's how the idea for MedCreate was born.
Okay, coming up with a great idea and actually taking the steps to become an entrepreneur and launch your company are two very different things. How did you know it was time to start?
I thought a lot about launching my own organization, but I wasn’t sure if I had the skills or confidence needed. One night, I was lying in bed thinking about my research regarding science and the arts, and I just thought, “You know what? Let’s just do it.” Even though it was midnight, I rolled out of bed and sent a message to a community chat saying I was starting an organization before I could change my mind. The next morning, I checked the chat and saw a couple of positive messages which gave me the confidence to continue. So, I sat down and got to work, and MedCreate was officially launched.
Becoming an entrepreneur is no easy feat. What are some of the lessons you learned along the way?
You have to take it one step at a time. It may seem exciting at first to be an entrepreneur and to try to change the world in one night, but that's not possible. If you work hard and be patient, you'll achieve your goals and avoid burnout.
If you had to list three traits or attributes that have been pivotal for your success, what would they be?
Confidence, dedication, and creativity!
How is your company making a difference?
Reading, writing, and art are known as the “humanities,” which is often thought to have little connection to science. On the contrary, the two actually have a lot to do with each other. Medicine brings the objective research of science and the creative aspects of the arts together because it uses a lot of factual studies as well as innovation and imagination. Still, many people think that science and the arts are complete opposites. MedCreate works to dispel this belief through education and our works of writing and art.
I know you probably have many, but what’s your proudest moment as a founder?
That would probably be when MedCreate was named a 2021 Top Nonprofit by GreatNonprofits because it was the first time I was able to see the contributions I had made and the people I had been able to impact. When I told our members that we were applying for this award, they immediately jumped in to help and started to write their stories about how they've had this dilemma over science vs. the humanities and how MedCreate has been a way for them to bridge the divide. Reading stories like these from people all over the world is always the highlight of my day.
What advice would you give to burgeoning entrepreneurs?
Always network: It’s important to know when to ask for help. However, when you’re starting a business or an organization, you might not know who or what to ask. That's why I suggest networking (via LinkedIn, for example) to find people with similar interests who could be of help. Connecting with such experts might lead to opportunities and recognition.
What does the future look like for your company?
Last March, we launched a series of virtual pilot classes for kids to learn more about medicine and creativity. Since then, our team has been working hard to improve them in order to make each class as educational and fun as possible. We’re planning to kick off the new batches of classes soon, and we’re also hoping to have some of them implemented in children’s hospitals!
What words do you live by?
“Maybe I made a mistake yesterday, but yesterday’s me is still me. Today, I am who I am with all my faults and my mistakes. Tomorrow, I might be a tiny bit wiser, and that’ll be me too.” -Kim Namjoon
Any final words of wisdom?
Plenty of people have the knowledge and the passion to make a positive impact on society. However, no one can create change the same way you can. Everyone has different perspectives, experiences, and motivations which can change the way you act. No one is uniquely you, you should take advantage of your individuality to make a positive impact.