The Heart of an Entrepreneur
Published on 16 December 2020
Michael Pruett, B.S. ’81, MBA, has always been an innovative problem-solver.
With his knack for invention, he has created devices and solutions that range from an aftermarket bicycle brake handle to an IV port saver used to prevent IV bags from leaking.
His entrepreneurial spirit has served as the foundation for an unpredictable career path as the co-CEO and co-founder of DYNALABS LLC, a pharmaceutical analysis lab launched in 2003 that has grown from a small startup to generating $13.6 million in revenue. DYNALABS has been twice-recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in the nation by Inc. Magazine and was named Small Business Team of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Despite the success of DYNALABS, Pruett has continued to pursue new ventures, and he has created a number of businesses. He holds four patents, has won numerous accolades in taekwondo and even plays bass guitar in a classic rock band that was formed while he was a student.
A true entrepreneur at heart, Pruett’s career has been and continues to be filled with innovative ideas, creative solutions and new ventures.
When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I have always been an entrepreneur. When I was in grade school, we were required to wear nice shoes to class and tennis shoes in the gym. I didn’t like having to lug extra shoes to school so I tried to invent a portable tennis shoe.
One day, my mom came out to the garage and found me holding a blowtorch trying to weld rubber to make the shoe. But there was one problem. Rubber doesn’t melt, it catches fire.
She was not happy with my invention.
Aside from DYNALABS, I have also started other companies such as AMICUS cGMP Consulting, which offers consulting services to pharmaceutical compounders and manufacturers, and GotThisIdea.com, an online database where inventors and entrepreneurs can connect with prospective investors and other stakeholders.
What has been your secret to success?
There is no single secret that leads to success. It takes hard work, determination, and a commitment to helping pharmacists, patients and the profession. With that — and quite a bit of luck — I have been fortunate to see things take off.
What has been your greatest achievement?
Convincing Leslie to marry me tops the list. Without her influence I would have never earned an MBA and understood what it takes to start and run a business.
I also am incredibly proud to help students by establishing the DYNALABS LLC Endowed Scholarship. The feeling of giving back to students to help them be successful is indescribable.
How has University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis made an impact on you?
The pharmacy program required rigorous training and attention to detail which prepared me for leadership. The University’s alumni network has played an integral role in DYNALABS’ success.
If I had not pledged Kappa Psi with fellow alumnus Doug Lang [B.S. ’81], then DYNALABS would not have come to fruition. It was a conversation with him about regulatory changes that inspired me to start setting the foundation for DYNALABS’ business plan.
Over the years, many other alumni have been kind enough to try DYNALABS’ services and have even referred us to their associates.
Why are you passionate about giving back to the University?
After seeing the University’s transformation, I feel passionately that giving back is the right thing to do.
The profession has provided me with so much, and I want to show my gratitude by helping the next generation of health care professionals achieve their goals.
Through his philanthropic and business ventures, Pruett fulfills his commitment to helping students, pharmacists and entrepreneurs. As a lifetime member of the Mortar and Pestle Society, his generosity has supported initiatives on campus and provided numerous scholarships to students.