Crys Black

Cues and Views

B2B startup leader Crys Black, in brief.

Crys Black

Current home: Columbus, OH.  Previously: San Francisco Bay Area.  Age: Older than I look. Birthplace: Ohio.  Profession: Marketing/Operations executive for SaaS B2B startups from Series A to Series C.  Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.  Alma mater: Virginia Tech (B.A., M.A., English); UC Berkeley (Women and Leadership Certificate).

Current project: Helping Adaptic Health launch their company and SaaS product intended to accelerate clinical development starting with trial design for cancer and rare disease treatments. Recent recognition: Won the Daniel Eikenberry Family Art in Living Things award at the Salt Fork Arts and Crafts festival in Cambridge, OH for one of my sunset photos.  What’s been your big (or biggest leap)? After separating from my last company as VP of Marketing in 2022, began consulting as a fractional Chief Marketing/Operations Officer for early-stage technology companies.  Hobbies: Jeeping, photography, travel.  Recent travel or adventure: Big Bend State and National Parks, including Mount McDonald to watch the Leonid meteor shower.  Recently viewed and recommended: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Personality profile: ENTP (Myers-Briggs); Achiever, Relator, Restorative, Individualism, Significance (StrengthsFinder).  What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Passionate.  What is your greatest joy? When I am in flow, whether at work deep into a project or in the field trying to capture a moment in a photograph.  What is your greatest fear? Not having a positive impact.  What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Astrophysicists, because they are chasing down the story of our universe.  What is your favorite place (or way) to spend money? Traveling to places where I can see and experience new, great things.  What is at the top of your bucket list? Costa Rica or Banff National Park.  What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? A unique adventure where I learn something about the world.

What was your first paying job? Bus driver at Blacksburg Transit.  What was your favorite college course? Dystopian Literature with Professor Len Hatfield.  What book have you repeatedly read? The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley.  What movie have you repeatedly watched? Twister.  

Besides your parents, who has had the greatest influence on your life? My grandmother, who made it clear that I was loved unconditionally regardless of what I did or was.  She viewed the whole world this way.  I’ve tried to incorporate the sun she radiated and reflect it back to everyone I meet. What’s the best advice you received growing up? Listen to the still, small voice inside.  What personal circumstance has had the greatest influence on your life? Losing someone I loved, suddenly and tragically in the early stage of our building our lives together.  Devastating, but changed my perspective of the world.

What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field?

Working with companies looking to use advanced technologies to bring drugs to market more quickly and safely while also trying to ensure wider access to those populations that don’t today.

What change would you like to see in the world? People leading from kindness.  What mega-trend most excites you? Artificial intelligence.  It’s exciting that greater computing power has allowed us to start to scratch the surface of its many benefits.  For example, drugs in the pharma manufacturing process will have better quality due to devices looking for and flagging impurities that humans miss.

What title would you choose for the movie about your life? Limitless.  What actor would you choose to play you in the movie about your life? Reese Witherspoon.  Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? My grandmother.  As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? A district manager of a retail store like my dad.  What advice would you give your younger self? Stick to your guns.  You know what you want, don’t let others deter you.

Personal motto: Get ‘er done.  Favorite quote: “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think” (Winnie the Pooh, by A.A. Milne).  Desired epitaph: She made a difference.

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