Boyd proves that entrepreneurs have a nose for profits, and they let that nose lead them wherever the profits are, no matter how smelly the destination. He's spent a lifetime starting and selling businesses. His entrepreneurial streak began as a U.S. Army soldier making $100 a month in Germany. He started making an extra $1,000 a month buying everything from cigarettes to potato chips on base and reselling them to German stores at a huge markup.
"I think you become an entrepreneur simply because you want to make money," he says.
Thirteen years ago Boyd sold his last company and retired. "I made it a week, and I told my wife, 'I can't do this.'" He returned home to Knoxville, Tennessee, "and sort of passed the word around that I'd buy anything that walked and talked, if it was a business." Soon, a woman approached him about her medical research enterprise. "I said, 'I'll buy your company.'"
The company Boyd bought was developing a blood test to predict early stage colon cancer. However, it presented an unacceptable problem. "In a research company, all you do is spend money," he says, "and I had never been at a company that didn't make money." So he started looking for opportunities to use the company's technology, including a DNA testing lab, to create a revenue stream on the side.
He looked beyond humans to pets.
Boyd created Biopet in 2008, a company which could confirm a dog's parentage using DNA, and also confirm its breed. The first product was no problem, but confirming a dog's breed was problematic. The DNA test did not look at enough markers to be 100 percent accurate.