Student Profile: A Yale Startup
Arjun Duraisamy Ganesan '12
Leader, Entrepreneurship Club
Post-MBA: CEO at Ancera LLC
My company would not exist if not for Yale SOM and the resources of the greater Yale community. I came to SOM thinking I wanted to be a venture capitalist. I had started a small brand-consulting firm in India that was bought by a larger media company. I thought I was ready to make a switch, but my Careers course and an insightful classmate helped me see that I am really an entrepreneur at heart. What I needed was a new project.
After hearing Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, Paypal, and Tesla Motors, speak on campus, I realized that I wanted to be a high-tech entrepreneur. So I got in touch with the Yale Office of Cooperative Research, which is the University's patent licensing office. We went through a lot of patents—really interesting people working on really interesting technology. Eventually we found an electrical engineering professor, and what he showed me blew my mind. He had developed technology that greatly speeds the rate at which bacteria can be separated. It turns out there is a huge medical diagnostic market for a device that can separate particles based on size, shape, and elasticity.
I was admitted to the Yale Emerging Entrepreneurs Program, which pairs faculty members and SOM students who want to work together to commercialize original technology. I spent the summer as a fellow at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, a 10-week business incubator program where I had the most amazing mentors. The business we emerged with, Ancera, is a rapid cell separation and pathogen diagnostics devices company.
I'd never had a formal business education before coming to SOM. The integrated curriculum taught me how to see complex issues from multiple perspectives, from the perspective of a business leader, of a customer, of an investor. SOM is also a really diverse, friendly, and interesting community. You learn so much from the people around you. This is just a great place to be right now.
Interviewed on March 26, 2012.