Outliers 68: Anu Acharya of Mapmygenome on being called a woman entrepreneur

Pankaj Mishra August 24, 2018

Anu Acharya, the founder of bioinformatics startup Mapmygenome, comes from a traditional “Marwari” family but not a business household. She grew up in Bikaner in a family of academicians.

“I learned the value of money early in life.”

When Acharya came up with the idea to do a bioinformatics startup in 1998, there wasn’t even a Google to find out if there were more such startups existing already.

“The human genome project was about to get completed, but there were no early results,” she says.

“As an entrepreneur, you always say this will ultimately work and that’s despite others calling it a useless idea. We too had people telling us not to waste time on this.”

Acharya also questions the startup ecosystem’s rhetoric around “women entrepreneurs”.

“By calling them women entrepreneurs, you’re pointing them out as if they aren’t fighting in the same ring.”


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