NutraWomen Wednesday: Natasha Dhayagude, Chinova Bioworks
Using button mushrooms, Chinova has developed a natural, clean preservative to improve the quality, freshness and shelf life of food, drink and cosmetic products.
Co-founder Natasha Dhayagude said that even as a child, she knew she was destined to pursue a career in STEM.
“I am South Asian. I grew up surrounded by people in STEM fields through their education, through their work that they were doing. You could say that I have always been pushed towards this path. So for me it wasn’t, how I got started in STEM, because I was always around me and I was always interested in it, but it was a question of how to navigate through a very education. technique by not following a traditional path, but using it creatively to market a product or solve a real problem. It was the great effort for me in my mission, to really use my knowledge of textbooks that I had learned and to merge it with some kind of creativity to create a ready-made solution in this space.
Despite the appeal of Chinova’s out-of-the-box solution, Dhayagude said she still felt like she had a lot to prove, as a young minority entrepreneur and also as a woman.
“Every time I walked into the room – and I have a male counterpart as a co-founder –people always looked to him to make the final decision and have the final say, ”Dhayagude explained.
To counter this backlash, Dhayagude said it was very important to have the support of his team.
“I really tried to get the allies and the support within my company to show that I was in fact the leader and the decision maker within the company and therefore to have these allies to support me during this time, I think it was very, very critical. as I was navigating this path.
So far, the plan has proven to be successful. Dhayagude was named Startup Canada’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017 and Startup Canada’s Woman Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019. The company recently announced plans to expand its manufacturing capacity with a newly created bioscience manufacturing facility. built of 20,000 square feet and an area of 6,000 square feet. -foot space for R&D.
Chinova Bioworks co-founder said that one of the keys to her success is not being afraid to take risks and leave your comfort zone.
“Going from conventional to unconventional – which I have done with my career – taking a very traditional path and a traditional industry, and disrupting a very traditional manufacturing space.