STORY: Shortly after I started my 2nd year at McGill, I applied to a job that I never thought would turn out to be a long term entrepreneurial opportunity. Dr. Brian Chen at the time was looking for a software developer to jump start his idea of an easy-to-use genomics browser. The project was only 3 months old at the time, and after I joined, it turned into an entrepreneurial journey. As the project grew and I was the oldest member of the team, I pursued the leadership of the team assuming the role of CTO and started working on more higher level stuff like software architecture and user experience while still heavily contributing to the code base. We have won McGill’s Dobson Entrepreneurship Competition and Tech Innovation Day at McGill. We grew into more than 8 team members and I have had the chance to brush up my entrepreneurial skills while having lots of fun.
WHAT IS IT?: GeneDig is a web application that allows user-friendly access to genomics data and analysis. Currently, accessing genomic information is difficult due to the large amounts of sequence data and complex biological information involved. The rapidly decreasing costs of DNA sequencing make the need for user-friendly access to genomics all the more urgent as the number of sequenced organisms continues to increase and the era of personalized medicine and personalized genomics begins.
You can access GeneDig live at www.genedig.org. Try typing “breast cancer” on the search box if you have no idea how this works.
STATUS: GeneDig is currently active and is run with public and private research grants. As of summer of 2014, there were 7 developers and designers working there. I left GeneDig in September 2014.