2014 Keller Entrepreneurship Academy Fellow
Akshata Mudinoor is a third-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, with a designated emphasis in biotechnology. She earned her bachelor of science in chemical engineering from Karnataka, India.
About the 2014 Keller Entrepreneurship Academy Fellowship
The Keller Entrepreneurship Academy Fellows Fund was established in 2014 with the generous support of Barry and Lynda Keller, through the Sacramento Region Community Foundation.
The fund fosters a collaborative approach to entrepreneurship by training innovative engineers, scientists and technologists to commercialize their research and, as a result, strengthen the Sacramento entrepreneurs’ network. Preference is given to women researchers in science and engineering and/or researchers from an interdisciplinary background.
In a nutshell, describe your project or venture.
We are developing a biosensor for real-time measurement of glucose for the biofuels industry—at a 10th the cost of the current industry standard.
What’s important about your research or project—and where do you hope to take it?
There is a great need for a biosensor that would help with reliable measurement of sugars in real time. This product will have value not just in the biofuel industry; it also has the potential to be extremely valuable across different industries, including wine, beer and food. Our goal is to make an economical, simple to use, reliable product that will add value to all our stakeholders.
What are you most passionate about in your work?
I am pursuing a doctoral degree in the area of cellulosic biofuels. I am passionate about taking my research into the world and making a viable product that can make a difference to the energy sector.
What was the most important thing you learned at the UC Entrepreneurship Academy?
The academy was a great experience to get a peek into what it takes to start my business. Of the many things I learned, what stood out for me is that all great businesses start not just with a great idea, but with a great network to carry that idea forward. To start a great business, that business should become a way of life and honesty, hard work and humility form the three main pillars of the same.
The most unexpected?
I did not expect to be given an opportunity to interact with the other entrepreneurs in such an informal setting. I also did not expect to get feedback from so many mentors from industry.
Our team is getting ready to participate in the Big Bang! Business Competition.
As a woman entrepreneur, do you have any insight/experience/concern you’d like to share?
I was inspired by the women entrepreneurs who spoke at the academy. It was particularly interesting to note that it is very much possible to have a work-personal balance and to achieve anything one dreams by having focus and good time management. I am grateful to the Keller Fellowship sponsors for giving us this opportunity.