IEOR - Designing a More Efficient World

MEng Students Create Startup Seeking to Help College Students Better Know Themselves Through Genetic Testing

MEng students, Arjun Bidesi (MEng ’19), Dinkar Juyal (MEng ’19), and Kaushal Yagnik (MEng’19), are the driving forces behind GenomEdge, a rising startup that uses genome testing to help college students better understand themselves. Here’s some insight on how they took their interest in healthcare and technology and funneled it into a growing startup.

From left to right: Dinkar Juyal, MEng ’19 (IEOR); Arjun Bidesi, MEng ‘19 (IEOR); Kaushal Yagnik, MEng ’19 (EECS)

Since his first week in Berkeley’s MEng program (IEOR), Arjun Bidesi was eager to become involved in the startup world of Silicon Valley. After attending several events at Berkeley SkyDeck and conducting months worth of interviews for potential cofounders, Bidesi not only solidified his goal of becoming an entrepreneur but found a powerful partner to venture into the startup world with. Bidesi claimed upon meeting Zhong Wang, a genomics scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the two immediately hit it off. Together, the advantageous duo set forth to expand their team which came to include Product lead, Dinkar Juyal, Tech lead, Kaushal Yagnik, and scientific advisors, Haifin Lin and Eddy Rubin.

The GenomEdge Team was passionate about delivering the power of genomics to consumers and prioritized affordability and strict personal privacy. After conducting extensive market research, they found that college students would benefit the most from genomic testing because they faced a steep learning curve in terms of acclimating with the college dynamic that came with uncertainty and exploration. In an effort to help college students better understand themselves, the sorted the various facets of student life into four categories: academics, wellness, health, and personality. Students can request DNA testing for one or more of these areas and receive actionable recommendations based off of test result. In order to ensure anonymity and complete personal privacy, GenomEdge links student DNA samples with encrypted chips. GenomEdge is currently being incubated at SkyDeck and is now taking pre-orders for a 50% off early-bird discount. They expect to launch their first release in Fall 2019, after which students can expect a turnaround of one week to receive their mobile reports.

To read more about GenomEdge and the brilliant minds behind it, click here.

Sharon Pan