ON A MISSION TO REPLACE PLASTIC AND TOXIC CHEMICALS WITH SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS: FANYA´S DIRECT ROUTE FROM UNIVERSITY TO STARTUP FOUNDING
Founder & CEO, SGMA
In this episode of KavAdemy Talks, we speak with Fanya Ismail, Founder & CEO of Sol-Gel Materials and Applications (SGMA), to discuss her journey of turning an R&D company into a commercial one. We will also discuss her experience in taking her company to a startup accelerator. Fanya's company, SGMA, is a chemical startup focusing on providing sustainable solutions for global challenges - such as replacing plastic and toxic chemicals with more sustainable materials in the food packaging industry. Her invention of the multifunctional sol-gel coating for fiber packaging has given her the prestigious Innovate UK award "Women In Innovation 2019" in the CleanTech sector and the top prize 'Diamond' at MassChallenge Switzerland 2020. Fanya has a Ph.D. in chemistry, an MSc in Physical Chemistry from the University of Manchester and worked as a Research Scientist at the Queen Mary University of London and the University of Manchester.
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL HEAR
(1:10) How did Fanya end up where she is today, as an innovator and a Founder?
(06:30) Was coming outside of the world of business a challenge or a blessing?
(7:40) How did Fanya establish her connections and business network?
(10:25) What have been her biggest challenges and learnings in building her business? Which parts have been easier than she thought?
(13:38) What were the best things she got out of attending a startup accelerator? What kinds of startups does she think would benefit most from getting into one?
(19:00) If she would rule the world, what would be the three things she would change today that would have an immediate positive impact?