Born in Brooklyn, NY

Founded in 2018, Aanika is revolutionizing how products are tracked through supply chains.

Our mission

Using customized microbial-based tags, we help companies gain valuable insights about their supply chains, help their customers make better consumption choices, and create a more sustainable world.

Our story

Biology meets tech

Imagine ordering fresh, ethically sourced seeds and receiving stale, contaminated products instead.

This happened to Aanika co-founder Vishaal Bhyuan, who discovered that the costly, wasteful experience of destroying sub-standard goods is worryingly common.

Could this problem be solved by applying some sort of identifier that would authenticate and trace products through supply chains?

Enter molecular biologist Dr. Ellen Jorgensen, who partnered with Vishaal to create Aanika.

Together they have figured out how microbial-based technology can be used to trace and authenticate products as they move through supply chains - solving Vishaal’s original problem.

Now the expanded Aanika team is bringing this biotechnology to market, so that companies around the world can reduce waste and bring more integrity and efficiency to their supply chains.

Dr. Ellen Jorgensen CSO at Aanika
Vishaal CEO of Aanika
Core values

The way we work

Ethical transparency

High principles and integrity are not negotiable. We are unfailingly accountable, honest and true to our word.

Clear communication

Collaboration is a big part of our culture, and because bioscience can be complicated, clarity is always our goal.

A problem-solving mindset

We’re a team of positive, persistent and resourceful experts, undaunted by challenges.

Purposeful innovation

We delight in devising creative, ingenious and ground-breaking solutions to real world problems.

Our team

08

Want to join us? 

We’re hiring

Entrepreneur

Sameer Vaswani

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https://www.linkedin.com/in/sameer-vaswani-65159945/?originalSubdomain=uk

sameer-vaswani

Advisors

Sameer is a serial entrepreneur, skilled at setting businesses up from scratch. As an investor in several consumer wellness brands in the UK and US, he has deep expertise in full scale food manufacturing and management systems, building teams and brands, organizational development, HR management, sales and marketing, international trade and logistics, and crisis management. After training as a chef, Sameer’s first venture was an Asian fusion restaurant in London.

He later founded a confectionery business which produced the household-name Haansbro product range, and which sold to United Biscuits (U.K.) Ltd after amassing sales of over $150m. Sameer’s next venture, Prodigy Snacks Ltd., brings healthier confectionary choices to the UK and EU markets. He also founded clean sports nutrition brand One Pro Nutrition.

Entrepreneur & Executive

Daniel Jay Simon

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Advisors

Dan has a proven, established process for building shareholder value and operating portfolio companies, and has been an active private company investor since 1997. Currently, Dan is an operating partner at GLC Advisors, leading a public food company’s restructuring efforts. He is also the operating partner at Bessemer Trust on a large investment in a public energy and agricultural processing company.

His global investments, executive leadership, board memberships, and advisory positions are in the areas of energy, life sciences, manufacturing, construction / infrastructure, agriculture, bio / pharma, and technology. Companies he has been involved in include NCH Corporation, Kiewit/TIC, Bessemer Trust and Hicks Holdings, Nutrinsic Corporation, Mars Inc., Biofuel Energy Corp (Nasdaq: BIOF), some of which run to  hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue per year. Dan has served as a Chairman and/or Board Member to more than 10 public and private companies and universities.

Founder, Vistronix

Deepak Hathiramani

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Advisors

Deepak has more than 25 years of experience with privately funded and venture-funded high-tech start-ups. He founded the award-winning Vistronix Intelligence and Technology Solutions, which was recently acquired by Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC). He has worked with high-tech start-ups including Nx Networks (Netrix Corporation) and Cinnabar Software.

Deepak serves on the Board of Advisors of Brillient, Paradyme Management and Quadrint. He is a member of George Mason University’s Volgenau School of Engineering Advisory Board, the University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Computer Science Advisory Council, and the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) Senior Advisory Board. He holds several degrees, diplomas and other qualifications from the University of Texas at Austin;  the University of Bombay, India; the Amos Tuck School, Dartmouth College; and George Washington University.


Founder and CEO, Giphy

Alex Chung

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Advisors

Alex Chung has an extensive background in the field of technology. He is the founder and CEO of GIPHY, the world’s first and largest GIF search engine as well as the world’s third largest search engine. Over 500 million people send more than 7 billion GIFs every day on GIPHY. That adds up to 11 hours of GIFs viewed every single day. GIPHY is where thousands of artists, brands, and content partners make today’s expression a little more moving. On GIPHY, users can not only search for their favorite GIFs and Stickers but post, embed, share, and more.

Before founding GIPHY, he worked on hardware at Intel and music videos at MTV as well as over a dozen startups over the last 20 years.

He was named on Business Insider’s Top 25 most influential technologists in New York, Ad Age’s 50 most creative people, Fast Company’s most creative people in business right next to Beyoncé, and has degrees in philosophy, engineering, and graphic design.

Professor of Genetics, Harvard

George Church

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Scientific Advisors

George’s 1984 Harvard PhD led to the first genome sequence (pathogen, Helicobacter pylori) in 1994. His innovations have contributed to nearly all ‘next generation’ DNA sequencing methods and companies. His lab's work on chip-DNA-synthesis, gene editing and stem cell engineering resulted in founding additional application-based companies spanning fields of medical diagnostics and synthetic biology / therapeutics.

He has also pioneered new privacy, biosafety, ELSI, environmental and biosecurity policies. He is director of an IARPA BRAIN Project and NIH Center for Excellence in Genomic Science. His honors include election to NAS and NAE - and the Franklin Bower Laureate for Achievement in Science. He has co-authored 537 papers, 156 patent publications and one book.

He is Director of the Personal Genome Project, which provides the world's only open-access information on human Genomic, Environmental and Trait data (GET).

Co-Founder of Biotia and Associate Professor at Weill Cornell Medicine

Christopher Mason

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Scientific Advisors

Christopher completed his dual post-doctoral training at Yale Medical School in genetics and a fellowship at Yale Law School. He obtained his PhD in Genetics from Yale University, and his dual BS in Genetics and Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

As an award-winning geneticist, he has 150+ peer-reviewed articles and has been featured on the covers of several science publications. His lab develops and deploys new biochemical and computational methods in functional genomics and metagenomics. The group also works closely with NIST/FDA to build international standards. These methods are also being integrated for longitudinal multi-omic profiling of NASA astronauts and for genetic and epigenetic diagnostics on the International Space Station.

Christopher has won awards from the NIH, the CDC and the WorldQuant Foundation. He was named as one of the ‘Brilliant Ten’ Scientists by Popular Science, and has been featured as a TEDMED speaker.

CFO, Co-Founder

Nirmal Roy

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https://www.linkedin.com/in/nirmal-roy-67293b2/

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Team

Nirmal Roy is one of Aanika Biosciences’ co-founders and our part-time CFO. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics, magna cum laude, from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania - and has a long career in investment finance. He began his career as an investment analyst at Starwood Capital Group, where he focused on the global acquisition of real estate assets and publicly traded real estate companies. He then took an investment analyst position at Silver Point Capital, an $8 billion hedge fund focused on distressed credit investments.

During his time as an associate at Meadow Partners, Nirmal underwrote and closed six transactions totalling approximately $400 million. He was also a partner and investment analyst at BHR Capital, a hedge fund which specialises in special situation investments, with a focus on bottom-up fundamental analysis across the capital structure. In addition to his CFO role at Aanika, Nirmal serves as a Managing Member of Foundation Capital Partners.

Scientist

Dr. Morgan Halane

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https://www.linkedin.com/in/morganhalane/

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Team

Morgan received his PhD in Plant, Insect, and Microbial Sciences from the University of Missouri in May 2017, under the mentorship of Dr Walter Gassmann. He then moved to Pohang, South Korea, securing a prestigious Korea Research Fellowship with Dr Kee Hoon Sohn at POSTECH.

In Asia, Morgan was exposed to using biotechnology for crop protection. Returning to the United States in 2019, Morgan studied under Dr Wenbo Ma at the University of California, Riverside, working to protect citrus from the devastating Huanglongbing (citrus greening disease/yellow dragon disease).

Morgan is excited to bring his extensive botany, molecular biology, and microbiology background to Aanika Biosciences. In his spare time Morgan plays Dungeons and Dragons, and plays classical violin, alto saxophone jazz and EDM. His sidekick, Kira, is a Turkish Angora rescue cat.

Chief of Staff

Noah Dwora

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Team

Noah runs the business operations at Aanika Biosciences. He graduated with honors with a BSc in Business Administration from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences and a Masters in Finance from the Cass Business School, City University of London. He started his career overseas in Zurich’s banking and finance industry where he held various investment positions.

While working in Switzerland, Noah and his two roommates co-founded one of the first poké restaurants in Zurich - which has since expanded to numerous locations across the country. Noah moved back to the US in 2018 and was the Chief of Staff at a quant hedge fund in New York before joining Aanika.

When not working at Aanika or coming up with new poké recipes, Noah stays active by playing soccer, cycling, hiking or simply exploring New York.


Laboratory Manager

Arjeta Markasevic

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Team

Arjeta (Ari) holds everything together in the Aanika Biosciences laboratory. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from Hunter College in New York City.

When she’s not in the lab, you’ll find Ari either catching up on her favorite show - Law & Order: SVU - or in the gym trying to achieve her powerlifting dreams.

CSO, Co-Founder

Dr. Ellen Jorgensen

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https://www.linkedin.com/in/ellenjorgensen/

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Team

Dr. Ellen Jorgensen is our Chief Science Officer and co-founder. She holds a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from New York University and has spent over 30 years in the biotechnology industry.

In 2009 she co-founded Genspace, the world’s first community bio lab where she became a worldwide voice for hands-on public engagement with biotechnology. Fast Company named Genspace one of the World's Top 10 Innovative Companies in Education and featured Dr. Jorgensen as one of their Most Creative Leaders in Business in 2017. She is a SynbioLEAP fellow, recipient of a Shuttleworth Foundation Flash Grant, and an alumnus of the THNK School of Creative Leadership.

Her work has been chronicled by Nature Medicine, Science, Discover Magazine, Wired, Make, BBC News, The Washington Post, Dan Rather Reports, PBS NewsHour, The Discovery Channel, and The New York Times. Her two TED talks have had over three million views.

Scientist

German Sabio

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https://www.linkedin.com/in/german-sabio/

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Team

Germán is a Molecular Biologist PhD based in New York City. He currently focuses on non-academic scientific applications of biotechnology at Aanika. Germán earned a degree in Biology with a specialization in Molecular Biology from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina.

His PhD research as a graduate student at Weill Cornell focused on understanding how mechanical forces are regulated during developmental morphogenesis. Germán loves to solve problems and enjoys teaching and communicating science to both scientific and non-scientific audiences.

In his spare time, Germán loves to sail and was actually a sailing instructor for three years in Argentina.

CTO

Eduardo Morales

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https://www.linkedin.com/in/eduardo-h-morales-2a0b4914/

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Team

Eduardo Morales guides our technology and product roadmap. He is the former Vice President of Research and Development at uBiome, where he led a team of 50+ scientists in the areas of bioinformatics, automation and wet labs towards the development of microbiome tests. He has 10+ years experience in academic and industry settings and has authored numerous publications and patents.

In a distant past, Eduardo complemented his passion for research with teaching biochemistry, molecular biology/microbiology at different universities in Chile. Eduardo holds BS and MS degrees in Biochemistry and a PhD in Molecular Biosciences from Universidad Andres Bello, Chile. He conducted his Postdoctoral training at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center and Department of Biomolecular Chemistry, UW-Madison and at the Department of Chemistry and Biology, Universidad de Santiago de Chile.

CEO, Co-Founder

Vishaal Bhuyan

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https://www.linkedin.com/in/vishaal-b-bhuyan-9053b0139/

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Team

Vishaal co-founded Aanika Biosciences with Ellen in 2018. He began his career on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and co-authored and edited three books on financial derivatives linked to longevity risk, overfishing and water. Vishaal spent over a decade in the investing space, managing a portfolio of esoteric derivatives for a group of family offices.

He also previously served as a portfolio manager of a $1 billion multi-strategy hedge fund. Vishaal has been featured in a number of publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, FOX Business, and CNET and has delivered talks at various conferences around the world. In 2017, he used the seeds of a rural Asian plant to create a snack product that is available at a number of retail locations and offices around NYC.

Vishaal graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005 with a B.A. in the History of Science.

Scientific advisory

08

Want to join us? 

We’re hiring

Advisors

08

Investors

SOSV
Draper Associates