An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Sasan Amini (co-founder and CEO) of Clear Labs, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of Clear Labs – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
Clear Labs was founded on the premise of liberating genomics and delivering next-generation sequencing (NGS) for all. NGS, a technology that allows highly parallelized sequencing of DNA, made its impact in the early 2000s and became more mainstream in 2010 as it showed a lot of potential across so many areas, including newborn screenings, infectious diseases, agriculture, oncology, and more.
However, because of the complexity of workflows for lab technicians coupled with the high price tag and lag time to get results, the adoption of NGS did not meet its full potential.
Clear Labs is on a mission to remove the barriers to adoption so that the power of NGS can finally be accessible and easy to use for all. By tapping into the power of NGS while expediting results, Clear Labs is delivering relevant, actionable insights while also reducing the costs so that every lab, regardless of size, expertise, and budget can realize the promise of this technology.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
We have a similar story to many startups, and the takeaway is nothing new. Every company starts with identifying the problems they want to solve while navigating the myriad of uncertainties that are bound to occur when translating an idea into a product. Success comes from building the right team and securing resources while marching in the same direction. Within that complex maze, prioritizing your bandwidth and limited resources on the key initiatives is an art. And you never have access to unlimited resources, so you should get very comfortable with wearing multiple hats while navigating the unknown and pushing ahead to achieve our goal.
What does the future hold for Clear Labs?
Clear Labs is committed to bringing additional advanced laboratory and analytical solutions to market by simplifying complexities associated with implementing them. Within the genomics space, our turnkey platform has been very successful in accelerating outcomes and improving accuracy. We have been able to do that by creating a fully automated platform that brings together DNA sequencing, robotics, and cloud-based analytics. We will continue to introduce new solutions that can help us in our vision, which is improving global health by liberating genomics to all.
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in San Carlos?
San Carlos is connected to the larger Bay Area, which has a very rich ecosystem. As a result, we benefit from the concentration of brilliant minds and talent, all of whom are excited about taking on big problems and challenging the status quo. We’re fortunate to have access to the assets necessary to build and scale a company, from venture capital to infrastructure and legal expertise and a very deep talent pool. San Carlos is at the center of it in the Bay Area, and we’re seeing a lot of development in our own backyard. There’s an abundance of development projects that will continue to attract even more diverse companies within various stages of growth.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
There is no one-size fits all, but ultimately, it’s critical to focus on solving problems that matter.
At the same time, it’s important to keep your head up, keep learning, and be open to being challenged. When I started Clear Labs, someone told me “don’t give up”. But over time, I have refined that mantra to “sometimes you have to give up the wrong idea”. Many entrepreneurs are beholden to an idea that may or may not come to fruition. However, if you are open to feedback and allow others to challenge you, you’ll be able to more easily identify when it’s time to refine your direction.
Finally, empower those around you. You can’t build a great business on your own. At Clear Labs, we have the unique opportunity to turn all of our diverse ideas, voices, and experiences into innovations.