Immigrant Entrepreneurs in Cambridge

Cambridge is a hub of innovation not just for Massachusetts but for the country as a whole. From world-renowned Universities to industry powerhouses to cutting-edge start-ups, Cambridge wouldn’t be Cambridge without immigrants. The 2017 ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards nominees from Cambridge are outstanding examples.


Albaiti croppedAhmed Albaiti
Medullan Inc., Cambridge
from Tanzania
Category: High-Tech Business

Ahmed Albaiti is the founder of Medullan, Inc., a digital health firm that delivers innovative, patient-centric solutions for the major players in healthcare such as Illumina, Humana, Mass General Hospital and Aetna. Medullan works with payer, life sciences and pharmaceutical clients to build solutions that create measurable business value and positive impact in the lives of their customers. Recent projects have included a care coordination platform, a tool for communicating genetic health information and the world’s first wellness platform to fully integrate first and third party data. Since its inception in 2005, Medullan has been awarded the Boston Business Journal’s Pacesetter award five times.


Johannes Fruehauf Johannes Fruehauf
BioLabs, Cambridge
from Germany
Category: Life Science Business

Dr. Johannes Fruehauf is founder, president and CEO of BioLabs Cambridge and the BioLabs network. BioLabs builds and operates premium co-working laboratory facilities around the country, designed specifically for science-based startups to help them go further, faster on limited capital investment. Dr. Fruehauf is also co-founder and president of a nonprofit subsidiary, LabCentral, (part of the BioLabs network). This business model reduces the capital needs for startup biotech companies by a factor of 10 to 20 times, allowing startups to focus precious resources on advancing their science and building their companies. Since opening, more than 150 companies have been created at Biolabs and LabCentral, and they have raised more than $1 billion in venture capital, grants and other sources of funding to further their research and commercialization goals. Dr. Fruehauf is also a co-founder and general partner at BioInnovation Capital, a seed- and early-stage venture fund investing in biotech and life-sciences opportunities and a member of the New England Venture Capital Association board of directors.


Olle croppedBernat Olle
Vedanta Biosciences, Cambridge
from Spain
Category: Life Science Business

Dr. Bernat Olle is the co-founder and CEO of Vedanta Biosciences. The company is developing a new class of drugs that work by modulating the human microbiome, which is increasingly recognized as a key factor in autoimmune, metabolic and infectious diseases. Vedanta has generated a pipeline of drug candidates including a candidate in inflammatory bowel diseases licensed to Johnson & Johnson in 2015 in the largest deal in the microbiome space to date by a pharmaceutical company. The drug is now being brought into clinical trials for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. A second Vedanta drug candidate is starting clinical trials in 2017 for treatment of recurrent C. difficile infections.

In 2013, Dr. Olle was named “Innovator of the Year” in MIT Technology Review, Spain’s “Innovators under 35” awards, and in 2015, he was awarded the Princess of Girona business award by the King of Spain. He is also a venture partner at PureTech Health, a Boston-based venture group where he has been a member of the founding teams of several companies.


ParayilAjikumar Parayil
Manus Bio, Cambridge
from India
Category: Life Science Business

Dr. Ajikumar Parayil is an entrepreneurial scientist who has co-founded multiple companies, including Mirakel Technologies, an innovative start up in hair care and cosmetics and Manus Biosynthesis (Manus Bio), a world leader in the production of plant-based natural ingredients through advanced fermentation technologies. Dr. Parayil is an inventor on more than 20 U.S. and international patents. The foundational elements for Manus Bio’s technology was developed by Dr. Parayil during his tenure at MIT. The first products in Manus Bio’s pipeline have been developed with over $25 million in customer R&D funding to date and are nearing commercialization with an addressable market of more than $7 billion.



VennaNagarjuna Venna
Bitsight, Cambridge
from India
Category: High-Tech Business

Nagarjuna Venna founded his first company, Saperix, in 2010 and sold it to Firemon in 2011. He got to work quickly and co-founded Bitsight later that same year. BitSight provides evidence-based ratings of security effectiveness to help organizations manage their security risk and the risks posed by third parties to more than 650 customers worldwide.

Venna has effectively created a new cybersecurity market, which information technology research and advisory firm Gartner termed “Security Rating Services (SRS).” The importance of cybersecurity ratings is so great that, according to Gartner, by 2022 SRS will become as important as credit rating services when assessing business partnerships for risk and viability. In 2016, Bitsight was selected by Forbes as one of 25 companies on its Next Billion Dollar Startup list.

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