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Catching up with Nivatha Balendra

May 16, 2019 By: Barry Chong

This post is also available in: Français (French)

How do you enjoy juggling business operations (IP, hiring, governance, etc.) with technology development?
It’s been an incredibly enriching experience to be involved in every aspect of the business thus far. Having started my company about six months ago, it’s been an exciting period of self-growth in terms of acquiring business and financial knowledge. Being the leader of a company comes with a lot of responsibility — as such, it’s important to keep expanding my knowledge to help the business grow. It’s been an amazing process so far, learning new concepts from online resources, MaRS, and various courses. Most importantly, I’ve learned from an incredible network of mentors supporting me throughout this journey.

What were some of the highlights from the last quarter?
I was invited to give a lecture on sustainability and oil contamination at McGill University. I was also invited to be a speaker at the youth in sustainability panel organized by Global Shapers Montreal. I love being able to share my passion for STEM, because I believe scientific innovation can be used to address global issues. I also got the opportunity to meet and present to a VC fund. Despite being early-stage, it was important for me to learn from investors for when I will be at the VC funding stage. I am incredibly excited to share that my company has secured a company lab space from where we will be continuing to develop our technology.

What will you focus on achieving in the next three months?
Next quarter, I look forward to several milestones that touch various aspects of the company. First, I will be tying up the initial R&D stage and begin prototype development. Second, I aim to secure more funding to keep fueling our company growth. Last, but certainly not the least, I am very much looking forward to recruiting team members to join the family.

Any words of wisdom for other women in STEM?
If we look at the amount of scientific and technological advancements over the past five years alone, women have made tremendous progress. However, there still remains an evident gender gap whereby women are underrepresented in the STEM fields. If we were able to bridge this gap by having more women in STEM, as well as other underrepresented groups, I truly believe we’d be able to advance society exponentially. My advice to women out there is to not allow anyone — including yourself — dim your light and underestimate your potential. Keep persevering and follow your goals.