Clarissa Desjardins’ serial startup career began, oddly enough, in the lab. “I made some discoveries during my PhD,” she says — she and her lab partner had discovered a particularly useful fluorescent reagent and decided to commercialize it. They founded Advanced Bioconcept Limited in 1992 and weren’t exactly prepared for what was to come: “Two recent science graduates trying to start a reagent business in peptides — it was a very big struggle,” she says.

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