You may not know about Electric Genetics yet. After all, it’s a small bioinformatics company based in Cape Town, South Africa. But if Christina Raimondo does her job, anyone who doesn’t know the company will soon enough.
Raimondo, who’s originally from South Africa, recently left her business post at Menlo Park, Calif.’s GeneticXchange and joined Electric Genetics as director of business development. One of her biggest challenges, she says, will be raising capital to expand the company’s purview. That was one of the reasons the company hired her: “There was a decision to say, ‘Well, we want to increase the value of the company, and to do that we’re going to have to get bigger.’” To that end, Raimondo, 28, expects to establish operations in the US as well as to assist the company in its movement toward open source while still enabling it to generate revenue (Electric Genetics distributes its products free of charge to many academics).
After earning her undergraduate zoology and environmental science degree, Raimondo started up a small company and learned, well, that she had a lot to learn — so she went back to school for her MBA. She still thrives in the small-business environment: “In a small company, anything you do has immediate repercussions,” she says. “It’s very risky in a way.”
But that risk is familiar (and welcome) to the paragliding fan. And she’s looking forward to getting back to her native country and contributing to the bioinformatics industry there. “I’m very impressed with how Electric Genetics has been plugging away without external financing … and without the hype,” she says.
— Meredith Salisbury