CEO and Cofounder, 23andMe
23andMe captured the public’s attention in 2008 during New York Fashion Week by hosting “spit parties,” where instead of donating seed funding, the rich and famous made their deposit in a test tube.
These small events in which 23andMe collected saliva samples for genetic testing would pale in comparison to the scale at which the company operates today: a $2.5 billion company, helmed by Anne Wojcicki, that services more than 10 million users.
23andMe’s saliva-based product allows its customers to discover their ancestry and test themselves for the likelihood they will develop debilitating health conditions, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Type 2 diabetes.
Before starting 23andMe, Wojcicki started a career as a financial analyst. She later quit that job in order to go to medical school. Her restlessness not only transformed her into a self-made multi-millionaire, it has enhanced our understanding of health by allowing the layman to access their personal information.