Dr. Daphne Preuss, founder and CEO, Chromatin Inc. Featured

8:00pm EDT June 30, 2012
Dr. Daphne Preuss, founder and CEO, Chromatin Inc.

Private Equity/ Venture Capital -- Finalist

Like many entrepreneurs, Dr. Daphne Preuss started with a seed of an idea. The difference? Her idea also started with a seed.

Preuss launched Chromatin Inc. in 2000 while working as a professor at the University of Chicago. Her research focused on synthetic biology technology to create customized feedstock for the agricultural industry. After founding a business venture to develop this technology, she soon realized that her vision for the company was somewhat different than that of its business leadership. As they pursued a different path with the technology, they struggled to secure financing and new business prospects.

That’s when Preuss decided that the best way to drive her vision would be to steer the business herself, as the company’s CO.xx Having taken the operational helm, Preuss not only negotiated the company’s first commercial deal as a developer of renewable energy crop feed stocks but led a number of acquisitions and partnership deals to help legitimize the company’s technology in the marketplace and give it financial footing. Effectively saving the company, she didn’t stop there. In 2007, she transitioned from her university role to become Chromatin’s full-time CEO.

As CEO, Preuss is committed to advancing Chromatin’s dynamic technology to develop scalable feedstock solutions. A passionate innovator, she rejects the long-time industry norm of forming exclusive partnership deals for technology development and commercialization efforts. Instead, she and her team have negotiated partnerships with multiple firms, enabling the broader development and innovation around Chromatin’s unique technology for power, fuel and chemical producers. x How to reach: Chromatin Inc., www.chromatininc.com