Inc. today announced its sixth annual Female Founders list, honoring a bold group of 200 women whose innovations and ideas are shaping the world into a better place.

Dr. Kiana Aran, Associate Professor of Medical Diagnostics and Therapeutics and head of the Aran Lab at Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) as well as Chief Scientific Officer of Cardea Bio, reacts to the announcement by stating, “I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to all my colleagues and collaborators who have helped me turn my ideas and visions into technology and products that can make a true impact for humankinds. Being recognized as a top female founder motivates me to continue pushing the boundaries of science and technology.”

One of Kiana Aran’s innovations – the SNP-chip for amplification free DNA testing – was named as a Top 10 Innovation of 2021 by The Scientist magazine. After winning the 2021 Nature Research Award for Inspiring Women in Science, in 2022 Dr. Aran was the second woman since 1960 to receive Rutgers University’s Distinguished Engineer, Medal of Excellence award.

In addition, Dr. Aran was also selected in 2022 for a $1.6M grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help develop CRISPR Quality Control standards for therapeutics applications in this groundbreaking area of science. An area that holds the potential to treat or cure diseases, that are otherwise very harmful or even fatal for the patients.

Michael Heltzen, CEO at Cardea Bio, adds, “It is a pleasure to experience the startup community acknowledging and supporting Dr. Aran’s tremendous achievements. She has been instrumental in developing our BPU (Biosignal Processing Unit) platform and exciting applications using the BPU, including the CRISPR-chip. What is most inspiring about Dr. Aran, though, is her constant flow of innovations and endless positive energy!”

Each year, Inc. editors review thousands of applications highlighting female founders who are challenging the status quo and tackling some of the world’s biggest problems. The list features women who have overcome challenges and lifted those around them, while leading impactful organizations across the country. They join the ranks of previous honorees including Jessica Alba, Tracee Ellis Ross, Rihanna, and Shonda Rhimes.

The founders cross all industries and bring with them unique stories of success from each stage of the entrepreneurial journey – from startup to going public, being acquired by big buyers, or spending decades at the helm of an organization. They are reinventing everything from shoes to food and are challenging issues like financial literacy and reproductive health.

“These 200 female founders have identified solutions to difficult problems and created valuable, industry-changing companies out of them. We congratulate this year’s list on their achievements and look forward to their continued success,” says Inc. editor-in-chief Scott Omelianuk.

To see the complete list, go to:

After launching in 2018, the Female Founders list is one of Inc.’s most esteemed franchises. Inc. magazine’s Female Founders issue (April 2023) available online from April 4 at and on newsstands on April 11.

Join the Female Founders conversation using #FemaleFounders


This post was originally published at Cardea Bio was acquired by Paragraf on 2 May 2023.

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