There’s no “right way” to become successful. That’s what Jasmina Aganovic, the 35-year-old CEO of beauty biotech startup Arcaea, wishes she’d known before she embarked on her career.
Aganovic, who has a degree in chemical and biological engineering from MIT, launched Arcaea in 2021 after multiple stints developing products for other biotech companies. Her startup develops lab-grown compounds that mimic common ingredients in beauty products, but in a more effective and sustainable way, she says.
In less than two years, her company has raised $78 million from venture capital firms and beauty industry giants like Chanel and Givaudan. Arcaea recently began shipping its first lab-grown ingredient, ScentArc, which Aganovic says can “shift our smell, naturally, away from body odor” rather than simply masking bad smells.
But for years, she says, she struggled — especially to accept the ups-and-downs of her job and the disappointment of not always immediately meeting her own high expectations.
School taught her to always search for “the …