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April 1, 2024

Leila Daneshmandi, 2024 Women in Business Honoree

Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer Encapsulate Check out the rest of the 2024 Women in Business Honorees
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Leila Daneshmandi, Ph.D., is the chief operating officer and co-founder of Encapsulate Inc., a medical technology company in precision diagnostics for personalized cancer therapy.

The company’s patented tumor-on-a-chip technology allows users to assess tumor behavior in a microenvironment that mimics the human body, so doctors can accurately predict how a tumor reacts to different treatments.

With a background in biomedical engineering and global entrepreneurship, she co-founded the company in 2019, and has since secured over $1.8 million in funding.

Daneshmandi is recognized as a TEDx speaker, CT Women of Innovation finalist, and recipient of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award for scalable venture.

Additionally, she holds positions as assistant professor in innovation and entrepreneurship, director of the entrepreneurship hub, and co-director of the nursing and engineering innovation center at the University of Connecticut, where she empowers future technology innovators.

What have been your biggest professional accomplishments?

Starting Encapsulate as a Ph.D. student, developing the strategy, and executing it to reach where we are today. This began with an idea, and now, we are launching our technology into space and initiating our next round of clinical studies.

We’ve been recognized nationally and internationally. The opportunity to work with younger students, whether inspiring them to start their ventures or broadening their mindsets, has also been incredibly rewarding.

What’s the next big goal you want to accomplish professionally?

To expand the business and continue growing in areas that are new territory for me. I stepped into new roles this year that turned out to be enriching and rewarding experiences. I would like to continue that trajectory, and also broaden my impact by reaching a larger audience.

What’s one of the biggest professional challenges you’ve overcome?

Finding my unique position, being comfortable with what I know and bring, and embracing and owning these aspects have been key. I’ve grown into my roles and am able to be more authentic in my professional efforts.

How are you involved in the community?

I volunteer regularly and serve as a board member at the Connecticut Invention Convention, which supports innovation and creativity in K-12 students. I actively mentor student entrepreneurs at UConn and contribute to the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

I also recently received an award from the National Science Foundation for a project aimed at training STEM students in entrepreneurial skills through curricular and co-curricular activities, which I’m excited about.

What legacy do you want to leave after your career is over?

To shift the paradigm of cancer treatment and save lives, and to leave a legacy of compassion, kindness and more understanding.

Check out the rest of the 2024 Women in Business Honorees

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