Priv makes a splash at Harvard Business School awards

29 May 2011

Privahini Bradoo

University of Auckland-educated biotechnologist Privahini Bradoo has capitalised on her flair for enterprise and is becoming a powerhouse of success. Having just clinched this year's Harvard Business School Alumni Global New Venture Contest with her company BioMine, the entrepreneurial dynamo is spreading the word about New Zealand innovation around the globe.

A Fulbright-Platinum Triangle Scholarship in Entrepreneurship winner, Silicon Valley-based Bradoo represented the Harvard Business School's Association of Northern California and Tech Alumni Club at the competition in May 2011, taking top honours for BioMine - a company she co-founded and is the chief executive of.

BioMine plans to use environmentally friendly, low-cost technologies to mine high-value base, precious and rare earth metals in the 40 million tonnes of "eWaste" generated annually around the world.

This year's contest attracted more than 90 teams from Boston, Brazil, Chicago, Germany, India, New York/Washington DC, Northern California, Southern California/San Diego, Shanghai, South Africa, Toronto and the United Arab Emirates.

"We were up against 11 other finalists from all around the world and the competition provided me with plenty of tough rivals," Bradoo says.

Having moved by herself to New Zealand from Oman in 1998 at the age of 16 to start university, Bradoo completed a four-year Bachelor of Technology programme with first class honours (specialising in Biomedical Science) in just over three years, and by 24 had finished her PhD.

Her doctoral research at The University of Auckland's Liggins Institute included the discovery of a novel gene family involved in brain repair. At 21, through her extra-curricular activities, Bradoo acquired a passion for entrepreneurship and became the inaugural chief executive for the student-initiated innovation competition, Spark, which aims to turn student and staff business ideas into world-class enterprises through training, mentoring and business plan challenges.

She later went on to receive the inaugural Business School Dean's Excellence Award and founded Chiasma, an initiative aimed at encouraging the spirit of enterprise amongst the University's biotech community.

"To me, being the best I can be is about constantly challenging myself, making the most of every opportunity that comes my way with a spirit of enterprise, learning from every experience and always dreaming the impossible dream without ever compromising my principles," she says.

The Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, Geoff Whitcher, says Bradoo's international success will further inspire Spark entrants this year and encourage them to set their aspirations high.

"It is also a wonderful illustration that what the Business School does for entrepreneurship is truly world-class."