Charlotte Guzzo

Chief operating officer & co-founder, Sano Genetics

"Charlotte co-founded healthtech company Sano Genetics in 2017 with two friends, while they were studying genomics as graduate students at the University of Cambridge. To date they’ve raised $22M in venture capital funding, as well as several innovation grants to fund programmes in long COVID and motor neurone disease (MND).

 Charlotte is committed to innovation in the field of genetic disease research in a world where there are still 6,000+ known diseases with no treatment options and it takes 10 to 15 years and more than $1B to develop a new medication. Even for treatable diseases, medicines are mostly ‘one size fits all’ and don’t work for everyone. 

 Beyond dramatically reducing costs and speeding up the lengthy process of treatment discovery – at a ~50% lower cost and 10x faster in some cases – Sano’s software also improves the participant experience. Importantly, it also ensures patient data is available for future and follow-up studies, solving an important issue that has hampered research efforts in the past.

 And, with at-home DNA testing capabilities, Sano is able to accelerate advancements specifically in precision medicine, which considers factors like variability in genes, environment and lifestyle to decide disease treatment and prevention, paving the way for a future where medicines are as unique as the individuals receiving them.

 In 2023 alone, Charlotte’s company saw 5x ARR growth year-on-year, doubled its staff headcount, and expanded into the large pharmaceutical market. They’re now seeing early gains from deploying AI and they’ve just raised $11.4M which will be used to expand their reach globally, beyond the EU, US, UK and Australia.

 Charlotte is a role model for women in healthcare and technology. She raised £10.8M in VC funding while pregnant, and is determined to offer the best possible provision for working parents, having written internal policies designed to increase diversity e.g. four months full-paid paternity/maternity. Charlotte says: “I believe the gender gap in pay and career progression won't be solved until there are equal expectations on both parents to take time off after the birth of a child.”

 She adds: “Our presence challenges the status quo and paves the way for a brighter future for healthcare and technology. Women bring unique perspectives that drive innovative solutions and foster collaborative cultures. To inspire inclusion, we must mentor and support each other, share our stories of challenges and triumphs, and actively participate in shaping inclusive policies and practices.”

 She believes that diversity in business has transformative power but that inclusion in tech must go beyond creating environments where diverse voices are heard – they also need space to be influential. 

 As for what motivates her, Charlotte says: “What I do needs to matter. I want to make a change and improve the world I leave behind for my two children and future generations.”"