Startup Customer Stories: Basepaws Aims to Eradicate Genetic Diseases by Collecting DNA from Your Cat or Dog

Making the connection between human and animal genetics is the key to Basepaws’ moonshot idea to improve medicine—for both pets and humans. Co-founders Anna Skaya and Shan Zhao started Basepaws in 2016 while attending Singularity University’s (SU) Global Solutions Program, now known as the Global Startup Program.

Armed with the knowledge that your average cat and dog carries up to 90 percent of the same genes as humans and develops cancer much in the same way we do, Skaya and Zhao are building a database of the genomic results from millions of cats and dogs, on a scale far beyond what currently exists for humans.

The database will not only help pet owners understand the link between a pet’s DNA and their likelihood for common disorders and diseases, but it also opens up the possibility of using pets as genetic models for human disease and to eventually improve drug targeting in people.

Read this case study to learn how Basepaws, working with SU, built a minimum viable product 3x faster than the typical biotech startups, attracted a sizable customer base, and developed a plan to attract investors for the future.


At Singularity University, we work with startups at the intersection of exponential technologies and global impact. We take a long-term approach to helping them build high-growth, sustainable businesses. SU Ventures provides exclusive bootcamps, sprints, and other programs that promote breakthroughs, accelerate milestones, and help entrepreneurs succeed.

Whether you’re starting an early-stage venture, scaling a startup, or innovating inside a large company with thoughts of a spinoff, see how we can help your idea take flight.

Learn more about the SU programs featured in the case study:

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“For Basepaws, the next four to five years are going to be about how we use this amazing database that we’ve created in R&D to develop drugs for pets and people.”— Anna Skaya, Co-founder and CEO of Basepaws