Please submit a writing sample based on the "Founding Story" and "Product" sections found in our memos.

Submit a Google Docs or Notion link to a writing sample for both the "Founding Story" and "Product" sections. For instructions, refer to these two links. Make sure to cite and link your sources!

Guidelines - Founding Story


Founding Story

Source: CNBC

Solugen was founded in 2016 by Gaurab Chakrabarti (CEO) and Sean Hunt (CTO). While pursuing a Ph.D. and M.D. from UT Southwestern (Dallas) from 2010-2017, Chakrabarti worked in a cancer biology lab to understand why cancer cells create considerably more reactive oxygen species (i.e., hydrogen peroxide) than normal cells, causing damage.

While working to develop a drug to prevent such damage, Chakrabarti discovered the enzyme responsible for this increased production of hydrogen peroxide. He later found a way to fabricate the enzyme and mimic the process in cancer cells. Chakrabarti’s research proved that cancer cells produce profound quantities of commercially viable chemicals by converting sugar to hydrogen peroxide via an enzyme. Meanwhile, Hunt was pursuing a Ph.D. at MIT in chemical engineering. Hunt’s research was focused on the scaled production of hydrogen peroxide using metal catalysts.

Charkrabarti and Hunt were therefore unknowingly focused on the same problem, scaling hydrogen peroxide production using different methods: cancer cells and metal catalysts. The pair met when Hunt’s then-girlfriend, now wife, who was Chakrabarti’s dissection lab partner, introduced them over a poker game. Despite Hunt’s poor poker skills, Hunt and Chakrabarti began comparing research notes. After a petrochemical plant explosion in Dallas, the two saw an opportunity to combine their research to make hydrogen peroxide without flammable chemicals.

In 2016 Chakrabarti and Hunt were finalists in the MIT Launch program, adding the first $10K to the balance sheet of their new venture. Possible customers were in attendance at the MIT pitch competition who essentially told the co-founders, “If you make it, we’ll buy it,” so Hunt rushed to Home Depot to buy parts for their first reactor. This $7K PVC pipe reactor assembled in a ramshackle lab behind the Dallas Love Field Airport cost $150/month and was capable of producing 5 gallons of hydrogen peroxide per day. Initially, the pair loaded buckets of the cleaning solution in the back of Hunt’s Subaru and drove to the float spa and other customers they found by contacting businesses on Facebook.

Solugen joined the Y Combinator’s winter 2017 batch. Later that year, Solugen signed a deal with wet-wipe manufacturer Diamond Wipes and launched a new brand called Ode to Clean. Diamond Wipes manufactured the wipes, and Solugen provided hydrogen peroxide and marketing. After a few weeks of producing Ode to Clean at $4-5 per pack, Solugen was scheduled to generate more than $4 million from wipes in its first year. Many questioned the decision to focus on cleaning wipes first, but it made sense to Chakrabarti and Hunt. Not only is hydrogen peroxide the main ingredient in the antiseptic, but its production burns a lot of fossil fuel; a person could fly from Earth to the moon and back 18K times per year with the amount of petroleum used to make cleaning wipes in the US alone. Diamond Wipes acquired Ode to Clean in 2018, but Chakrabarti credits this initial partnership for Solugen’s entry into industrial manufacturing.

Guidelines - Product


Example - Cockroach Labs Product


CockroachDB Architecture

CockroachDB’s architecture consists of a distributed cluster of nodes. Each node stores a subset of data and replicates data to other nodes to preserve it. Communication between nodes ensures resilience and allows any node to receive any request. The company has also documented the technical details of CockroachDB.

Geographic Data Partitioning

Geographic data partitioning reduces latency by placing users’ data near them. Consider a user based in Iowa with their data in either Dallas or Singapore. Latency will be much higher if their data is in Singapore because of the greater distance.

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