Ariadne Software

Small Business Feature - Ariadne

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For the month of October, CapFed® will be featuring a few women-owned business to highlight National Women in Small Business Month.  Our first feature is with Dr. Stephanie Pasas-Farmer, owner of BioData Solutions and Red Thread® by Ariadne Software®.


Small Business Feature - The Ariadne Story

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Dr. Stephanie Pasas-Farmer is more familiar with observing Women in Science in March because of her background in the pharmaceutical industry, but she was just as excited to learn she can also celebrate National Women’s Small Business Month.  “In my industry, I’m used to being the only woman in the room, at the table or even being the only women with a doctorate, so I feel that celebrating and highlighting women in business, and providing examples of how women have been successful, is really important to me.  I have two young daughters at home, and hopefully when they come into the world and start to grow and do whatever they decide to do, that they won’t think there is a limitation because they are a girl.”

BioData Solutions and Ariadne Software, both headquartered in Lawrence, KS, sound like names straight out of a sci-fi blockbuster, but these companies were developed and are owned by Dr. Stephanie Pasas-Farmer, an expert in bioanalytics.

After receiving her PhD and MSc degrees with honors in pharmaceutical chemistry from the University of Kansas, Pasas-Farmer spent the next 15 years working for large pharma on the East Coast.  She focused her efforts on researching drug development, mostly specialty testing that dealt with oncology and rare diseases to meet unmet medical need, before starting BioData Solutions in 2015 and then eventually Ariadne Software® in 2018.

BioData Solutions is a scientific advisory firm that helps with drug development while Ariadne is a software technology company focused on quality data review.  “It’s a human augmented intelligence system for quality assurance and quality control review for drug development testing data,” said Pasas-Farmer.

“The way we came about the development of the software program was from a flippant comment my husband made to me,” said Pasas-Farmer. “He’d been reading a book about Artificial Intelligence and as he walked past me, as I was reviewing clinic data, he said, ‘don’t you wish you had a computer tool that would help you?’ And that’s how we began to build it.”

“Our firm and much of the data we review is the specialty testing from the clinic trials, where some specialty lab testing is performed to know if the drug is going to work, and if it is safe and effective,” she said. “You would think that at such high stakes you would have computers and software tools to help you review the clinical data but instead, it’s all a bunch of eyeballs reviewing hundreds of pages of data,” she said.

Building the Ariadne Team and Working With CapFed®

The other business Pasas-Farmer runs has a unique name. “Ariadne, is not the easiest word to pronounce and since I’m part Greek, when founding this company and spinning it out of BioData Solutions, I was trying to find inspiration from a Norse and Greek god.  I found Ariadne, who is the Goddess of Mazes.  If you know the legend of the Minotaur, you know that it took place in the middle of a maze that constantly shifted and changed direction.  Ariadne gave the Minotaur a magical piece of red thread that it used to find its way out of the maze. In my industry, things can be constantly shifting and changing and that’s why we named it Red Thread® by Ariadne Software®, so you can find your way out of the maze of data,” said Pasas-Farmer.

With initial income from BioData Solutions, she began developing a software tool that had longevity. “Software systems can come and go, tools can be here one minute and gone the next,” said Pasas-Farmer.  “Longevity was needed to provide trust to our current and future customers so they would know we would be around to help them.”

Plans to grow her software business stalled when the pandemic hit.  Growth in her industry was quickly put on hold to address the new challenges brought on by COVID-19. As a result, her priorities shifted to growing her team in order to increase capacity and make it more marketable to meet her goals and the need of her customers.

“Having a chemistry background didn’t exactly prepare me for owning my own business.  I wasn’t taking economy classes,” she said with a chuckle. “You realize quickly how difficult it can be and how many different hats you have to wear, “she said. “It’s important that you hire the right people who are inspired by what we do,” she said.

In addition to hiring the right team, she also wanted to work with the right business partner for her small business loan. “I was looking at finding a partner to provide us a small business loan so I could grow the team,” said Pasas-Farmer. “We grew from 2 to 6 people and that would not have been possible without the help of CapFed® and the small business line of credit.  I chose to work with CapFed® because they were local, responsive and flexible, and it felt that if I needed help or assistance, they were always close by and available.”

If you would like to learn more about this business, click here.


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Categories: CapFed® News
Tags: About CapFed , Kansas City , Lawrence , Topeka , Wichita

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