$40 million genomics accelerator introduced by Helix and Illumina
|Richard Harris in Enterprise Tuesday, August 22, 2017|
Genomics startup business accelerator for 40 million dollars has been announced by Helix and Illumina.
“From an entrepreneur’s perspective, cost pressures, stringent regulatory and data security requirements, and continually-evolving sequencing technologies are barriers to designing, developing, scaling up and commercializing DNA-powered products for everyday life," said Robin Thurston, Chief Executive Officer at Helix. "Through our collaboration with Illumina Accelerator, we hope to provide breakthrough startups with the resources, infrastructure and support to transform their ideas into compelling consumer applications and services that make genomics relevant and accessible to every person based on their unique interests.”
Last month, Helix launched the first online marketplace for DNA-powered products that offer insights on ancestry, entertainment, family, fitness, health and nutrition. Helix developed the marketplace by partnering with a wide variety of companies, ranging from established healthcare institutions to innovative app developers, to build or enhance their products or services using DNA.
Select Illumina Accelerator startups developing DNA-powered products for consumers will now have access to Helix’s team of experts in next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics, applied genomics, software and product development, regulatory affairs, quality assurance, consumer marketing, and business development.
“Illumina Accelerator is focused on driving value for genomics startups by providing access to vital resources such as capital, sequencing and genomics expertise, coaching, and local lab and office space,” said Mostafa Ronaghi, Ph.D., Illumina’s Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Illumina Accelerator. “By working with Helix during our seventh funding cycle, select startups will have unparalleled access to Helix’s commercial market expertise and sequencing platform for their consumer applications.”
“Helix’s mission is to empower every person to improve their life through DNA, and a core component of building our diverse marketplace is to enable innovative developers to integrate DNA insights into their products and services,” said Justin Kao, Co-Founder and SVP of Helix. “We are proud to collaborate with Illumina Accelerator to stimulate innovation in personal genomics by helping selected startups harness their creativity and build best-in-class DNA-powered products for everyday use.”
Illumina Accelerator operates on a six-month funding cycle, during which selected startups receive business guidance, seed investment, and access to Illumina’s software, fully operational lab space in the San Francisco Bay Area, sequencing systems and reagents, and match funding through the $40 million Illumina Accelerator Boost Capital.
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