By Lori Solomon, Editor, Diagnostic Testing & Emerging Technologies
Illumina (San Diego) selected the next round of startup companies for its genomics accelerator. This is the second, six-month cycle for the Illumina Accelerator, which seeks to aid entrepreneurs and early-stage companies working on “scientifically and commercially promising” next-generation sequencing applications by lowering the barrier to entry and expediting the time to market.
“Our startups are given access to our best-in-class sequencers, a support team of genomics professionals and entrepreneurial coaches, and the tools they need to accelerate breakthrough applications in genomics,” said Amanda Cashin, Ph.D., who leads the Illumina Accelerator, in a statement.
The three startups selected for the second accelerator round include:
– PathoGn, a California-based company, is working on an infectious disease platform, which combines genomics and machine learning for pathogen diagnostics and disease forecasting in the agricultural realm.
– Biome Makers (Spain) is bringing advanced genomics to the wine industry in an effort to transform the quality standards of vinification.
– Urology Diagnostics (Portland, Oregon) is a genomics company developing noninvasive urine sequencing diagnostics for screening and monitoring cancer.
Specifically, the Illumina Accelerator promises financial support, including $100,000 in instrument access (MiSeq System and NextSeq System) and sequencing reagents, 20 percent research assistant time, $100,000 convertible notes, and an unsecured equity line of $20,000. In addition to the financial support, Illumina shares business guidance with the selected companies. The accelerator lab space is close to Illumina research and development labs.
Post-graduation from the accelerator, Illumina continues to financially assist the selected companies with access to matching funds through the Illumina Accelerator Boost Capital. The $40 million fund, announced earlier this year, provides dollar-for-dollar matching for funds ($1 million to $5 million) raised by accelerator companies during the 6-month cycle.
“This capital commitment will be instrumental in driving value for our startups as they advance breakthrough applications in genomics,” Cashin said in a statement at the time of the fund announcement.