Oct 25, 2014
By Alex Kopelyan
Ideating in Biotech: Request for Startups
Ideating in Biotech: Request for Startups

With the recent announcement of the launch of Indie Bio (our new idea stage biotech accelerator launching in downtown San Francisco this Jan and in Cork in the summer) and the addition of the Berkeley Biolabs team, we thought it was time to send out a request for startups, not just any startups, idea stage biotech startups, for those who want to build biotechnology from the ground up, with access to funding, a biosafety level 2 (BSL2) molecular biology lab and world class list of scientific and business mentors.

We’ve pulled together a wishlist of SynBio and classical biotech idea areas we’d love to have application in but we aren’t limiting, as novel applications of biology are limited only by your imagination.

Our first class of 10 funded startups, starts at the end of Jan 2015 and we’d really love for any and all innovators to apply!

So who should applyAnyone, if you have an idea that you’ve been dying to develop in biotech, synthetic biology or any new or unusual form of programming life, send in a short application (it should only take you 30 mins) and please feel free to send in multiple applications for multiple ideas.

Whether you’re an undergrad, PhD student, PostDoc, Professor, Industry Professional or just a citizen scientist who’s passionate about biology, we’d love to hear from you and we’d welcome an application or multiple for your idea stage biotech startup.

So with that, let’s start with the idea gasoline (hopefully biodiesel of course!) Here are a few ideas we’d like to invite to send in an application but there are ALOT more!

Request for Startups:

Food tech

Replacing any animal or plant enzymes, protein, expensive flavorings or processes that can be made for a fraction of the cost in other cellular systems (or other plants). Think Vegan Cheese, In vitro meats and Eggs! GMO’s welcomed!


Utilizing biological processes to solve industrial challenges and production, everything from industrial enzymes through to accelerating production of raw materials and proteins (Novozymes is a good example)


Utilizing plants, fungi and bacteria to clean up environmental contamination, including water filtration, land decontamination, Carbon capture and radioactive cleanup


Use of plants, fungi or bacteria that can be used to extract metals from the environment in a non destructive and efficient manner

Biomedical applications

Diagnostics, therapeutic development platforms and therapeutics (ideally in orphan diseases)


True melding of human biology and machines, think grinders and not quantified self.


Novel biomaterials made with phage, viruses, bacteria, fungi, animal cells or plants. From wearable biomaterials to construction biomaterials


Storage and generation of biological power based systems

Biological computation

Novel computational systems built with biology, i.e. biomolecular logic is just the start


Detecting substances in the environment with bacterial sensors

Space biotech

Novel applications of biology to make life possible/easier for space travel and long term survival off world

Consumer Biotech

Any product or service, made with novel biology that can be sold direct to consumer, glowing plants, Civet Coffee and color changing flowers are only the start!

Tissue Engineering

From human tissue replacement, 3D Bioprinting to building human organs and beyond

Reproductive Biotech

Think about artificial wombs and beyond!

Neurocognitive Tech (NeuroTech)

Any technology that helps us visualize and understand the brain and its neuronal outputs and action that understanding.

Quantum Biology

The migratory Robin sees the the earth’s magnetic field through quantum biology, some enzymes work on quantum principles and chloroplasts improve sun harness efficiency through quantum effects. We’d love to fund product ideas in this space.

And remember, don’t forget to APPLY with your idea stage biotech. We are funding innovation!