Biotechnology can often, and sometimes literally, fly over our heads. However, the pandemic has shown a greater need for investment and focus on solutions that work on human and planetary health. For IndieBio, a scientific and biotechnological accelerator managed by the VC SOSV company, this unprecedented year has offered both high challenges and new challenges.
Today and tomorrow, the biotech accelerator hosts its biennial demo day.
Since 2015, IndieBio has provided resources to founders who solve complex challenges with biotechnology, from fake meat to sustainability. Over the years, the accelerator has created a portfolio of biotech companies worth more than $ 3.2 billion, including companies like Memphis Meats, which develops meat grown from animal cells; NotCo, a plant-based food brand; and Catalog, which uses organisms for data storage.
As part of the accelerator, each participating company receives $ 250,000 in capital, numerous other services, and access to lab space. In July, IndieBio founder and boss Arvind Gupta left his position to pursue a role in Mayfield. While Gupta remains a director, Po Bronson has taken on the role of the new CEO.
Bronson was immediately put to the test. This year, the program has expanded from operating exclusively in San Francisco to also creating a New York-based cohort. It also doubled the amount of companies it invested in, bringing this group to 20 companies.
As you can imagine, the blockages eventually forced the founders to delay key lab work at the start of the pandemic. Eventually, the founders were able to partner with universities, contract research organizations, or other biotech accelerators to begin their research, says Maya Lockwood, SOSV’s head of investor relations. The New York class received a “golden ticket” for a free lab space in November.
And these dynamics make this cohort even more fascinating to dive into.
Watch the New York Stream here, which will take place Tuesday, October 27 from 1pm to 3pm ET.
Watch the San Francisco stream here, taking place Wednesday, October 28 from 10 PM to 12 PM PT.
For those who can’t tune in, here’s a list of all the companies that will be presenting in New York and San Francisco over the next couple of days.
San Francisco cohort
Reazent: Founded by Sumit Verma, Reazent discovered and patented a way to manipulate soil bacteria to trigger crops to grow more. It works with 116 strains, from kale to potatoes, and wants to dig into the organic farmland market.
Kraken Sense: Founded by Nisha Sarveswaran, Kraken Sense has created a standalone online device for measuring the concentration of pathogens in large-scale food and water systems. The product can be distributed in farms and kitchens and uses disposable refillable cartridges.
Advanced Micro Bubbles: The startup, led by Jameel Feshitan, has created a platform that helps professionals deliver drugs to complex and difficult cancers. The company has partnered with NIH NIDA and uses proprietary bubbles to deliver chemotherapy. Currently, Microbubbles is working to resolve two types of cancer: neuroblastoma and pancreatic cancer.
Cybele microbiome: CEO Nicole Scott has created a direct-to-consumer skin care line with a focus on prebiotics. The line uses ingredients that act in tandem with the skin microbiome, also activating it to express natural fragrances.
Ivy Natal: Ivy Natal is developing a process to harvest healthy human oocytes from skin cells. CEO Colin Bortner is working on an infertility treatment and plans to allow families to have genetic children they might not otherwise be able to with current solutions.
Microgenesis: Led by Gabriela Gutierrez, Microgenesis has created a proprietary test and nutraceutical regiment (including probiotics) to help women struggling with infertility get pregnant. The company worked with a cohort of 287 mothers and with its product over 75% of patients became pregnant.
AsimicA: Led by Nikolai Mushnikov, Asmicia has created a new way to bring stem cells to microbes. The company could stretch and increase bio-production yields and is currently working on selecting the right fermentation partner.
Liberum: CEO Aiden Tinafar is working to stop what they think could be a $ 400 billion market opportunity: recombinant proteins. Liberum created a protein printer that could reduce the creation of custom recombinant proteins from weeks to hours.
Khepra: Led by Julie Kring, Khepra is leveraging fuel production as a way to store extra renewable energy. The company is building a series of reactors that could take your old plastic bottles and cardboard boxes, extract chemicals and fuels, and sell that fuel to refineries.
Carbix: Carbix, led by Quincy Sammy, takes the enriched CO2 and converts it into raw material which can then be reused in industrial products.
Spintext: CEO Alex Greenhalgh is creating a new, scalable way to produce silk. The company mimics spider spinning and uses a natural protein, with an end product they believe is better than premium silk.
New York cohort
Biomage: CEO Adam Kurkiewicz wants to make single cell sequencing data more accessible for research biology. The technology could help scientists explore human cells to improve drug and drug discovery.
Diptera.ai: Vic Levitin is creating a scalable, affordable and sustainable way to fight mosquitoes and their diseases.
Cayuga Biotech: Damien Kudela, CEO of Cayuga Biotech, has created a drug that could induce clots and stop severe bleeding.
Brightcure: Chiara Heide, CEO of Brightcure, has created a bioactive cream that uses a natural bacterium to restore a woman’s natural microbiome.
Multus Media: CEO Cai Linton is producing an ingredient that hopes to make cultured meat production accessible and accessible.
BioFeyn: The company uses human medicine-based nanotechnology to deliver nutrients and disease prevention to fish. CEO Timothy Bouley is working to make healthy fish consumption a sustainable practice.
Halomine: Ted Eveleth, CEO, wants to turn every surface into an antimicrobial surface. The Halomine product, Halofilm, can be used in tandem with any household bleach cleaner to improve disinfection techniques.
Allied microbiota: Lauralynn Kourtz, CEO of Allied Microbiota, wants to use natural microbes to eliminate toxic waste. The company uses the bacteria to clean contaminated soils.
I split: Scindo, led by Gustaf Hemberg, uses enzymes to make plastic biodegradable.