Wednesday, 22 July 2015

SOSventures back nine global start-ups with IndieBio programme in Cork

IndieBio, the world’s first and only synthetic biology accelerator programme is again underway in Cork with start-ups from around the world, relocating to Ireland especially for the programme.

The IndieBio programme is designed to support individuals and companies with an early stage prototype, invest in them with cash, laboratory space in UCC as well as mentorship from top experts in industry and develop them into viable companies.

IndieBio has attracted some of the best synthetic biology start-ups from around the globe, as well as indigenous entrepreneurs. Nine global start-ups, from North America, Europe and Ireland are currently located in Cork and are working with the Indie Bio team, SOSventures and a global network of mentors and advisers to bring the companies to investment stage. The nine start-ups in Indie Bio are tackling some of the most interesting and unique problems from developing yogurts that will make people live longer, to working on revolutionary ways to develop new medicines, to creating peanuts without allergens and ocean-friendly fish-farming feed.

According to Bill Liao, a founder of IndieBio and European venture partner for SOSventures, “IndieBio carefully selects teams from around the world who have the potential and the capacity to create world-changing biotech solutions for problems that were previously seen as intractable. This programme has companies from Austria, Canada, France, Ireland and the United States, all working out of state of the art laboratory space in UCC, while working on ground breaking innovation in the area of synthetic biology. SOSventures created IndieBio as a way to attract into Ireland and Cork, these type of world class companies in the field of synthetic biology.”

While synthetic biology exists at the intersection of science, technology and engineering, the IndieBio teams work closely with industry and academic partners such as UCC in Cork.

“The IndieBio accelerator programme is the first of its kind in the world in field of life sciences and Cork was chosen for a very good reason. Ireland and Cork are extremely well resourced in the area of life sciences and key academic partners in Cork make the IndieBio programme a no-brainer for the area. Synthetic biology is cutting edge technology and is essentially the merging of digital technology and biology. It is where biology meets automation and programming and has the capability to revolutionise and become an integral part of every major industry from medicine, energy, agriculture to manufacturing. Synthetic biology is helping scientists provide ground breaking solutions to some of the most complex issues around the globe and technical advances now mean that many more projects are now possible due to reduction in the cost and time required to get concepts from the laboratory to the marketplace.” continued Bill Liao, a founder of IndieBio and European venture partner for SOSventures.

“Cork and Ireland are going to be to the forefront of the new wave of synthetic biology that is revolutionising every industry we know. At IndieBio and working with partners such as UCC, we believe it is possible to make Cork and Ireland the centre of the synthetic biology universe. We have hugely talented innovators working in Cork in the current batch of Indie Bio companies and there is huge interest from investors in the potential that exists within the companies.” concluded Bill Liao, a founder of IndieBio and European venture partner for SOSventures.

This years’ EU IndieBio companies are:

Ageria: Developing foods beneficial to health and longevity.

Aranex Biotech: Creating a Peanut without allergens

BioCellection: Creating an ocean-friendly fish-farming feed that provide the nutritional requirements of commercially farmed fish without relying on by-catch or trawler-caught fish produce

Efflorus: Producing high-value fragrance compounds from micro-organisms

GlonDX: Creating a diagnostic DNA computer for neglected tropical disease

PiLi: Developing colours for manufactures from natural sources that won’t hurt the planet or customers’ pockets

Prospective Research Inc: Working on a revolutionary way to discover new medicines from Streptomyces

Saphium: Designing bioplastic-producing algae that eat CO2 and release cheaply-purifiable plastic granules, ready for big or small manufacturing including 3D printing

Sothic Bioscience: Aiming to save the Horseshoe Crab by creating artificial Limulus Blood

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