Synbio researchers, come out of the ‘too hard basket’ — you are ready to build and we are ready to help

I estimate there are about 100 synbio proto-companies stuck inside universities and other research organisations today.

I have known teams who have toiled for years to get something out. As early stage investors at Main Sequence, we have struggled to help this problem at scale because each one needs time and effort to build momentum.

We have inspiring conversations, discuss some things we would like to see and agree to follow up. Months and years pass. This is not startup speed and it is not helping to get these incredible companies into the world.

Why are the teams stuck?

There can be a number of reasons including:

  • The business around the science is unclear.
  • The story around the business is missing.
  • There is no ‘business co-founder’.
  • The science is considered too early to spin out.
  • There is not enough funding or resources to put in enough attention

And, if we are honest:

  • It is a scary move to leave the safety of the research organisation for a risky startup.
  • The conversation around IP and ownership with the research organisation gets tricky.

What we have done

Main Sequence has partnered with UNSW Founders program to create Synbio 10x. We hope it will delver escape velocity to some of these teams. Teams get:

  • Access to PC2 labs with research expertise and scientific infrastructure in cell and molecular biology, genomics and bioinformatics and deep student talent (~800 UG & ~80 PhD).
  • Support from some of the best entrepreneur coaches I have worked with — trained over many years in CSIRO’s ON program.
  • Funding of $140K to get you started.
  • Our attention at Main Sequence.
  • A program that will ready you for more investment before it ends

This is the point in which a bunch of people say quietly to themselves that they don’t need an accelerator program.

If you are 1 of the 100 proto-companies I mentioned at the start, then you do. This is not a startup school that will patronise you with ‘entrepreneurship for dummies’ — this is everything you need to get out.

Come out of the ‘too hard basket’

You may be surprised about how ready you are. Imagine yourself at the end of the year — a founder of your own company.

Don’t second guess yourself, have a conversation with the Synbio 10x team or reach out to me on Twitter (DMs are open) to explore this more.

If this was helpful, please:

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Phil Morle

Phil Morle

Deep tech VC — Main Sequence Ventures. Ecosystem builder. Maker. Director. Startup Scientist.