SynBio Axlr8r demo day makes history (video)

27 Aug 2014

Keira Havens, CEO of Revolution Bioengineering, demonstrates the science behind her company's colour-changing flowers at the SynBio Axlr8r demo day

After months of work, the SynBio Axlr8r demo day at the Science Gallery in Dublin made history as the first of its kind in the world.

Following on from its Haxlr8r programme for hardware and the Selr8r programme for sales, venture-capital funding group SOSventures decided to apply its focused accelerator programme model to biotech with the SynBio Axlr8r programme.

“We hypothesised that we could do that with synthetic biology, and it’s proven,” said SOSventures partner Bill Liao at the programme’s demo day in the Science Gallery, Dublin, on 19 August.

“We have six amazing teams and they are all investable now and this is the first time anyone has managed to do a demo day after an accelerator programme with synthetic biology companies – it speaks volumes about the future of indie biotech,” he added.

As part of the programme, synbio start-ups received seed funding of US$30,000, lab space in University College Cork’s facilities, as well as mentorship to help develop ideas into viable companies.

In the video below, Camille Delebecque, CEO of Afineur; Sarah Choukah, CEO of Hyasynth Bio; Keira Havens, CEO of Revolution Bioengineering; Russell Banta, director of Benthic Labs; and Martin Jost, COO of Briefcase Biotic, discuss their start-up ideas and how the SynBIo Axlr8r helped bring them to fruition.

SynBio Axlr8r demo day makes history

A second SynBio programme focusing on bio-design has already been approved for Silicon Valley, as has another programme to begin once again in Cork next May. Those interested can apply at

Disclosure: SOSventures is an investor in Silicon Republic

Additional reporting by Elaine Burke

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic