New generation of biotech start-ups to lift off at Cork’s RebelBio accelerator

11 May 2017261 Shares

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Image: Rattiya Thongdumhyu/Shutterstock

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RebelBio has announced its fourth cohort of biotech start-ups aiming to transform our world.

At Cork’s RebelBio accelerator, 15 breakthrough biotech start-ups from around the world are gearing up to push the boundaries of science and entrepreneurship.

The four-month programme will see each start-up gain an investment worth more than $100,000, access to lab and office space as well as a network of hundreds of mentors.

‘It is as exciting today in biology as it was for computers in the early 1980s. Biology is becoming increasingly personalised, digitised and democratised’
– ELSA SOTIRIADIS

RebelBio is one of SOSV’s global accelerators. It was originally known as IndieBio EU and was one of two branches, with the second accelerator in San Francisco (the pair rebranded as RebelBio and IndieBio respectively).

We recently reported that SOSV’s IndieBio topped CB Insights’ list of the most active investors in this new space for disruption.

SOSV, founded by accomplished tech entrepreneur Sean O’Sullivan, has expertise in building tech companies with a presence in Europe, North America and Asia, across domains such as the internet of things, life-saving medicines and new sources of nutrition. The venture capital firm has boasted returns averaging 27pc over the past 15 years.

Bill Liao, founder of RebelBio and general partner at SOSV, said that the breakthroughs among the new cohort range “from identifying new uses for existing drugs with AI, building novel proteins without cells, speeding up cancer lab test from days to hours, and taking sexual disease testing from the hospital lab to the home”.

“At the same time, biomimicry-inspired modules with living bacteria are treating wastewater while generating electricity.”

Meet the next cohort of RebelBio start-ups

New generation of biotech start-ups lift off at Cork’s RebelBio accelerator

From left: Galactica’s Karen Dunn (CSO), Jorge Valencia (CEO) and Alina Valencia (business development lead). Image: RebelBio

Notable companies from the SOSV accelerators include Opentrons (HAX), Helixworks (RebelBio), Perfect Day (RebelBio), Afineur (RebelBio), Pili (RebelBio) and Memphis Meats (IndieBio SF).

The teams have just completed training, which ran during the month of April, to work on their business plans.

New generation of biotech start-ups lift off at Cork’s RebelBio accelerator

From left: NuLEAF Tech’s Katie Moran (business development), Rachel Major (CEO and Ari Ochoa, (CTO). Image: RebelBio

Now, a three-month, lab-based accelerator programme in University College Cork will refine its prototypes for product launch. A demo-day showcase, where the start-ups pitch to selected investors, will be held at the end of July, most likely in London.

“It is as exciting today in biology as it was for computers in the early 1980s. Biology is becoming increasingly personalised, digitised and democratised,” said Elsa Sotiriadis, programme director of RebelBio.

Among the cohort of 15 are companies such as:

  •  Galactica, which has developed machine learning algorithms to identify potential new treatments for existing drugs.
  •  Sex Positive, offering a smart diagnostic device for sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Cell-Free Technologies, which is developing a rapid-prototyping kit that enables anyone, anywhere, to read DNA and write proteins.
  • NuLEAF Tech, building microbial fuel cells as part of a biologically inspired hardware module to purify water, treat sewage and generate energy.

Disclosure: SOSV is an investor in Silicon Republic

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com