SAN CARLOS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Helix, a personal genomics company, today announced a collaboration with Illumina Accelerator, the world’s first business accelerator focused solely on creating an innovation ecosystem for the genomics industry. Together, the organizations will partner with entrepreneurs to foster and accelerate innovation and development of DNA-driven products and insights for consumers. Interested startups must submit an application by September 1, 2017 and will compete against a pool of highly-qualified companies who will be evaluated by the Illumina Accelerator team.
“From an entrepreneur’s perspective, cost pressures, stringent regulatory and data security requirements, and continually evolving sequencing technologies are barriers to designing, developing, scaling up and commercializing DNA-powered products for everyday life," said Robin Thurston, Chief Executive Officer at Helix. "Through our collaboration with Illumina Accelerator, we hope to provide breakthrough startups with the resources, infrastructure and support to transform their ideas into compelling consumer applications and services that make genomics relevant and accessible to every person based on their unique interests.”
Last month, Helix launched the first online marketplace for DNA-powered products that offer insights on ancestry, entertainment, family, fitness, health and nutrition. Helix developed the marketplace by partnering with a wide variety of companies, ranging from established healthcare institutions to innovative app developers, to build or enhance their products or services using DNA.
Select Illumina Accelerator startups developing DNA-powered products for consumers will now have access to Helix’s team of experts in next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics, applied genomics, software and product development, regulatory affairs, quality assurance, consumer marketing, and business development.
“Illumina Accelerator is focused on driving value for genomics startups by providing access to vital resources such as capital, sequencing and genomics expertise, coaching, and local lab and office space,” said Mostafa Ronaghi, Ph.D., Illumina’s Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Illumina Accelerator. “By working with Helix during our seventh funding cycle, select startups will have unparalleled access to Helix’s commercial market expertise and sequencing platform for their consumer applications.”
“Helix’s mission is to empower every person to improve their life through DNA, and a core component of building our diverse marketplace is to enable innovative developers to integrate DNA insights into their products and services,” said Justin Kao, Co-Founder and SVP of Helix. “We are proud to collaborate with Illumina Accelerator to stimulate innovation in personal genomics by helping selected startups harness their creativity and build best-in-class DNA-powered products for everyday use.”
Illumina Accelerator operates on a six-month funding cycle, during which selected startups receive business guidance, seed investment, and access to Illumina’s software, fully operational lab space in the San Francisco Bay Area, sequencing systems and reagents, and match funding through the $40 million Illumina Accelerator Boost Capital.
Applications for Illumina Accelerator’s seventh funding cycle are due by September 1, 2017. For more information or to apply, please visit: http://www.illumina.com/accelerator.
Helix is a personal genomics company with a simple but powerful mission: to empower every person to improve their life through DNA. We’ve created the first marketplace for DNA-powered products where people can explore diverse and uniquely personalized products developed by high-quality partners. Helix handles sample collection, DNA sequencing, and secure data storage so that our partners can integrate DNA insights into products across a range of categories, including ancestry, entertainment, family, fitness, health and nutrition. From profound insights to just-for-fun discoveries, Helix is here to help people live a fuller life. Helix is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has a CLIA- and CAP-accredited Next Generation Sequencing lab powered by Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) NGS technology, in San Diego. Helix was created in 2015 with founding support from Illumina, its largest shareholder. Learn more at www.helix.com.
About Illumina Accelerator
Illumina Accelerator is the world’s first business accelerator focused solely on creating an innovation ecosystem for the genomics industry. It provides select startups with seed investment, business guidance, access to Illumina’s sequencing systems and reagents, and fully operational lab space in the San Francisco Bay Area during each six-month funding cycle. For more information, visit http://www.illumina.com/accelerator.
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