This week we are travelling to Cork, in the Emerald Isle. Being Irish, I am excited to see the wealth of talent coming from my home country. Our accelerator of the week is IndieBio, short for Independent Biology. I spoke with Steven O'Connell, assistant director about the accelerators unique offering.
How did you come up with the idea for your Accelerator, what was your inspiration?
IndieBio EU is the world’s first Synthetic Biology accelerator. At IndieBio, we are devoted to funding and building startups dedicated toward solving humanity’s most pressing problems with life itself. We are backed by SOSV, The Accelerator VC. We’re building a future where biology is not only a field of study, but a technology that will help solve our culture’s most challenging problems. Food, Energy, Rare Products, Advanced Biomedicine. Synthetic Biology is rapidly changing how we see modern and future life. With the technology of biology, science is expanding the scope of what is possible, and IndieBio is accelerating the solutions that emerge. IndieBio is short for Independent Biology, a new way for scientists, entrepreneurs, and tinkerers to shape their own destiny and make something that matters. IndieBio EU provides seed funding and mentorship to drive this transition in only three months. Then, we launch our graduate companies into the world of biotechnology to make their fortune, buffered by our many alumni, partners, and partner investors.
In just one sentence, what is your accelerator called and what do you do?
IndieBio EU is devoted to funding and building startups dedicated toward solving humanity’s most pressing problems with Life itself.
What makes your program different or unique? And related, what’s your primary valueadd?
We are the world’s first and only accelerator for synthetic biology and biotechnology. We offer one of a kind support in both science and business development to create investor ready companies in just 90 days. IndieBio EU is based in Cork so it gives companies the chance to engage with our network of scientific research institutes, startups and business support. Not only that but operational and living costs are low so it gives companies to reduce their cash burn when conducting business in Ireland. The entrepreneurial community is ever growing and all new ventures are well unparalleled support in a number of diverse ways including coworking spaces such as the Revolution Workspace at SOSV as well the Entrepreneurial Journey community and Cork Innovates.
What do you love the most about working with startups?
We love working with teams from diverse backgrounds who want to address issues affecting their home countries with world changing ideas, now made a reality by taking part in our accelerator. One of our 2015 companies GlowDx cofounders hails from Honduras and is tackling the issue of a lack of first world diagnostics in developing countries treating Dengue Fever. Since then the company has had great success in developing their product to soon help the people of Honduras.
What is the hardest or most surprising part of working with startups?
Encouraging traditional scientists to now learn sales, marketing and business strategies is the hardest part of working with startups. We meet this challenge by providing world class business mentorship to support the teams in their time of radical adjacency.
Do you have a success story to share?Who are the most notable or interesting companies to go through your program?
Muufri one of our 2014 companies secured over 5 million USD in investment and are currently developing their animal free milk product!
How, if in any way, has Foundersuite helped your companies?
At present we hope to get as many of our IndieBio teams signing up to use your excellent CRM and Foundersuite resources.
Finally, what is your best tip for running a startup?
A favoured quote of ours is the following “Vision without execution is just hallucination.” In essence our best advice (even in life science startups) is to engage with the end customer from an early stage to establish the need for demand. Generating early sales data makes it easier to shape your product and ensure your product market fit is correct.
We look forward to seeing great things to come. Thank you and have a great day!