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Illumina brings its accelerator to Granta Park




Illumina is bringing its accelerator to Granta Park to propel the next generation of genomics innovators.

It will offer seed investment, business guidance, lab space and access to Illumina’s sequencing systems and reagents for companies.

Paula Dowdy, Illumina's senior vice president and general manager, commercial operations, EMEA. Picture: ImageCambridge.co.uk
Paula Dowdy, Illumina's senior vice president and general manager, commercial operations, EMEA. Picture: ImageCambridge.co.uk

Since it was founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2014, Illumina Accelerator has invested in 33 genomics start-ups from across the globe, which have collectively raised more than $300million in venture capital funding.

Paula Dowdy, Illumina’s senior vice president and general manager, commercial operations, EMEA, said: “With 21 years of experience advancing the field of genomics, Illumina is delighted to foster the next generation of global genomics innovators.

“With the launch of Illumina Accelerator Cambridge, we are expertly positioned to further catalyze the rapidly expanding genomics ecosystem across EMEA.”

Illumina Accelerator Cambridge is partnering with venture capital firms across Europe, including SV Health Investors, Sofinnova Partners, Seventure Partners, F-Prime Capital and Illumina Ventures to provide the selected start-ups with company-building expertise and coaching.

Applications for the inaugural funding cycle at Granta Park and for the eleventh funding cycle in the San Francisco Bay Area are due by November 1, 2019.

A single, global application process through the Illumina Accelerator website will be held, withup to five companies in each location selected for two six-month cycles per year.

Paula Dowdy, Illumina’s senior vice president and general manager, commercial operations, EMEA (13855602)
Paula Dowdy, Illumina’s senior vice president and general manager, commercial operations, EMEA (13855602)

The first set of chosen entrepreneurs will get to work at Illumina’s Granta Park labs in spring 2020.

Dr Mostafa Ronaghi, Illumina’s senior vice president, chief technology officer and co-founder of Illumina Accelerator, said: “In launching Illumina Accelerator Cambridge, we look forward to partnering with leading entrepreneurs and venture investors to harness the unique strengths and genomics expertise in the UK and beyond.

“As one of the most successful biotech accelerators, Illumina Accelerator has made 33 investments since its inception with an unparalleled track record in building venture backable start-ups, including novel applications in therapeutics, diagnostics, software, and consumer genomics.”

Professor Sir John Bell, lead for the UK life sciences industrial strategy, board member of Genomics England, regius professor of medicine at Oxford University, added: “I am delighted that Illumina has chosen Cambridge as the first location to expand its Accelerator.

“Illumina Accelerator Cambridge will undoubtedly contribute to the UK’s life sciences effort by galvanising genomics start-ups to harness the rapid and affordable next-generation sequencing technology pioneered by Illumina and develop applications that will benefit human health the world over.”

Illumina is a global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies.

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