Its easy to think that there’s hype in Lab-grown meat. Just another Silicon Valley utopian tech. The idea of growing meat without animals is everywhere and very distant at the same time. As I write, #labgrown meat is a global trend. 80 startups work on Lab-grown meat worldwide in one way or another… Four years ago there were two. Consumer interest is also evolving rapidly — the #plantbased market is growing quickly, soon it will be 10% of the meat market. Lab-grown meat has been thoroughly covered in the news, on magazine covers and in books.

Let’s take a look…

This is a repub of a blog post I wrote Feb 27, 2016

The falling costs in DNA, first from PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and then from sequencing, has driven an amazing drop in cost of doing business in biotechnology. Plus, the earlier generations of basic tools have come out of patent protection, so expensive equipment has dropped in prices and a robust used market has emerged. Plasmid backbones, PCR machines, incubators, centrifuges, pipettes and other basic lab tools have dropped in price to the point where a much smaller amount of money can put together a serviceable lab bench.

Dark ages or enlightenment

Engineering pathways is still an art; commercializing the products is a black art. The protein production pathway is a remarkable exception, scaling reliably and offering new kinds of functionality for products. With a greater agility and a spectrum of innovative commercial applications as examples, protein is SynBio’s killer app.

SynBio is fighting a headwind of complexity, resource intensive product development and barriers to market. A generation of fast, profitable companies could change that Image credit: U.S. DOE. 2006. Breaking the Biological Barriers to Cellulosic Ethanol: A Joint Research Agenda, DOE/SC/EE-0095

With vivid images images of petroleum bubbling to the surface of an algae covered pond, Synthetic biology promises to be the philosopher stone of 21st Century Industry — turning sugar into just about anything imaginable — plastics, fuel, flavorings, therapeutics, bringing the trillion dollar petrochem economy to sustainability. …

Lessons learned in Biotech Food Innovation

Over our first four classes and 55 startups funded, IndieBio has built up a new class of food companies. We are so honored that AgFunder’s annual survey voted IndieBio one of the ‘Top 3 most valuable’ accelerators in AgTech.

It’s been a lesson for us that biology can have such an impact on food. About a quarter of our portfolio are food and Ag companies. which have many approaches to food but are each highly innovative. …

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IndieBio SF is preparing to bring in our fourth cohort which should include our 57th company next month. We fund larger and more frequent classes which works to create momentum, interest and stronger networks for our companies.

That model recently made SOSV the largest portfolio of BioTech companies (by number of companies) in Venture Capital.

Having seen hundreds of startups that have applied and scores more established companies that have generously visited us to mentor, I wanted to write about one way of looking at a BioTech startup plan — Simple BioTech.

Simple Plans Are Better Plans

In Biotech advances are often feats of technical…

1984 is the #1 top seller on Amazon as I write this. It is a book that comes back in surprising times and the millions of high schoolers forced to read it since haven’t rendered it obsolete.

As we look to the past try to understand what‘s happening now, the word ‘Orwellian’ is still difficult to define. Its not that Orwell got so much right, but the fundamental questions of the book are important

Orwell grew up poor, educated in Eton a wealthy private school (in England that’s public) on a scholarship. All his life, Orwell’s pen single mindedly defended…

IndieBio is excited to announce our newest class of thirteen biotech startups. These companies are bringing innovation to a host of industries, from classical biotech spaces like drug development and medical devices all the way to veterinary, information storage, and utilities markets.

While these companies will be based in downtown San Francisco for the next four months, all their technologies will have global impact.


A2A Pharmaceuticals designs computationally pre-optimized small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and antibiotic resistant bacterial infections.

Animal Microbiome

Animal Microbiome helps the monitoring and treatment of chronic health conditions in animals by providing…

Elemental Machines is a new startup that is building the smart lab for 21st Century BioTech R&D. IndieBio SF, the world’s premiere Synthetic Biology accelerator, is excited to announce a partnership for its participants to have access to the Elemental Machines’ suite of products to enhance their experimental research work.

Elemental Machines’ Smart Lab System provides a portfolio of products that help researchers streamline their work, refine protocols, and improve experimental reproducibility, which is one of the most significant challenges researchers face.

With a commitment to building the future where biology is technology that will help solve our culture’s most…

Ron Shigeta

Future of Food Entrepreneur. Startup Advisor, Co-Founder, IndieBio and Startup Biotech.

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