Driving value for genomics startups.

Illumina Accelerator Startup Funding

At Illumina, we’re committed to unlocking the power of the genome, and we know we can’t do it alone. Illumina Accelerator is our way of accelerating innovation in the entrepreneurial community. With extensive mentorship, financial support, and access to sequencing systems, reagents, and lab space, we are building a dynamic ecosystem to help genomics startups launch in the San Francisco Bay Area. Together, we'll advance breakthrough applications in genomics, including therapeutics, diagnostics, agriculture, synthetic biology, forensics, and direct-to-consumer applications.

Inside Illumina Accelerator
Take a Look Inside Illumina Accelerator

Find out how we're teaming up with entrepreneurs to create genomics startups and advance breakthrough applications. Meet some of our startups and coaches.

Applications for our 10th Funding Cycle
Due May 1, 2019

Drive value for your genomics startup. Apply to Illumina Accelerator’s next funding cycle today!

Illumina Accelerator is the world’s first business accelerator focused solely on creating an innovation ecosystem for the genomics industry. During the six-month funding cycle, each startup will gain access to seed investment, access to Illumina sequencing systems and reagents, a subscription to our BaseSpace Correlation Engine and BaseSpace Cohort Analyzer translational genomics databases, as well as business guidance and fully operational lab space in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Get answers to common questions about Illumina Accelerator

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During the six-month funding cycle, Illumina Accelerator offers genomics-driven startups four key resources - capital and access to capital, sequencing and genomics expertise, coaching, and lab and office space in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  • Capital: Through our partners, we provide access to seed investment.
  • Sequencing: While at Illumina Accelerator, our startups have access to Illumina sequencing systems and reagents, genomics experts, a subscription to BaseSpace Correlation Engine and BaseSpace Cohort Analyzer.
  • Coaching: We provide our startups with high quality business guidance and expertise to help guide your go-to-market strategy, financing strategy, team building, and beyond.
  • Facility: Our startups have access to fully equipped lab and office space in the San Francisco Bay Area so they can begin experiments on day one.

We help create early stage, genomics-driven startups from across the globe to drive new commercial innovations and unlock the power of the genome.

Our investments are advancing breakthrough applications in genomics, including novel therapeutics, diagnostics, agriculture, synthetic biology, forensics, and direct-to-consumer applications.

Biome Makers
Boost Biomes
Chimera Bioengineering
Center for Individualized Diagnostics
Encoded Genomics
Encompass Bioscience
Haystack Sciences
Mantra Bio
Naked Biome
Next Gen Jane
Prospect Bio
Resilient Biotics
Solarea Bio
Trace Genomics
Urology DX
Xcell Biosciences
Mostafa Ronaghi, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer
Mostafa Ronaghi

Mostafa Ronaghi, Ph.D., joined Illumina in August 2008.  As Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, he is responsible for leading internal research and technology development (RTD) and is co-founder of Illumina Accelerator, the world’s first business accelerator focused solely on creating an innovation ecosystem for the genomics industry.

Ronaghi is an experienced entrepreneur and was involved in founding several start-ups in the life sciences companies. Most recently, he led the formation internally at Illumina of GRAIL Bio, a new company formed to enable cancer screening from a simple blood test.   In 2007, Ronaghi co-founded Avantome, a privately held sequencing company (acquired by Illumina in 2008). Before this, he co-founded NextBio, a search engine for life science data (acquired by Illumina in 2013). In 2001, Ronaghi co-founded ParAllele Bioscience, which was eventually acquired by Affymetrix, Inc., and was involved in the development and commercialization of highly multiplexed technology for genetic testing. In 1997, he co-founded Pyrosequencing AB, which was renamed to Biotage in 2003, and led the company to a successful initial public offering in June 2000 on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.

Ronaghi was a principal investigator at Stanford University from 2002 until 2008 and focused on the development of novel tools for molecular diagnostic applications. He serves on the board of directors of BaseHealth and Clear Labs. He is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of GRAIL Bio.

Ronaghi earned his Ph.D. from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. He holds more than 30 (pending and issued) patents and has written more than 90 peer-reviewed publications in journals and books.

Amanda Cashin, Ph.D.
Head of Illumina Accelerator
Amanda Cashin

Amanda Cashin, Ph.D. is Co-Founder and Head of Illumina Accelerator, a leading company creation engine and investment vehicle focused on building genomics-driven startups. Founded in Fall 2014 in San Francisco, Illumina Accelerator is investing in emerging startups, advancing breakthrough applications in genomics, including applications in therapeutics, women’s health, cancer diagnostics, consumer nutrition, agriculture, synthetic biology, and skin microbiome.

Previously, Amanda was Senior Vice President of Alexandria Venture Investments/Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. In her role, she helped lead Alexandria Venture Investments, which has over $250 million in capital deployed and committed to breakthrough life science and technology companies and leading venture capital funds. Amanda also led a team of life science professionals with strong science and business expertise responsible for industry research, company analysis, business development, and thought leadership limitations to help position Alexandria at the forefront of the industry.

She earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Biology from the California Institute of Technology and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor's degree in Physical Organic Chemistry from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her scientific expertise and peer-reviewed publications are in the fields of biochemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, pharmacology, electrophysiology, and neuroscience.

Courtney McCormick, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist, Illumina Accelerator
Courtney McCormick

Courtney McCormick, Ph.D., is Senior Scientist at Illumina Accelerator where she provides scientific expertise and support to the Illumina Accelerator startups.

McCormick joined Illumina in 2008 as a Scientist on the FastTrack Sequencing Services team, working with data from the first Genome Analyzer IIx systems. Most recently, she led process integration and supported the launch of phasing and long reads sequencing services for FastTrack. McCormick graduated with honors from Stanford and received her doctorate in Bioinformatics at the University of California, San Francisco. After working with transgenic mice and researching genes involved in autism, McCormick investigated alternative splicing, HPV detection, and gene-trap generation of knockout mice using bioinformatic tools. She has served as a panelist for awarding SBIR/STTR grants, and led student groups at UCSF to support women in research careers.

Jay T. Flatley
Executive Chairman, Illumina
Jay Flatley

Jay Flatley led Illumina as CEO from 1999 until 2016 and now serves as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors. During his tenure as CEO, he took the company from $1.3 million in sales in 2000 to $2.2 billion in 2015, representing a compound annual growth rate of 64 percent. He oversaw the company’s expansion from microarrays into next-generation sequencing with the acquisition of Solexa in 2006, and from research into clinical and applied markets. Under his leadership, Illumina was named multiple times to the Deloitte & Touche Fast 50 and Fast 500 lists, as well as to the Forbes 25 Fastest-Growing Tech Companies (2007, 2009 and 2010), the Fortune 100 Fastest-Growing Companies (2010 and 2011) lists, and recognition by MIT Technology Review as the World’s Smartest Company in 2014.

Jay chairs the Boards of Directors for two Illumina subsidiaries, Helix and Grail. In addition to his work at Illumina, he is an Advisory Board member for UC San Diego’s Moore Cancer Center, and serves on the Boards of Directors at Coherent and Denali.

Mya Thomae
Vice President of Clinical, Medical & Regulatory Affairs, Illumina
Mya Thomae

Mya Thomae is Illumina’s Vice President of Regulatory, Clinical and Medical Affairs. Mya has more than twenty years of experience as a regulatory professional including founding and running Myraqa, a boutique regulatory affairs consulting firm purchased by Illumina in 2014. Mya has extensive experience in gaining regulatory approvals for novel IVDs in the United States and Europe. This work has included PMAs, 510(k)s and de novo 510(k)s in the United States for both kit and lab-based products. In the European Union, Mya has experience with working with Notified Bodies and Competent Authorities on List A, List B and self-certified products. Certified by the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society (RAPS) since 1994, Mya also received the FDA Commissioner’s Special Citation in 2009 as a member of the rRt-PCR Flu Panel Team for exceptional performance and dedication in addressing complex regulatory and scientific issues in the clearance of a CDC test to diagnose human influenza infection.

David L. Barker, Ph.D.
David L. Barker

Dr. David L. Barker currently serves on the Boards of Directors of BioNano Genomics, AmideBio and Singular Genomics Systems, and is Board Member and Chairman at Integrated Diagnostics and IntegenX, Inc. He is a scientific advisor to MiNDERA Corp. He was Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at Illumina, Inc., from 2000 to 2007, and on the Illumina scientific advisory board through 2015. He was previously on the Boards of NextBio, which was acquired by Illumina in 2013, ProteinSimple, which was acquired by Bio-Techne in 2014, and Zephyrus Biosciences, Inc., which was acquired by Bio-Techne in 2016. Dr. Barker served from 1998 to 2000 as Vice President and Chief Science Advisor at Amersham Biosciences, now part of General Electric. From 1988 to 1998, Dr. Barker held senior positions, including Vice President of Research and Business Development, at Molecular Dynamics, Inc., until the acquisition of Molecular Dynamics by Amersham.

In his academic career, Dr. Barker conducted interdisciplinary research in neurobiology as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School, Assistant Professor at the University of Oregon and Associate Professor at Oregon State University. Dr. Barker holds a BS with honors in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and a PhD in Biochemistry from Brandeis University.


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Illumina Accelerator Team

Illumina Ventures is an independently managed venture fund in a strategic partnership with Illumina. Illumina provides the majority of Illumina Ventures capital and access to the expertise and vision of the world's leading genomics solutions provider.

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The description of Illumina Accelerator presented on this website is for informational purposes only, and is subject to change. A full description of Illumina Accelerator, the terms and conditions of participation, and the rights and obligations of Illumina and selected participants will be available upon request.