What all of these companies have in common is that they need to be able to rapidly experiment with different organisms and processes for cultivating them to make their visions work at a commercial scale — and that’s where Culture Biosciences comes in.
The company was founded by two Chapel Hill, N.C. natives and Duke alums Matthew Ball and Will Patrick.
Will Patrick, co-founder, Culture BiosciencesAfter leaving Google, Patrick, the company’s chief executive, wound up at MIT’s Media Lab where he was exposed to the work that companies like Gingko Bioworks was doing around biomanufacturing and became convinced that it would be transformational by human society.
“That was the problem we were solving with Culture Biosciences,” says Patrick.
The company, which just raised $5.5 million from investors including Refactor Capital, and Verily, the life sciences division of Google parent company, Alphabet, already has 50 bioreactors and is going to be scaling up to 100 really rapidly.
Section 32, the investment shop founded by Google Ventures’ former chief executive Bill Maris, Y Combinator, BoxGroup, Shana Fisher from Third Kind Venture Capital, and Data Collective are also investors in the company.
Culture Biosciences actually shares office space with Verily, working from that company’s shared office space in South San Francisco, which was built to house startup companies in the life sciences space.
With Culture, the biomanufacturing industry and the investors who are supporting it seem to be learning one of the critical lessons from the last wave of big bets on biology — in biofuels.
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