Illumina is a biotechnology company founded in 1998 located in San Diego, California, developing and selling instruments, reagents, and services for DNA sequencing applications.

Illumina is headquartered in San Diego, California and was founded in 1998 by David Walt, John Stuelpnagel, Anthony Czarnik, Lawrence Bock, and Marck Chee, to develop, manufacture, and commercialize DNA sequencing technologies. The company is a global provider of DNA sequencing instruments, reagents, and services, that serve biotechnology markets such as DNA sequencing, genotyping, gene expression analysis, and proteomics. Illumina's customers are pharmaceutical companies, educational institutions, research scientists, biotechnology companies, and clinical research organizations.

Illumina has two distinct business units. The first focuses on life science related products and services such as DNA sequencing, bead arrays, vera-codes, and PCR technologies. The second unit focuses on the development and sale of technologies related to medical diagnostics.

According to Wired magazine, in 2016 Illumina's DNA sequencing machines perform 90% of global DNA sequencing. The director of global public relations for Illumina in 2016 told reporters, "We are at a tipping point in genomics, where a broad community of scientists and researchers continue to translate the potential of the genome from science to discoveries and applications" and believes DNA sequencing technologies made by Illumina will continue to be in high demand around the world well into the future.

DNA sequencing machines made by Illumina are based off DNA sequencing technologies developed by Solexa in the early to mid 2000's. Illumina acquired Solexa in 2007 for $600 million after Solexa successfully built a next generation sequencing machine that could sequence 1 gigabase (Gb) of data in a single run of the machine.

Illumina Accelerator

Illumina Accelerator is the investment arm of Illumina funding early stage genomics companies. They offer early stage companies financial support, mentorship and access to genomic technologies such as sequencing systems, reagents, and lab space.

Accelerator program

The Illumina Accelerator runs 2 six month funding cycles each year consisting of up to 5 companies per cycle with access to up to $100,000 in convertible notes from seed investors and a $20,000 unsecured line of credit. Chosen companies agree to give Illumina Accelerator 8% of common stock for participating in their accelerator program.

During each six month funding cycle selected companies are actively coached by mentors at the Illumina Accelerator to develop a custom curriculum for company building, business strategy, technology development, and pitch development. Credits are given to each company for access to Illumina sequencing technologies, and companies can hire scientists at illumina to help with experimental design. At the end of each funding cycle companies meet with venture capitalists affiliated with the Illumina Accelerator to pitch their business ideas and technologies.

Companies also have the opportunity to receive funding from a $40 million dollar pool of funding from the Illumina Accelerator Boost Capital fund. Illumina Accelerator Boost Capital has a deal with Viking Global Investors to match funding dollar-for-dollar for startups managing to raise in between $1 million and $5 million in funding.

Grant Competition

Illumina Accelerator's grant competition encourages entrepreneurs to create companies using next generation sequencing technologies. Grant winners are able to spend one week running sequencing experiments for proof-of-concept at Illumina Accelerator. When the grant is awarded it needs to be used within 6-months. The grant also gives entrepreneurs one business coaching session, and two sequencing experiment design meetings with a senior scientist at Illumina.


On August 17, 2017 Illumina Accelerator announced they will collaborating with a personal genomics company called Helix. The partnership seeks to help entrepreneurs develop DNA-driven products and services. Startups accepted into Illumina Accelerator's accelerator program will gain access to Helix's expertise and sequencing platform. The co-founder and senior vice president of Helix, Justin Kao, had the following to say about the partnership "We are proud to collaborate with Illumina Accelerator to stimulate innovation in personal genomics by helping selected startups harness their creativity and build best-in-class DNA-powered products for everyday use".

Investment portfolio
  • Biome Makers
  • Boost Biomes
  • Checkerspot
  • Chimera Bioengineering
  • Center of Individualized Diagnostic (CID)
  • Encoded Genomics
  • Encompass Bioscience
  • Epibiome
  • Haystack Sciences
  • Mantra Bio
  • Naked Biome
  • NextGen Jane
  • Prospect Bio
  • Resilient Biotics
  • Solarea Bio
  • Trace Genomics
  • UrologyDx
  • Vitagene
  • Xcell Biosciences


May 2018
Illumina acquires Edico Genome for an undisclosed amount.

Funding rounds

Funding round
Funding type
Funding round amount (USD)
Funding round date
Illumina Venture Funding Round January 2000
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Amanda Cashin

Head of Illumina Accelerator & Co-Founder

Anthony Czarnik


Charles Dadswell

Senior Vice President & General Counsel

Dave Grimm

Digital Experience Director

David Walt

Co-Founder, Board Director

Francis deSouza


Francis deSouza

Chief Executive Officer

Jay Flatley

President, Chief Executive Officer

John Liebig

Vice President of Customer Solutions

John Stuelpnagel

Co-Founder, Senior Vice President

Larry Bock


Licen Xu

Vice President Product Management, Strategic Marketing

Marc Stapey

Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, & Chief Financial Officer

Mark Chee


Mostafa Ronaghi

Chief Technical Officer & Co-Founder

Mostafa Ronaghi

Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer

Nick Naclerio

Senior Vice President Corporate Development and General Manager Enterprise Informatics

Omead Ostadan

Executive Vice President. Operations, Products & Strategy

Ray Alley

Senior System Engineer

Richard Klausner

Senior VIce President, Chief Medical Officer

Richard Klausner

Chief Medical Officer & Interim General Manager

Sanjay Chikarmane

Senior Vice President & General Manager of Enterprise Informatics

Seems Rego

Associate Director, Global Clinical Operations

Simon Valentine

Global Head of Sales, Enterprise Informatics

Tristan Orpin

Senior Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer

Further reading


$40 million genomics accelerator introduced by Helix and Illumina

Richard Harris

News article

Illumina Accelerator explores genomic innovation in Ontario - Ontario Genomics

Ontario Genomics

News article

Illumina Might Be Overlooking Its Top Competitor; Here's Why Investors Shouldn't

Maxx Chatsko

Web article

Illumina, the Google of Genetic Testing, Has Plans for World Domination

Sarah Zhang

Web article

The genomics-focused Illumina Accelerator backs five new companies

Jonathan Shieber

News article

Documentaries, videos and podcasts




Biome Makers


Conor Hale
January 12, 2021
Following its $8 billion pitch last year to acquire Grail and its upcoming multi-tumor blood test, Illumina is planning a deeper dive into cancer genomics with a slew of new biopharma development partnerships.
Research and Markets
January 8, 2021
/PRNewswire/ -- The "Biotechnology Services Global Market Report 2020-30: COVID-19 Growth and Change" report has been added to's...
December 3, 2020
BioSpace, the healthcare industry's leading marketplace for outsourced research, and Discovery Life SciencesTM (Discovery), a global leader in biospecimen solutions, genomic, cell and immunohistochemistry (IHC) services, have partnered to offer researchers online access to Illumina's TruSightTM Oncology 5
Weill Cornell Medical College
December 3, 2020
/PRNewswire/ -- Seeking to advance the scope of precision medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and Illumina, Inc. are entering into...
December 1, 2020
PierianDx, the leading clinical genomics informatics company, today announced an expanded partnership with Illumina to enable PierianDx genomic reporting solutions for use with AmpliSeqTM for Illumina ® Focus Panel, AmpliSeqTM for Illumina ® Myeloid Panel and the TruSightTM Hereditary Cancer
Research and Markets
December 1, 2020
/PRNewswire/ -- The "Global DNA Methylation Market: Focus on Products, Technologies, Applications, End Users, Country Data (14 Countries), and Competitive...
Conor Hale
November 13, 2020
Genetic code has served as the basis of the human story for millenia. Now, a group of tech and medtech companies aim to spin their digital data into DNA itself, to archive information in the arrangement of its molecules.
Discovery Life Sciences
November 13, 2020
/PRNewswire/ -- Spoločnosť Discovery Life SciencesTM (ďalej len Discovery), globálny líder v oblasti biospecimenových riešení, genomických, bunkových a...
Discovery Life Sciences
November 13, 2020
/PRNewswire/ -- Společnost Discovery Life SciencesTM (dále jen Discovery), světová jednička v řešení pro odběr a zpracování biologických vzorků, poskytování...
Discovery Life Sciences
November 12, 2020
/PRNewswire/ -- Discovery Life SciencesTM (Discovery), un líder mundial en soluciones de bioespecimen, servicios genómicos, celulares e inmunohistoquímica...
Danny Crichton
September 21, 2020
Biotech has become one of the hottest areas of venture investment in recent years, as progress in machine learning, genetics, medical devices and biology fuse together into new products for the gargantuan health industry. Case in point: Grail, which began in 2016 as a spinoff from genetic sequencing giant Illumina and co-founded by longtime Google [...]
Conor Hale
July 7, 2020
Using data gathered through whole-genome sequencing, the company's TruSight software-as-a-service platform is designed to dispense reports on an individual's genetic variants, including large and small alterations in their DNA and mitochondria.
Jonathan Shieber
June 25, 2020
Since its launch in 1998 Illumina and its genetic analysis toolkits and services have become an essential component of the new biological manufacturing and therapeutic development industries which have emerged in the last twenty five years. And for the past six years the company has attempted to encourage the development of the industry through an [...]
June 11, 2020
Adaptive Biotechnologies and Microsoft launch groundbreaking ImmuneCODE database to share populationwide immune response to the COVID-19 virus - read this article along with other careers information, tips and advice on BioSpace
Conor Hale
June 10, 2020
Illumina received an emergency authorization from the FDA for its COVID-19 test designed to sequence the full genome of the novel coronavirus.
Mark Terry
May 22, 2020
Roche hopes to advance the development of its own nanopore sequencer, which would use a new approach combining electronic and biological components to sequence DNA quickly and at low cost.
Ben Adams
May 12, 2020
The U.K.'s Wellcome Trust has spun out a new non-profit with a hefty seed fund and some big names to battle against "the most pressing global health challenges of our time."
May 11, 2020
Burning Rock and Illumina, a global leader in gene sequencing and array-based technologies, jointly announced that they are joining forces to promote the development and standardization of NGS-based cancer therapy selection in China based on Illumina's NextSeqTM 550Dx system.
April 30, 2019
Beau Label, a third generation family-owned print service provider located in Hillside, New Jersey, strategically situated between Newark and New York City installs its third Illumina® LED Retrofit System along with 300 Series UV-LED inks by Fujifilm, and further experiences increased margins and reduced costs. The Illumina LED-UV cure features an instant on/off process, lowering the energy usage and stress on lamp bulbs experienced in conventional 'always-on' UV mercury lamp curing....
March 1, 2019
Benevity, Inc., the global leader in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and employee engagement software, announced the winners of its 2019 Corporate Goodness Awards. "The Goodies" were presented last night at Benevity's Annual Goodness Matters client conference in Palm Springs and recognize progressive companies who are leading the social impact space with innovative, inclusive approaches to community investment and employee engagement in giving, volunteering, activism and positive act...


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