Illumina Accelerator

Illumina Accelerator

Illumina Accelerator is Illumina's accelerator arm focusing on investing in genomic startup companies.

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




Amanda Cashin

Head of Illumina Accelerator & Co-Founder

Charles Dadswell

Senior Vice President & General Counsel

Francis deSouza


Marc Stapey

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

Mostafa Ronaghi

Chief Technical Officer & Co-Founder

Omead Ostadan

Executive Vice President. Operations, Products & Strategy

Richard Klausner

Chief Medical Officer & Interim General Manager

Sanjay Chikarmane

Senior Vice President & General Manager of Enterprise Informatics

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

The genomics-focused Illumina Accelerator backs five new companies

Jonathan Shieber

News article

Documentaries, videos and podcasts