SynBioBeta was founded in 2012 by John Cumbers and is located in Beverly Hills, California. It is an organization seeking to help scientists, investors, entrepreneurs, and policy makers create sustainable products and services using synthetic biology.
SynBioBeta offers a networking, story telling, and business development platform for people working within the synthetic biology industry. The company offers a weekly synthetic biology industry digest, a newswire service, educational courses, industry innovation tours and annual synthetic biology conferences.
Notable participants at SnyBioBeta conferences include: Vinod Khosla (Khosla Ventures), Reshma Shetty (Ginkgo Bioworks), Sean O'Sullivan (SOSV), Randal J. Kirk (Intrexon), Alexandre Zanghellini (Arzeda), Drew Endy (Stanford University), Janet Bainbridge (UK Trade & Investment), Ganesh Kishore (Spruce Capital Partners), Stewart Brand (Long Now Foundation), Axel Trefzer (Thermo Fisher), Eli Groban (Autodesk), and Emily Leproust (Twist Bioscience).
The conferences cover topics such as agriculture technology, DNA data storage, the Green New Deal, cannabinoids, among other subjects. They are held throughout various cities in the world during October of every year.
Starting in 2015, SynBioBeta began putting on annual synthetic biology conferences. Conferences in 2015 were held at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, and at the Imperial College in London, England. It covered topics such as low-cost DNA synthesis and industrial biotech platforms. The conference lasted two days and was targeted to academics, investors, and technology practitioners.
In 2016 SynBioBeta synthetic biology conferences were held at the South San Francisco Conference Center in San Francisco, California, the University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland, Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, Jiaotong University in Shanghai, China, the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology in Shenzhen, China, and the Imperial College in London, England. The keynote speakers were Dr. Christopher Voigt and Dr. Dan Gibson. There were multiple discussion panels held covering topics such as synthetic biology in agriculture and safeguarding the bioeconomy.
In 2017 SynBioBeta held synthetic biology conferences in the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, California, the National University of Singapore in Singapore, and the Imperial College in London, England. Topics that were covered included the use of Big Data and artificial intelligence in biology, cell factories for biopharmacuticals, and more.
The 2018 conference was held in San Francisco, California with notable speakers such as Steve Wozniak, George Church, and Eri Gentry. Biopharma, energy and the environment, and other topics were discussed. Several workshops were also help covering topics such as DNA construct design.
The company offers online courses pertaining to synthetic biology. An example of one such course is titled as "Introduction to Synthetic Biology". It is an interactive class designed for people with little to no background experience in the field. It covers the introduction, structure-activity relationships, manipulating organisms, cells, genes, and genomes, and more. Those wishing to participate in the course or future courses can fill out a form on the company's website to be alerted when enrollment opens.
On April 4, 2017 SynBioBeta and Data Collective (DCVC) announced they would be working together to create a pre-seed and seed venture capital firm called the DCVC SynBioBeta Fund. The intended focus of the fund is investing in synthetic biology startups. Matt Ocko, co-managing partner at Data Collective, said the following about SynBioBeta and its founder and CEO John Cumbers:
The synthetic biology industry, driven by advances in computational biology and related tool chains, now resembles the Silicon Valley semiconductor business right at its sharp takeoff in the 80s and 90s. John has been running the premier network for the synthetic biology industry, sees new companies and technologies before most people do, and understands where the technologies are headed. We’re excited to have him bringing in new investments.
The following companies are media partners and/or financial sponsors of SynBioBeta:
- BioIndustry Association
- Biotechnology Innovation Organization
- Bio-Based World News
- BioBricks Foundation
- Breakout Labs
- Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal
- European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group
- Global Biotech Revolution
- Innovation Endeavors
- Knowledge Transfer Network
- Lux Research
- One Nucleus
- Sinan Compass
- SIRE Life Sciences
- Sphere Fludics
- Twist Bioscience
- Thermo Fisher Scientific
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