The Frontier of Biology is Here: Boston-Based Petri Launches 12-month Startup Accelerator for Early Stage Entrepreneurs

BOSTON, September 13, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Startup accelerator Petri will provide PhDs and postdocs from leading universities and other aspiring innovators working on the next frontier of biology and engineering with a comprehensive 12-month program specifically designed to rapidly translate their research into commercial success. The first-of-its-kind accelerator is focused on bringing together breakthroughs in biology, engineering, and technology to create scalable solutions to some of the world’s most endemic and challenging problems.

In addition to a fully resourced biology lab, the highly selective program will offer early stage startup founders flexible amounts of capital ($250,000 or greater) and unparalleled access to a group of accomplished entrepreneurs and scientific luminaries. Petri is co-founded and co-owned by a team that includes industry stars Reshma Shetty (Ginkgo Bioworks), Emily Leproust (Twist Bioscience), Stan Lapidus (Exact Sciences, Cytyc), Daphne Koller (Insitro), Alec Nielsen (Asimov), Andy Beck (PathAI), JP Mangeolle (Danaher, Sciex, Phenomenex), Bernhard van Lengerich (General Mills, Beyond Meat), and leading researchers Chris Voigt, Pam Silver, and George Church. Once accepted into the Petri accelerator, entrepreneurs will work with the co-founding team as advisors and collaborators in building their companies. The companies and research programs of the co-founding team are strong examples of the new frontier of biology and engineering that Petri supports.

“The time is now,” shares Petri co-founder Dr. Tony Kulesa, “We are at this perfect point in time where the advances in biology can be made exponentially greater through engineering and applications of technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence. What’s been missing is a focused resource to help make that happen. That’s why we created Petri.”

“The convergence of biology with engineering and computation will impact a range of industries, from nutrition and health care to energy and materials. We look forward to supporting the next generation of founders as they turn their passions into businesses with a scalable impact on humankind,” says Dr. Brian Baynes, co-founder of Petri.

Petri operates on 12-month timelines to ensure that its early stage founders have time to transform their fledgling ideas into funded companies. “We work side by side with founders from the beginning, and provide the runway, resources, and coaching to transform an early concept into a high potential company,” says Kulesa.

Jamie Goldstein, the Founding Partner of venture capital firm Pillar helped co-found Petri and serves as its Chairman. Pillar has supplied the initial capital. “Engineering thinking has arrived in biology and the number of entrepreneurs that are interested in this area has grown dramatically. Unlike classic biotech, these ideas don’t require tens or hundreds of millions of dollars before you can demonstrate value — creating the opportunity for different funding models.”

Petri co-founders Brian Baynes and Tony Kulesa bring together years of technical, entrepreneurial, and venture capital experience in this field: Baynes as an operator and VC at Flagship Pioneering, one of the most successful venture funds in this category working across energy, animal health, therapeutics, and synthetic biology; and Kulesa who has built organizations, classes, and resources for biotech entrepreneurship at MIT.


Petri is a dynamic 12-month accelerator focused on helping early stage innovators realize the next frontier of biology and engineering, co-founded by an unparalleled team of experts in the field.

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