Irish accelerator RebelBio has launched its latest cohort of startups that will receive its support during a 3-month program at Imperial College London.
RebelBio is a startup accelerator that helps entrepreneurs to build technology associated with the life sciences field. It offers seed funding, lab space, mentorship, and a community of successful and diverse founders from all sectors.
With synthetic biology companies like Bolt Threads raising $106M (€86M) and Memphis Meats securing $17M (€14M) from investors including Bill Gates, RebelBio has decided to expand its program this year, putting on a second program based at Imperial College London’s new White City campus.
Each of the 10 early-stage companies received an investment of up to $250,000 (€205,000) and will be given training in pitching and scientific and business development. The experience will culminate in a DemoDay, where each of the entrepreneurs will pitch to investors.
Without further ado, let’s meet the startups taking part in the latest cohort and peek at the fields that they hope to join.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is now being used by biotechs for a number of purposes, including diagnostics, drug discovery, and tedious lab work, so it is no surprise to see some of RebelBio’s cohort employing the technology. Chronomics hopes to develop its epigenetic testing AI platform to drive the future of personalized wellness, while Neurocreate wants to combine neurofeedback and artificial intelligence, to increase human cognition to achieve peak performance and relieve stress.
The production of better biomaterials, like a tissue mimic under development by another group at Imperial College London, could help the field of regenerative medicine live up to the hype. Biomimetic Solutions is combining synthetic scaffolds, new additives, and cell biology techniques to create nanomaterials to improve 3D cell culture and boost the regenerative medicine field.
According to Greenpeace, clothing sales are expected to reach $2.1 trillion in 2025, with ‘fast fashion’ sending shoppers crazy, buying more and more, much of which ends up rarely worn. Like Bolt Threads, AlgiKnit wants to transform the fashion industry with its kelp-based textiles. Kelp is highly renewable and can produce a yarn with minimal waste, making it ideal for sustainable manufacturing. It is grown in coastal waters, absorbing agricultural nutrients and removing the run-off from sewers.
We are all very aware that an unhealthy diet can make your stomach bulge and rot your teeth, as well as slightly more subtle effects on our immune system. Magellan Life Sciences is doing its bit to help us improve our eating habits. First up, it will explore new frontiers in sweet taste with the development of its non-caloric protein-based sugar substitute.
It’s amazing to take a look at the range of applications for which biotech is developing medical devices. From the protection of the microbiome, to supporting brain surgery, to nanocoatings for better hip replacements, biotech has almost everything covered. However, three of RebelBio’s cohort have spotted gaps in the field.
Visusnano is hoping to revolutionize cataract surgery with its drug-eluting intraocular lens implant that removes the need for post-operative eye drops. June, previously CortiCare, is developing an on-the-go personalized molecular health tracker that carries out hormone tests to track heart and immune system health, mood, and performance. Similarly, Daekitech is working on non-invasive devices that use saliva to diagnose and monitor chronic diseases like diabetes.
A lot has changed since we could set a password like ‘123456789’ and feel our privacy would be maintained – not even adding ‘special characters’ can cut it these days. That’s where VivoKey Technologies comes in with its very personal approach to digital identity. The VivoKey, previously UKI, is a chip that is implanted under the skin that ensures that only you have access to your devices, read your emails, access your accounts, spend your money, and much more.
Encelo Laboratories hopes to overcome the limitations of the animal and cell models that are currently used in research by providing access to stem cells. The startup has found a way to get hold of unlimited human cells, and it is now developing the tools to collect them so that even children and patients with rare diseases become accessible. This will give scientists better resources to accelerate their research and could bring personalized medicine within reach.
We wish them the best of luck during their time with RebelBio, and look forward to hearing more about their technologies as they grow.
Media – Lukasz Pajor, GiroScience, Jirsak, sripfoto, Maria Uspenskaya, VectorsMarket, NURUL IZZATI BINTI YUSOF, lmstockwork / shutterstock.com; VivoKey / Motherboard