VC shop follows Y Combinator into the world of biotech incubators

Another incubator is ready to test Y Combinator's theory that it is possible to get a biotech-related startup off the ground with smaller sums of money than ever before. VC shop SOS Ventures is offering startups working broadly in biology $35,000 in seed funding, mentors and lab space at incubators in San Francisco and Cork, Ireland.

Like Y Combinator, SOS Ventures is casting its net beyond traditional biotech startups to include any company developing products, processes or software that have a basis in biology. Synthetic biology is an area of particular interest for the team behind the incubator--called IndieBio--and was the focus of a 6-startup pilot accelerator SOS Ventures ran in Cork earlier this year. The VC firm is now scaling up its incubator ambitions.

Cork is set to host another group of startups in May, Xconomy reports, but before then SOS Ventures is working to get its San Francisco-based incubator up and running. SOS Ventures is accepting applications for the first San Francisco sessions until November 1. The 10 successful applicants will join the incubator for a 100-day program in January and receive $35,000 in exchange for an 8% stake in their business.

A second group of startups will join the incubator in San Francisco in September. SOS Ventures will host the startups at a 15,000-square-foot site in the city, at which it is creating office and lab space to realize its ambitions. "We need to build a culture of rapid access to biology as a technology to get to the critical mass of people interested in solving human problems with biology," IndieBio co-founder Arvind Gupta said in a blog post.

- read Xconomy's article
- and Gupta's blog post