Singularity University Announces Inaugural Synthetic Biology Accelerator Program

Singularity University Announces Inaugural Synthetic Biology Accelerator Program

Startup founders will develop and launch transformative companies in the emerging field of synthetic biology at new Silicon Valley SynBio Startup Launchpad

Mountain View, CA (May 17, 2012)– Singularity University today announced the companies selected to participate in its inaugural synthetic biology accelerator program, SynBio Startup Launchpad. The program will nurture aspiring SynBio entrepreneurs seeking to apply the rapid-cycle, low-cost approaches employed by tech and biotech startups. Synthetic biology is genetic engineering using software-based design tools coupled with low-cost DNA synthesis and assembly.

The SynBio Program was conceived by Andrew Hessel, Co-Chair of SU’s Biotechnology and Bioinformatics track, and John Cumbers, Ph.D, a synthetic biologist working at NASA Ames Research Center. As Andrew Hessel explains, “advances in technology are allowing scientists to treat DNA, our genetic code, the same way people use code for software programming.”

The SynBio Startup Launchpad is Singularity University’s first formal initiative to support startups developing exponentially growing technologies. “The SynBio program brings together a powerful community seeking to support startups developing products from the emerging field of synthetic biology to address some of the world’s biggest challenges,” said Gabriel Baldinucci, Singularity University’s Vice President of Strategy and New Venture Development.

Three (3) companies have been selected for the SynBio Program: Evolutionary SolutionsModern Meadow, and SoilGene. Evolutionary Solutions (founders Kettner Griswold and Paul Sebexen) is developing an oligo- to genome-scale synthesis device. Modern Meadow (co-founder Andras Forgacs) applies the latest advances in tissue engineering to produce a range of novel biomaterials for food and textile applications. SoilGene (founders Zachary Apte and Robert Lim) combines metagenomic and bioinformatic approaches to survey land opportunities for the natural resources and agriculture sectors.

A unique aspect of the SynBio program is its partnership with Triple Ring Technologies in Newark, California. The three selected companies will be based at Triple Ring to take advantage of its engineering and lab facilities, and their staff’s extensive expertise in life sciences innovation and commercialization. “We are excited to work with the SynBio entrepreneurs taking innovations to market in the emerging synthetic biology space,” said Joseph Heanue, Ph.D., president and CEO of Triple Ring Technologies.

The selected entrepreneurs will go through four months of comprehensive, customized mentoring and education in bringing their ideas to market. The companies receive close mentorship from a network of experienced advisors, weekly speakers on critical venture topics, networking with their peers, and valuable discounted services to launch their companies.

The first program will conclude in late August with the SynBio Companies pitching their ventures to investors and the community at “demo day” events.

About Singularity University

Singularity University’s mission is to assemble, educate, and inspire a new generation of leaders in business, science, finance, and government who strive to understand and use exponentially advancing technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges. Corporate Partners include Autodesk, Cisco, ePlanet Ventures, Genentech, Google, Kauffman Foundation, and Nokia. Since 2009, SU has hosted students and industry leaders from more than 60 countries at its campus at NASA Research Park, Moffett Field, CA.

SU offers a Summer Graduate Studies Program and numerous Executive Programs throughout the year focused on the impact and incubation of exponentially advancing technologies in the key areas of medicine and neuroscience, networks and computing systems, artificial intelligence and robotics, biotechnology and bioinformatics, nanotechnology, space and physical science, and energy and environmental systems. SU programs focus on the intersection of these areas with each other and with policy, law, and ethics; design; entrepreneurship; finance and economics; and futures studies and forecasting.

For more information about the SynBio program visit www.singularityu.org/synbio

SU Media contact: Diane Murphy ([email protected])

SU Synbio Lab contact: Sandra Miller ([email protected])

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  • INNOVATING WOMEN: The Changing Face of Technology

    Singularity University Applauds New Book Crowdsourcing the Paths to Success of Hundreds of Women in Science and Technology

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA (September 9, 2014)—Innovating Women, a new book co-authored by Singularity University (SU) distinguished fellow Vivek Wadhwa and award-winning author, journalist and professor Farai Chideya, holds no punches in challenging the old-boy networks in science and tech around the world to foretell that women are prime to lead the new era of innovation.

    Created with the support of Singularity University andGoogle for Entrepreneurs, Innovating Women crowdsources the personal journeys of hundreds of women from Tehran to Mumbai to Silicon Valley and shares first-hand accounts of these pioneers’ challenges, barriers, discriminations and roads to success. Contributors to the book include Prodea CEO and the first female private space explorer Anousheh Ansari; Google(x) VP and recently announced United States CTO Megan Smith; physicist, physician, founder and CEO of Nanobiosym Dr. Anita Goel; and venture capitalist Heidi Roizen.

    Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO, Xerox Corporation called Innovating Women “a must read for every woman looking to affect change and join today’s global innovation economy.”  

    “This powerful new book illustrates that there are women in tech doing amazing work, even though less than 15% of senior executives are women,” said Lajuanda Asemota, director, Strategic Relations for Diversity at SU. “I’m excited to help SU ensure the future is as inclusive and diverse as it should be.”

    Ray Kurzweil, inventor, author, futurist, a director of engineering at Google and co-founder of SU remarked: “As someone whose family has been dedicated to advancing women’s careers for one and a half centuries, I am excited by Vivek and Farai’s compelling book which shines a light on the remarkable achievements of brilliant and pioneering women in technology.”

    “We have the ability today to create the era of abundance, but not without the leadership of women. Innovating Women explains why and how women, at every level of business and research will transform society. Of particular note is contributor Megan Smith, appointed just last week by President Obama to serve as the US CTO. We applaud Megan and all the contributors of this inspiring book,” stated Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, executive chairman, SU; chairman, XPRIZE Foundation; author, Abundance: The Future is Better Than you Think.

    Innovating Womenis availablein print andeBookeditions. A portion of the proceeds will be allocated to the Singularity University Fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to support women applicants toSU’s Graduate Studies Program.

    ABOUT THE AUTHORS

    Vivek Wadhwa is a distinguished fellow at SU. He lectures at Stanford and Duke, is an advisor to several governments, and is a regular columnist for The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal Accelerators, LinkedIn Influencers blog and Forbes. He was named a Top 100 Global Thinker in 2012 by Foreign Policy Magazine and one of the 40 Most Influential Minds in Tech by TIME Magazine in 2013.

    Farai Chideya has combined media, technology and socio-political analysis during her 20-year career as an award-winning author, journalist, professor and lecturer. She is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She was also a spring 2012 fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics. She frequently appears on public radio and cable television, speaking about race, politics and culture. She also hosts a series of town hall meetings in both New York and San Francisco, with New York Public Radio and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, respectively.

    ABOUT SINGULARITY UNIVERSITY

    Singularity University (SU) is a benefit corporation headquartered at NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley. SU provides educational programs, innovative partnerships and a business accelerator to help individuals, businesses, institutions, investors, NGOs and governments understand and use cutting-edge technologies to positively impact billions of people. From its inception in 2008, SU has empowered individuals from more than 85 countries to apply exponentially growing technologies—artificial intelligence & robotics, biotechnology, nanotechnology & digital fabrication, networks & computing systems and medicine & neuroscience—to address humanity’s grand challenges. SU’s Founding Corporate Partners include Genentech, Autodesk, Cisco, ePlanet Ventures, Google, Kauffman Foundation and Nokia.To learn more, visit singularityu.org.

    Join the discussion on Twitter @InnovatingWomen; @SingularityU; #Innovwomen and on theInnovating Women website

    Media is invited to attend the Press Launch for Innovating Women on September 9 in San Francisco.

    Media Contact & RSVP: Diane Murphy ([email protected]); T. +1.202.361.9681.

    Singularity University Previews Future Entrepreneurs- Graduates of the 2014 Graduate Studies Program- and Showcases the 21 Team Projects Developed During the 10-week Program

    Mountain View, CA (August 27, 2014) – Singularity University (SU), the Silicon Valley educational institute and business accelerator, completed its sixth Graduate Studies Program (GSP) last week and paid tribute at the Closing Ceremony to the 80 participants and showcased the 21 Team Projects developed within the 10-week program that employ accelerating technologies to address global grand challenges.

    The 80 participants, who hailed from 35 different countries worldwide, were immersed on the SU campus at NASA Research Park in an unparalleled learning environment focused on identifying and using rapidly accelerating technologies to find solutions to humanity’s greatest challenges: Education, Energy, Environment, Food, Global Health, Poverty, Security, Space and Water. Each year, SU challenges GSP participants to design a sustainable solution to one or more of these “Global Grand Challenges,” leveraging exponential trends, innovation and the power of entrepreneurship to positively impact more than one billion people.

    The 21 Team Projects ranged from the use of AI to enhance literacy and learning to biotech solutions to improve health and wellness to new solutions for renewable energy and poverty eradication. Five teams were showcased during the Closing Ceremony for developing unique solutions to challenges in Education, Energy, Global Health, Poverty and Security. All 21 GSP Team Project videos can be viewed on the Singularity University website.

    Team: Besense
    Grand Challenge: Global Health
    Goal: Creating smart and simple to use solutions that empower women with actionable insights about their health.
    Project: Develop a revolutionary smart-pad built to measure selected biomarkers in menstrual blood to discover, diagnose and provide valuable insights to the health of women.
    Team Nations: Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Denmark, Poland

    Team: Bibak
    Grand Challenge: Education, Environment, Security
    Goal: Bibak’s “podtector” is a landmine detector that is effective, cheap and can be assembled on-site. It is delivered in a way that is sustainable, coordinated and community-led.
    Project: Bibak’s “podtector” is a landmine detector that is effective, cheap and can be assembled on-site. It is delivered in a way that is sustainable, coordinated and community-led.
    Team Nations: Australia, Italy, Peru

    Team: Mitera
    Grand Challenge: Global Health
    Goal: Reduce disease by revolutionizing healthcare with personalized, precise and democratized early diagnostics
    Project: A device that allows early disease detection through weekly, in-home saliva analysis using nanotechnology. Through collection of continuous, non-invasive health data, the team’s solution can identify undiscovered biomarkers of disease, monitor changes over time and create a deeper understanding of the human body.
    Team Nations: Germany, Italy, UK, USA

    Team: Peared
    Grand Challenge: Health, Security
    Goal: Empower seniors to live their lives fully
    Project: A lifestyle company for seniors. Peared’s first product is “Bridgey” a smart earpiece designed to enhance hearing, monitor health and boost memory by providing every day contextual information.
    Team Nations: Australia, Austria, Brazil, France

    Team: Tridom
    Grand Challenge: Poverty, Energy
    Goal: Solve the housing crisis for the estimated 4 billion people who will be in need of affordable and adequate housing
    Project: A retrofit kit and work tool for cranes and transform any crane in the world into an automated tool for printing multi store buildings, that would function as houses and small businesses. The crane will handle 80% of the movement and precision and the kit would handle 20%. Also, the cranes could be mobile or static ones, preferably hydraulic.
    Team Nations: Brazil, Israel

    “We are extremely proud of this year’s 2014 graduate studies class for turning big ideas into practical solutions, with a number of breakthrough innovations and working prototypes”, said Nicholas Haan, Director of Global Grand Challenges and Team Project Leader.

    About SU Graduate Studies Program (GSP)

    Each summer, Singularity University convenes future leaders, entrepreneurs and technologists from around the world for its Graduate Studies Program (GSP) , a 10-week collaborative experience to develop team-based technology solutions to widespread global challenges. Participants apply directly or are invited to attend by competing and winning SU’s Global Impact Competitions (GIC), which act as a global platform to identify outstanding applicants with the most innovative ideas for positively impacting millions of lives.

    About Singularity University (SU)

    Singularity University (SU) is a benefit corporation headquartered at NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley. SU provides educational programs, innovative partnerships and a startup accelerator to help individuals, businesses, institutions, investors, NGOs and governments understand cutting-edge technologies and how to utilize these technologies to positively impact billions of people. From its inception in 2008, SU has empowered individuals from more than 85 countries to apply exponentially growing technologies—artificial intelligence & robotics, biotechnology, nanotechnology & digital fabrication, networks & computing systems and medicine & neuroscience—to address humanity’s grand challenges: education, energy, environment, food, global health, poverty, security, space and water.

    To learn more, visit singularityu.org.

    Singularity University and CNBC Partner to Launch Exponential Finance Conference June 10-11 in New York City

    Two-Day Conference Brings Together the World’s Top Leaders in Technology and Finance

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. & ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J.–()–Singularity University (SU), the widely acclaimed technology-focused education institute and business accelerator, today announced it is partnering with CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, to launch Exponential Finance, a first-of-its-kind conference to explore the impact of exponential technologies that are disrupting and reshaping finance and the world as we know it.

    Exponential Finance will take place June 10-11, 2014, in New York City. The event will bring together top business leaders and government officials with the next generation of entrepreneurs to engage in dynamic and forward-thinking discussions on the exponential technologies that are creating the next greatest wave of transition in industry, business and finance.

    “In the next decade, 40 percent of today’s S&P companies will not be here,” explains Executive Chairman Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, who co-founded SU with Futurist and Google’s Director of Engineering Ray Kurzweil. “AI, Robotics, Synthetic Biology, Big Data, 3D Printing, Nanotechnology and other exponential technologies are not only transforming how we start companies, deliver services, analyze and invest, but also dramatically accelerating the rate at which decisions are being made.”

    “CNBC’s 25th anniversary celebration this year has brought with it a heightened awareness of the tremendous changes in the last quarter century,” said Nikhil Deogun, SVP and Editor in Chief, CNBC Business News. “The content and context this event offers will set the tone for the next 25 years and continue CNBC’s tradition of bringing actionable information to our audience first.”

    CNBC Chief International Correspondent Michelle Caruso-Cabrera will serve as co-emcee of the conference with SU Chairman Peter Diamandisand Salim Ismail, SU Founding Executive Director and Global Ambassador, and former Yahoo VP who led Brickhouse, Yahoo’s internal “ideas factory.”

    CNBC is the exclusive media partner and will feature live interviews throughout the two-day conference during CNBC’s Business Day programming and on CNBC.com. Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBC Universal Media Village Web site at http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/networks/cnbc/.

    Exponential Finance is the first in a new series of Exponential Conferences being produced by Singularity University. The 2014 series includes: Exponential Finance, Exponential Manufacturing, Singularity Summit and Exponential Medicine (formerly FutureMed). Will Weisman, Executive Director of Conferences at SU, said that these events “are oriented to anyone who characterizes themselves as an early adopter, and individuals and corporate executives who want to ensure that they are the ones doing the disrupting—not the ones being disrupted.”

    For more information about the Exponential Finance Conference, details of the venue, and to register, visit: http://xfin.co. To learn more about the lineup of 2014 Singularity University Exponential Conferences, visit: http://exponential.singularityu.org.

     

    About Singularity University

    Singularity University’s (SU) mission is to educate, inspire and empower a generation of leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges. Since 2009, SU has hosted innovators, entrepreneurs, government and industry leaders from more than 85 countries at Graduate and Executive Programs, Global Summits and other conferences. In 2013, Singularity University launched SU Labs and more recently a Corporate Innovation Exchange. To learn more, visit www.singularityu.org.

    Singularity University Launches New Corporate Innovation Exchange To Inspire and Enable Industry Giants To Reimagine and Reinvent Their Future


    The Coca-Cola Company, The Hershey Company, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. and UNICEF Are Founding Members

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–()–Singularity University (SU), the widely acclaimed technology-focused education institute and business accelerator, has announced the launch of a new initiative for accelerating corporate innovation, the Corporate Innovation Exchange. The SU program will enable large enterprises to establish an innovation outpost in Silicon Valley and regularly access SU’s global community of world-renowned tech experts, startups, NGOs and other forward-thinking organizations. Founding members include The Coca-Cola Company, The Hershey Company, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. and UNICEF.

    “The Corporate Innovation Exchange is the next step in the evolution of Singularity University from an educational institute and startup accelerator, to a diverse global community of innovators that includes the largest organizations in the world,” explained Rob Nail, CEO and Associate Founder, Singularity University. “These companies not only seek to make bold leaps and drive disruption in their industries, but they also want to contribute to SU’s larger mission to positively impact the lives of billions of people.”

    SU’s Corporate Innovation Exchange will convene R&D, new product development, innovation, and insights/foresight teams at SU Labs on the Singularity University campus at NASA Research Park. Members of the Corporate Innovation Exchange will immerse themselves at SU, continually learning from recognized science and technology experts, working alongside the latest tech startups and like-minded corporate innovators, exploring uncommon partnerships and experimenting with ideas at the periphery of their industries.

    The Corporate Innovation Exchange will offer:

    • Private office space at SU Labs that companies can permanently staff year-round
    • Access to world-class experts in exponentially accelerating fields, including artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, nanotechnology and biotechnology
    • Opportunities to connect and partner with cutting-edge startups and brilliant young entrepreneurs from around the globe
    • Silicon Valley immersion, including university tours, corporate/lab site visits and innovation roundtables
    • Opportunities to support a unique group of dedicated global collaborators to help tackle humanity’s grand challenges

    “The Corporate Innovation Exchange helps large companies think beyond next quarter’s earnings report…way beyond,” says Carin Watson, SU’s Managing Director of Corporate Innovation. “This is where organizations come to look several horizons out…to reimagine and reinvent their future. Being here 24/7 gives these teams the tools to fast-track execution of their established innovation road maps and the freedom to explore the unknown, exchange ideas and experiment in disruptive spaces.”

    Deloitte Consulting LLP, SU’s strategic alliance partner, will play a key role in the Corporate Innovation Exchange by offering thought leadership and advising members on practices and capabilities for driving innovation in their organizations. “We see the SU Corporate Innovation Exchange as an excellent forum for our clients to sequester small, autonomous teams in a non-traditional environment that fosters and encourages creativity, idea exchange and rapid prototyping,” says Marcus Shingles, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and a leader in Deloitte’s innovation group.

    SU plans to selectively expand membership in the Corporate Innovation Exchange in 2014, as it strengthens its network of the most innovative global organizations. In time, the Exchange will be home to numerous organizations in myriad business, science and technology sectors.

    For more information regarding Singularity University’s Corporate Innovation Exchange, visit http://www.singularityu.org/corporate-innovation/

    About Singularity University
    Singularity University’s (SU) mission is to educate, inspire and empower a generation of leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges. Since 2009, SU has hosted students and industry leaders from more than 85 countries and has prepared both individuals and organizations for exponential technology changes through a series of events, conferences and education programs. SU’s Founding Corporate Partners include Genentech, Autodesk, Cisco, ePlanet Ventures, Google, Kauffman Foundation and Nokia. To learn more, visitwww.singularityu.org. Follow us on Twitter: @Singularityu; #SuCorpInnovation.

    Singularity University and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Partner to Advance Global Innovations that Benefit Women and Children

    UNICEF to establish New Innovation Lab at Singularity University Campus

    Mountain View, CA (June 27, 2013) –Singularity University (SU) and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF have announced a new partnership to create transformative technologies that will save and improve the lives of the most vulnerable children and women in developing countries. SU and UNICEF will work together to find sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing challenges in the areas of nutrition, water, energy, security, health, and education.

    “At Singularity University, our mission is to educate and empower the brightest people on our planet with the tools of exponential technology and entrepreneurship to solve humanity’s greatest challenges,“ said CEO Rob Nail. “Our new partnership with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF will now give us access to a global network to directly implement these solutions in localities of greatest need.”

    A key provision of the partnership is the creation of a UNICEF Innovation Lab on the campus of Singularity University. The new lab will provide UNICEF with access to SU principals, management, start-up companies and the university’s global network of scientists, technologists and entrepreneurs. Together SU and UNICEF will work with academia, government, and the Silicon Valley business community, as well as young people to expand the network.

    The partnership will allow UNICEF to leverage its expanding network of Innovation Labs and build on its long history of scaling transformative solutions for children, including deploying the first low-cost water hand-pump to rural communities, pioneering the use of radio for social mobilization, and developing RapidSMS, the award-winning open source data collection and communication platform that has improved health systems.

    “UNICEF works to give the world’s most vulnerable children access to education and healthcare to help them thrive on an even playing field,” said UNICEF Advisor on Innovation, Christopher Fabian. “Our partnership with SU can help achieve these goals, while keeping an eye on future potentials. The new UNICEF-SU Innovation Lab will match the world’s toughest problems with the people who can solve them.”

    “Finding a way to expose our Singularity University participants, faculty and staff – especially the participants in our Graduate Studies Program, to the specific needs in the developing world will greatly enhance our institution’s understanding of its mission and social impact globally,” said Emeline Paat-Dahlstrom, Chief Impact Officer and Exec VP of Operations, Singularity University, who traveled with UNICEF to tour Innovation Labs in Uganda and Burundi.

    “There is no substitution to seeing these challenges first-hand and understanding them from the user standpoint and interacting with the local populations,” continued Paat-Dahlstrom.  “UNICEF’s global network of experts and experience in country in their Innovation labs, and wealth of case studies will make this easier in the future.”

    About Singularity University

    Singularity University’s mission is to assemble, educate, and inspire a new generation of leaders in business, science, finance, and government who strive to understand and use exponentially advancing technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges. Since 2009, SU has hosted students and industry leaders from more than 70 countries at its campus at NASA Research Park, Moffett Field, CA. Corporate Partners include Autodesk, Cisco, Credit Union Roundtable, ePlanet Ventures, GE, Genentech, Google, Intelius, Kauffman Foundation, Nokia, Steelcase, and Triple Ring Technologies.

    About UNICEF
    The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to save and improve children’s lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when zero children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood.