Y Combinator has launched a program to support biological start-ups which are at the laboratory research stage. YC Bio’s initiative will primarily support development aimed at combating aging. President of Y Combinator, Sam Altman, says that research in this area is extremely promising: medications for diseases, like Alzheimer’s, will raise healthcare to a new level. By supporting start-ups in the field of health and age-related diseases, the investment incubator team hopes to help people live longer and healthier. In addition, Y Combinator is confident that the investment will come back to them since companies that find a way to prolong life will be worth billions of dollars.
Economic interests confuse the main goals of pharmaceutical companies. YC Bio will help start-ups focus on solving scientific problems. The companies will receive investments from $500 thousand to $1 million in exchange for 10-20% of their shares. Y Combinator will provide access to laboratories and the support of experts. IT projects usually receive less investment: $120,000 for a 7% stake. Biological start-ups require more investment, as laboratory equipment requires expensive equipment and materials, experimental animals, and so on. Before launching their projects the biological start-up teams will undergo a three-month course in San Francisco. The startup incubator began accepting biological companies in 2014. At the time they supported the startup Ginkgo Bioworks, which deals with genetically modified microorganisms. Later, Ginkgo Bioworks managed to attract hundreds of millions of dollars.