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Lab Space and a Dream

Bloomberg reports that IndieBio wants to be the Y Combinator of life science startups.

The San Francisco-based startup incubator provides fledgling firms with $200,000 and access to a large lab, Bloomberg adds, noting that entrepreneurs who have come through the space have garnered funding from Bill Gates, Tyson Foods, and the venture firm Andreessen Horowitz. Entrepreneurs there have worked on, for instance, lab-grown meat and synthetic wines, Bloomberg says.

"Biotech had sped up enough and got cheap enough where you could do early-stage biotech in a fundamentally new way that no one had done before or tried," IndieBio CEO and co-founder Arvind Gupta tells Bloomberg.

However, Bloomberg notes that there are skeptics who say the tech mindset can't always be applied to biology. Seth Bannon, a Y Combinator alumni now at Fifty Years VC, which has invested in IndieBio companies, tells it that "sheer force of will" and all-nighters can push software companies along, but that "[i]f you're dealing with something like biology, you can't just force life to move faster."

Still, other Silicon Valley firms are also getting into biology, Bloomberg says, adding that Y Combinator itself has launched a life science-focused incubator called YC Bio.