Ginkgo Bioworks

The Organism Company


COMPANY SIZE Between 25 and 50

# OF ENGINEERS Between 5 and 10

FUNDING $25M - $50M

TAGS Biotechnology, Healthcare, Machine Learning, Hardware, YC Summer 2014


What do we do?

Our mission is to make biology easier to engineer. We engineer organisms to address fundamental challenges the world is facing today. Ginkgo bioengineers make use of an in-house organism foundry to engineer new organisms for making natural products, pharmaceuticals, biofuels, and more. We're making the code base, compiler and debugger for life. Program robots to build metabolic pathways and new genomes, automate testing and measurement platforms, and implement gene and pathway design algorithms.

Technical challenges

Develop a world leading foundry for engineering organisms.

Why join us?

Ginkgo Bioworks is YCombinator's first biotech company ... we were personally recruited by Sam Altman to join YC:

We're a synthetic biology startup, launched out of MIT and founded by Tom Knight. Our mission is to make biology easier to engineer. Our first set of organisms are microbes (mostly yeast) that make cultured ingredients. For example, we have a partnership to design yeast to make a cultured rose fragrance.

We believe that engineering organisms requires an integrated, industrialized technology pipeline. To address this need, we recently launched Bioworks1: our foundry for engineering organisms. Bioworks1 includes custom CAD/CAM software, robotic automation, latest genetic tools, high resolution LC-MS, automated fermentation and much more.

Our press coverage

Our Founders

Jason Kelly


Our tech stack

  • Ruby
  • DNA
  • Python
  • biology