• Thu. Sep 22nd, 2022

Viridian Seeds wins startup funding from Illumina – Business Weekly


Sep 17, 2022

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Agricultural biotech company Viridian Seeds Inc, which has operations in Cambridge UK, Galway in Ireland and Delaware in the US is one of only two UK ventures out of six global startups selected for the latest Illumina Accelerator programme.
During six-month funding cycles twice per year, Illumina Accelerator provides the selected startups with access to seed investment, access to Illumina sequencing systems and reagents, and business guidance, genomics expertise, and fully operational lab space adjacent to Illumina’s campuses in Cambridge or the San Francisco Bay Area. 
Alex Aravanis, chief technology officer of Illumina said: “We are inspired by the global reach of genomics and by the vision these six startups have in advancing breakthrough discoveries in human health, agriculture, and sustainability. We look forward to partnering with the new teams to accelerate their startups to the next level.”
Viridian Seeds is commercialising next-generation sustainable protein crops with novel traits to increase yield and reduce biotic and abiotic stress tolerances, while increasing protein and nutritional content for climate change mitigation, resilience, and food security.
The company is deploying its expertise in plant sciences to create smarter crops and empower grassroots farmers in underdeveloped regions. The development of its disruptive technology is enhancing both sustainability and food security. All the while the business is reducing its environmental footprint and facilitating a macro understanding of the future of food. 
Viridian was co-founded by Dr Manesh Chatterjee, Jeet Dasgupta and Professor Charles Spillane. Dr Chatterjee is described as a “passionate entrepreneurial plant scientist with decades of experience in creating new traits in crops,” and creator and inventor of the world’s first non-GMO papaya ring spot virus resistant plants which are protected by a US patent.
Also joining the Illumina Accelerator programme are:
“We are proud to welcome these six fantastic genomics startups to our Illumina Accelerator portfolio,” said Amanda Cashin, co-founder and global head of Illumina for Startups. 
“We have an eight-year track record of partnering with talented entrepreneurs. We’re proud of Illumina Accelerator’s strong portfolio of 74 genomics startups focused on unlocking the power of the genome to improve human health around the world.”
Illumina Accelerator is accepting applications for the next funding cycle, which are due by October 1, 2022. 
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