SynBioBeta SF 2015 – “Where Tech Meets BioTech”

November 4th – 6th, at Mission Bay Conference Center

We are excited to launch another high energy, action filled, synthetic biology conference this year in San Francisco. At SynBioBeta SF 2015, you’ll meet attendees from around the globe, learn best practices, and hear from industry thought leaders, investors, and entrepreneurs about the ever changing landscape of synthetic biology.

Join us for conversations on sector-specific progress ranging from research-enabling tools to low-cost DNA synthesis, scale-up of industrial biotech platforms and the growing importance of the organism industry. As an added bonus, we have extended the conference to two full days this year, which means more networking opportunities and additional chances to connect with the growing community.

This year in addition to having 11 thought enticing sessions and over 80+ industry leading speakers, we will be hosting two amazing new events  and workshops this year:

Blue Sky Bio Competition – Where startups, industry, and academics can compete to win over $500k in prizes. During the event, special guest and Angel Investor, Esther Dyson will introduce the top three contenders on stage.

1st Annual Engineering Biology Awards – This awards ceremony has been developed to give special recognition to individuals that are making great strides to shape the synthetic biology industry. This year we are honored to have, NASA Astronaut, Catherine Coleman, hosting the awards.

Workshops – This year we are delighted to announce that workshops will be available to attend during the event. These featured workshops will be taking place during the session breaks and are free, but you must register ahead of time to attend them as seating is limited.

Who Should Attend?

  • Industry: Network with industry leaders and potential partners.
  • Startups: Meet the investors ready to fund your team.
  • Investors: Meet the new startups on the scene.
  • Partners & Tech Scouts: Learn about the latest technology in the field.
  • Academics, Students & Biohackers: Follow the path to commercializing your IP.

SynBioBeta SF 2015


A Must-Do Meeting For Anyone Working In, Or Investing In Synthetic Biology Companies.

Lindy Fishburne, Executive Director
Breakout Labs/Thiel Foundation

 Featured Speakers

Speakers Will Include:

Conference Chair

Conference Advisory Committee


Day 1 - Wednesday, Nov. 4th, 2015

8:00 am – 9:00 am: Breakfast, Registration & Exhibits
9:00 am – 9:15 am: Welcome
9:15 am – 10:00 am: Session 1: Incubate & Accelerate
Incubators and accelerators are playing an increasingly critical role in the synthetic biology ecosystem and are flourishing as a result. The holistic approach of these companies has helped countless startups become successful and, in turn, the number of biotech startups in their portfolios have grown. In this panel discussion we will be bringing together the synthetic biology accelerators and incubators who are providing seed funding, infrastructure and mentorship to support the growth of the industry.

  • Moderator: Lisa Krieger (San Jose Mercury News)
  • Speakers: Edward Amento (Molecular Medicine Research Institute), Kara Bortone (JLABS), Paul Freemont (SynbiCITE), Arvind Gupta (IndieBio), and Richard Yu (QB3@953)
10:00 am – 11:15 am: Session 2: Biodesign & Biomaterials
Hear from the biodesigners, engineers and scientists who will share their cutting-edge research on biodesign. Learn about those making tools for designing biology along with insights relating to the creation of novel biomaterials out of renewable and sustainable sources. From fabrics and dyes, to packing materials, learn how these novel materials are being engineered without dependence on fossil fuels.

  • Moderator: Patrick Westfall, Zymergen
  • 10:05 am – 10:15 am: Omri Amirav-Drory, Genome Compiler
  • 10:15 am – 10:25 am: Eben Bayer, Ecovative
  • 10:25 am – 10:35 am: Michael Fero, TeselaGen
  • 10:35 am – 10:45 am: James Field, LabGenius
  • 10:45 am – 10:55 am: Thomas Landrain, PILI
  • 10:55 am – 11:05 am: Nigel Saunders, Brunel University
  • 11:05 am – 11:15 am: Derek Wells, DuPont
11:15 am – 11:40 am: Keynote: The Architecture of Participation: Open Source Lessons for Synthetic Biology
  • Keynote Speaker: Tim O’Reilly (O’Reilly Media)
    This year’s Keynote at SynBioBeta will be given by the godfather of the open source software movement, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, Tim O’Reilly.  Tim’s keynote will cover the lessons he’s learned from open source communities that have fueled the growth of the internet and web and how these might be applied to biology.
11:40 am – 12:00 pm: Session 3: Open Source Lessons for Synthetic Biology
After Tim’s keynote will be a panel discussion on “Open Source Lessons for Synthetic Biology” featuring panelists from two giants of the big ag industry: Kiersten Stead from Monsanto and Christine Gould from Syngenta, along with Jim Haseloff, the founder of OpenPlant, a new initiative promoting open technologies for plant synthetic biology.  The panel will be moderated by Roger Chen from OATV.

  • Moderator: Roger Chen (O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures)
  • Speakers: Christine Gould (Syngenta), Jim Haseloff (OpenPlant, University of Cambridge), Tim O’Reilly (O’Reilly Media), Kiersten Stead (Monsanto Growth Ventures)
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Lunch + Exhibits
During the break take time to visit the exhibits, discuss with fellow SynBioBetans and enjoy the refreshments provided by our sponsors.
1:00 pm – 1:45 pm: Session 4: Investor Roundtable
During this interactive investor panel you will get the chance to hear insightful discussions about various key updates and changes in synthetic biology as experiences are shared, with a particular focus on those funding companies based in the U.S. Discussions will include specific investment trends as well as valuable insight into where the industry is heading.

  • Moderator: Adam D’Augelli, (True Ventures)
  • Speakers: Dror Berman (Innovation Endeavors), Joško Bobanović (Sofinnova), Nan Li (Obvious Ventures), Matt Ocko (Data Collective), Jenny Rooke (5 Prime Ventures)
1:45 pm – 2:15 pm:  Session 5: Lightning Talks & Announcements Part 1
In this lightning talk session, we will hear from experienced companies and successful start-ups about novel products, thriving services, notable partnerships, funding updates and their insider analysis on current industry trends.

  • Moderator: Josiah Zayner, ODIN
  • 1:45 pm – 1:50 pm: Curt Becker, Molecular Assemblies
  • 1:50 pm – 1:55 pm: Rob Carlson, Bioeconomy Capital
  • 1:55 pm – 2:00 pm: Jeffrey Kim, Radiant Genomics
  • 2:00 pm – 2:05 pm: Shaila Kotadia, Synberc
  • 2:05 pm – 2:10 pm: Carlo Quiñonez, FATHOM
  • 2:10 pm – 2:15 pm: Soheila Vaezeslami, TTP Labtech
2:15 pm – 3:00 pm: Break
3:00 pm – 4:25 pm: Session 6: Gene Editing & Metabolic Engineering
Gene editing has exploded in the last 12 months and rarely does a talk go by without some sort of CRISPR modification being mentioned. Our capabilities are allowing us to better engineer biology in order to create improved chemicals, drugs, foods, fuels and more via sustainable processes – something that was once thought to be impossible. In this session the practitioners of gene editing and metabolic engineering will dive into their latest discoveries and processes as they strive to make biology easier to engineer.

  • Moderator: Hemai Parthasarathy, Breakout Labs
  • 3:05 pm – 3:15 pm: Leigh Brody, Desktop Genetics
  • 3:15 pm – 3:25 pm: Adam Clore, Integrated DNA Technologies
  • 3:25 pm – 3:35 pm: Tommy Duncan, Touchlight Genetics
  • 3:35 pm – 3:45 pm: Benjamin Griffin, Synthetic Genomics
  • 3:45 pm – 3:55 pm: Jeffrey Hung, GenScript
  • 3:55 pm – 4:05 pm: Stephen Laderman, Agilent Technologies
  • 4:05 pm – 4:15 pm: Andrew May, Caribou Biosciences
  • 4:15 pm – 4:25 pm: Jason Potter, Thermo Fisher Scientific

4:25 pm – 4:55 pm: Keynote: From BIOtech to bioTECH by Randal J. Kirk from Intrexon
Randal Kirk, CEO of Intrexon will be giving the second keynote at SynBioBeta SF. Learn about Intrexon, Kirk’s vision, the technology, the company story, and what the future holds.
 4:55 pm –  5:05 pm: Emily Leproust, Twist Bioscience
Hear the latest from Twist CEO Emily Leproust, where she’ll give an update on the Alpha Access Program.
5:05 pm –  5:55 pm: Blue Sky Bio Competition
During the event guest host Esther Dyson, Founder of HICCup will introduce the top three contenders of the Blue Sky Bio Competition on stage, giving them each a chance to present to the crowd for a chance to win over $500 k in prizes. They will explain their big ideas, how they will use the prize resources, and why they should be voted #1. The audience will then vote live to decide the winners.

The Final 3 Candidates of the Blue Sky Bio Competition are:

  • Adam Freeman, CEO – alGas Biotech Inc.
  • David Johnson, Founder & CEO – GigaGen
  • Ewa Lis, Founder & CTO – Koliber Biosciences

> Go Event Page for More Details

5:55 pm – 6:00 pm: Wrap up for Day 1 with John Cumbers
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm: Twist Welcome Reception & Exhibits
Join us for a drink after an insightful day of talks! This welcome reception is hosted by Twist and is the perfect opportunity to keep the conversation going and mingle with your peers.

Day 2 - Thursday, Nov. 5th, 2015

8:00 am – 9:00 am: Breakfast & Exhibits
9:00 am – 9:05 am: Welcome
9:05 am – 10:20 am: Session 7: Automation & The Internet of Biotech Things
Exciting recent advances in automation tools, including ubiquitous wireless connectivity and the internet of things, are allowing us to engineer biology more easily than ever before. These technologies are making our tools more autonomous and allowing them to better communicate with each other in order to complete protocols and accomplish experiments as designed. In this session we will be hearing from the cloud lab providers, the automatic liquid handler manufacturers, and other companies working to seamlessly connect these tools together. Join us for one of the most exciting topics of the conference!

  • Moderator: Ron Leuty, San Francisco Business Times
  • 9:10 am – 9:20 am: Will Canine, OpenTrons
  • 9:20 am – 9:30 am: Charles Fracchia, BioBright
  • 9:30 am – 9:40 am: Brian Frezza, Emerald Therapeutics
  • 9:40 am – 9:50 am: Tim Gardner, Riffyn
  • 9:50 am – 10:00 am: Ian Hanegraaff, Analytik Jena
  • 10:00 am – 10:10 am: Marie Lee, Transcriptic
  • 10:10 am – 10:20 am: Tim Fell, Synthace
10:20 am – 11:05 am: Break & Exhibits
11:05 am – 11:55 am: Session 8: Lightning Talks & Announcements Part 2
In this lightning talk session, we will hear from experienced companies and successful start-ups about novel products, thriving services, notable partnerships, funding updates and their insider analysis on current industry trends.

  • Moderator: Vonnie Estes, Consultant
  • 11:10 am – 11:15 am: David Berube, North Carolina State University
  • 11:15 am – 11:20 am: Stephen Chambers, SynbiCITE
  • 11:20 am – 11:25 am: Antony Evans, TAXA
  • 11:25 am – 11:30 am: Michael Flanagan, FlanaGen
  • 11:30 am – 11:35 am: Jonathan Kotula, Synlogic
  • 11:35 am – 11:40 am: Devin Leake, Gen9
  • 11:40 am – 11:45 am: John Lesnick, Labcyte
  • 11:45 am – 11:50 am: Randy Rettberg, iGEM
  • 11:50 am – 11:55 am: Mary Ward, Counter Culture Labs
11:55 am – 12:25 pm: Fireside Chat: Synthetic Biology: Past, Present, & Future
Wave one of Synthetic biology research and companies began more than a decade ago. Another wave of biology-astechnology research development and deployment, combining “Big Data” and the lessons of the last, is emerging today. Join Jay Keasling from the Joint BioEnergy Institute, and Kinkead Reiling, Angel Investor as they discuss their perspectives on the industry’s journey to today and what the future of biology may hold.
12:25 pm – 1:25 pm: Lunch & Exhibits
Enjoy lunch and take time to visit the exhibits, network, and enjoy the refreshments provided by our sponsors.
1:25 pm – 2:30 pm: Session 9: Sigma-Aldrich Green Chemistry Session
In this session, sponsored by the Sigma-Aldrich Green Chemistry Initiative, we will hear about all things green! Join us as we dive into how novel processes are being developed in biotechnology and synthetic biology, and learn how they are being used to create sustainable chemicals and additives that help reduce toxicity and current dependencies on fossil fuels.

  • Moderator: Tonya Jackson, Sigma-Aldrich
  • 1:30 pm – 1:40 pm: Travis Bayer, Asilomar Bio
  • 1:40 pm – 1:50 pm: Robert Blazej, Novozymes
  • 1:50 pm – 2:00 pm: Joel Cherry, Amyris
  • 2:00 pm – 2:10 pm: David McElroy, Ingenza
  • 2:10 pm – 2:20 pm: Ilan Wapinski, enEvolv
  • 2:20 pm – 2:30 pm: Jeffrey Whitford, Sigma-Aldrich
2:30 pm – 3:15 pm: Break & Exhibits
During the break take time to visit the exhibits, network with fellow peers and enjoy the refreshments. This break is sponsored by Zymergen.
3:15 pm – 4:00 pm: Session 10: International Strategies and Policy Panel
In this session we will hear from the experts working to develop policies for synthetic biology, both US domestic and International. The panel will discuss the current and future strategies and policies needed in order to spread the responsible and sustainable adoption of biological technologies.

  • Moderator: Megan Palmer (Stanford University)
  • Speakers: Catherine Barton (DuPont), Lionel Clarke (UK Synthetic Biology Leadership Council), Todd Kuiken (Woodrow Wilson Center), Susan Rosser (University of Edinburgh)

4:00 pm – 4:30 pm: Fireside Chat: Will Synthetic Biology be the Source of the Next Google, Apple, or Tesla?
In this fireside chat, Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator and Jason Kelly, CEO of Ginkgo Bioworks (the first synthetic biology company to be backed by Y Combinator) will discuss the year in synthetic biology. Topics will include Y Combinator’s new research lab, the move from apps to bio, and the role that synthetic biology will play in the future of engineering.
4:30 pm – 5:05 pm: Session 11: Big Data & Machine Learning for Biology
With our growing ability to collect increasingly large amounts of data from biological systems, comes the obligation to reliably store, analyze and manipulate this information. In this session we have assembled industry leading experts in big data and machine learning to explain the paramount roles of these technologies. They will discuss how technology today is allowing us to both understand and predict future trends that will iteratively feedback into experiment design.

  • Moderator: Andrew Phillips, Microsoft Research
  • 4:35 pm – 4:45 pm: Yih-En Andrew Ban, Arzeda
  • 4:45 pm – 4:55 pm: Ewa Lis, Koliber Biosciences
  • 4:55 pm – 5:05 pm: Alan Villalobos, DNA2.0
 5:05 pm – 5:10 pm: Wrap Up for Day 2 with John Cumbers
 5:10 pm – 6:10 pm: UKTI Reception
Join us for the last reception of the conference, hosted by UK Trade & Investment. The perfect opportunity to network and make connections before the end of the conference.
6:10 pm – 7:00 pm: The SynBioBeta 1st Annual Engineering Biology Awards
Wrap up the conference by attending the 1st Annual SynBioBeta Engineering Biology Awards and join us as we give special recognition to individuals that are making great strides to shape the synthetic biology industry. These individuals have helped establish the industry and played instrumental roles in providing infrastructure to support this new growing segment of the economy. Special guest host will be NASA Astronaut, Catherine Coleman.

  • Guest Host: Catherine Coleman (NASA)
  • This Year the SynBioBetas will be Awarded to:
    • Dr. Alicia Jackson, CTO at Drawbridge Health, & Former Deputy Director of the Biological Technologies Office at DARPA (introduced by Elizabeth Ions, Science Exchange)
    • Dr. Christina Smolke, Associate Professor at Stanford University & CEO of Antheia (Introduced by Karl Handelsman, Codon Capital)
    • The Rt Hon Lord David Willetts, Chair for the British Science Association and former British Science Minister (introduced by Richard Kitney, SynbiCITE)

Day 3 - Friday Nov. 6th, 2015 (booking required)

(Sold out) 9:45 am – 12:30 pm: Networking Brunch Cruise
Location: Pier 40, South Beach Harbor, San Francisco, CA
(North of AT&T Park, 1  1/2 Mile South of the Ferry Building)

You won’t want to miss our Networking Brunch Cruise on Friday, November 6th. Board the luxurious California Spirit at Pier 40 and enjoy a delicious brunch and networking in a casual atmosphere as we cruise along the bay, seeing some of San Francisco’s famous landmarks including The Bay Bridge and Alcatraz Island, cruising directly under the Golden Gate Bridge. Boarding will begin at 9:45 am so make sure to get there in time!


Become a Sponsor at SynBioBeta San Francisco 2015

If you would like to become a sponsor or a partner at SynBioBeta San Francisco 2015 please submit a request.

Platinum Sponsors

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Gold Sponsors

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Silver Sponsors

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Bronze Sponsors

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Featured Partners

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Early Bird Registration by Aug. 31st

Regular Price after Aug. 31st

Late Registration after Oct. 28th

Academic/Government/ Non-Profit/Start-Up (<5ppl) /Student$499$599$649



Mission Bay Conference Center – 1675 Owens St, San Francisco, CA 94158

What’s Included?

Conference registration includes the Welcome Reception, conference guide, all sessions, breakfast, lunch, breaks, and the Wednesday evening Networking Reception.


If you can’t attend the conference, then you are welcome to substitute your ticket with somebody else. Please just let us know by e-mailing Kate Wildauer. If you have to cancel more than 30 days before the conference then you’ll receive a refund minus a $50 administrative fee. Sorry, but we can’t accept cancellations within 30 days of the conference. We also reserve the right to make changes to the program, schedule and speakers.


The conference will be held at Mission Bay Conference Center located at 1675 Owens Street, San Francisco, CA 94143-3008. The Mission Bay Conference Center is easily accessible to public transportation and freeway connections. Click here for driving directions and public transportation routes.


Mission Bay Conference Center is located within the William J. Rutter Center at UCSF. A public parking garage is located adjacent to the building. Parking fees should be paid at the payment window of the garage before exiting. Rates are as follows: $3.50/hour up to 8 hours or $28.00 for the whole day. For all parking locations, please download the campus map.