September 11, 2017

Khosla and Church: How Two Legends See the Future of AI-Enhanced Synthetic Biology

Khosla and Church Synthetic Biology

I’m excited to announce that two legends of two different tech worlds – Vinod Khosla and George Church – will engage in a fireside chat at this year’s SynBioBeta San Francisco.

Khosla is an entrepreneur, investor and technologist. He co-founded the first significant computer-aided design system for electrical engineers and founded Sun Microsystems. A Silicon Valley legend, he’s been involved in semiconductor companies, computer networking and ad-based search, among many other ventures. At Khosla Ventures, he focuses on both for-profit and social impact investments. He recently joined Silicon Valley investors Sam Altman, Max Levchin, Matt Ocko, Peter Thiel, Eric Schmidt in their pivots to investing in the synthetic biology industry.

Church is a cutting-edge genomicist, molecular engineer, Harvard University and MIT Professor, co-founder of nine companies, including Alacris, Editas, Egenesis Bio, EnEvolv, Gen9 Bio, Knome, Pathogenica, Veritas Genomics, Warp Drive Bio, among others, and advises more companies than I can count. He’s also been instrumental in developing several of the technologies that make synthetic biology possible including direct genomic sequencing, molecular multiplexing, “genome engineering” technologies, the use of DNA arrays for combinatorial libraries and assembling large genome segments, and optimized CRISPR/Cas9.

I think having these two titans on stage will be an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our audience.

They’ll discuss the 1990s heyday of Silicon Valley, the origins of synthetic biology, and the intersection of biotechnology and artificial intelligence. Plus, they’ll make some predictions on why Silicon Valley is pivoting to synthetic biology and what the future holds.

In the early-to-mid-1990s, technology guru (and SynBioBeta guest) Esther Dyson’s PC Forum served as THE elite high-tech conference. This seminal conference brought together the movers and shakers of the technology and nascent Internet industry.

PC Forum and Esther Dyson in particular has served as one of my inspirations in founding SynBioBeta. I like to think we serve the same role – bringing together founders and entrepreneurs reshaping the future with technology. You’ll never know who you might meet at SynBioBeta but I’m very confident that the companies that you see in our hallways are the equivalent of tomorrow’s Apple, Google and Microsoft.

This year’s event is our biggest and best yet.  With more than 65 speakers, 20 sessions, 12 workshops and over 600 attendees from companies including: Zymergen, Molecular Assemblies, Apple, Novozymes, Adidas, Genscript, Microsoft, Codexis, L’oreal, Twist, Pepsi, Agilent, Merck, Synthetic Genomics, Roche, Google, Mintz Levin, Amazon, Dupont, IDT, Ajinomoto, Perfect Day, Syngenta, Modern Meadow, Labcyte, Ginkgo Bioworks, BGI.

Key themes at SynBioBeta this year include biomaterials and consumer products, cell factories for biopharmaceuticals, big data and artificial intelligence meet biology, and innovations for ocean sustainability. Learn about the future of DNA synthesis, why protein is the killer app, investment opportunities, and how all companies need to be thinking about a Bio-Strategy in order to be able to compete.

I look forward to seeing you there!

John

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