Diego Rey is a Visiting Partner at YC, focusing on healthcare and bio companies

Our new experimental YC Bio Program (announced in January) will kick off this June and the bio companies will all have access space at Bonneville Labs.

Bonneville Labs is led by its founder Kinkead Reiling who was a founder at Amyris, a pioneer of biomanufactured products enabled by synthetic biology. The laboratory facilities at Bonneville feature all of the necessities for chemistry, and molecular and microbiological work, including tissue culture and biosafety level 2 capabilities. Matched to the physical space are a full suite of operational support that will allow the companies to move faster and further in a relatively short period of time.

Companies accepted into YC Bio will get $500K-$1M in funding for 10-20% equity and will have access to 12 months of lab space. For our first YC Bio batch, we’re looking for companies working on longevity and health span. We’re also happy to announce that we’re working with the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, one of the world’s leading research institutes on aging, to further support these companies.

I’m especially excited about YC Bio because it reminds me of the early days of my company, GeneWEAVE. At GeneWEAVE we started with a Seed round of $1M and landed at a shared lab space. This was a great way to start our company since we were able to focus the funding on meeting key technical milestones that enabled us to raise our Series A round. With YC Bio, we’re hoping to provide a similar opportunity to bio companies and in doing so, create an ecosystem of support like the one YC has built for software companies for a over a decade. In Bonneville we found a phenomenal community to provide that right lab and support; and at the Buck, companies in our first batch can link to some of the top researchers in their field.

We’re looking forward to working with Bonneville and the Buck to kickoff YC Bio. Our goal is to continue to fund bio companies in each batch and this is a great way to start.

If you have any questions about YC Bio, email us at ycbio@ycombinator.com.