International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition

iGEM Foundation

The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of synthetic biology, education and competition, and the development of an open community and collaboration.


The iGEM competition is unlike any other experience available to undergraduate researchers. Teams work extremely hard over the duration of the competition to achieve things that are great, not only for undergraduate researchers, but for research in general. There have been many examples of team projects creating advancements in their fields. iGEM teams also have an opportunity to really gel together. They learn a lot over the course of a summer and after the Jamborees, are sometimes left with a great idea that they can continue to develop. The most successful of these teams go on to start companies based on their ideas, or start companies with their teammates from the summer. Here are some of the startups founded by former iGEMers:


Team: UC Davis Entrepreneurship 2013.


Team: Amplino Entrepreneurship 2012 (Erasmus University, Rotterdam)


Team: MIT-Entrepreneurship 2012

Bento Lab (Formerly Darwin Toolbox)

Team: University College London Entrepreneurship 2013


Team: Penn 2013


Team: Imerial College London 2009


iGEMers and iGEM teams involved:


Team: Imperial 2014

Eligo Bioscience

Team: Liliane Bettencourt 2010 (formerly Microryza)

Teams: Washington 2010 and Washington 2011


Teams: Calgary 2012 and and Calgary Entrepreneurship 2013

Gene Adviser

Team: Edinburgh 2006, Jelena Aleksic

Ginkgo Bioworks

Team: MIT 2004 (first year of the competition)
Team: MIT 2006

Heroes of X

Team: Paris Bettencourt 2015

Hyasynth Bio

Members of Hyasynth were on the iGEM 2012 Queens Canada team


Team: Imperial College London 2011
Labgenius on SynBioBeta


Team: DTU Denmark 2009


Team: iGEM BGU 2015

La Paillasse

Team: Paris 2007
Team: Evry 2012

Morph Bioinformatics

Team: University College London entrepreneurship 2012


Team: Paris 2007
Team: Evry 2012

PVP Biologics

Team: Washington 2011
News Link:
$35 M USD fundraising round press release with Takeda Pharmaceuticals


Team: Brown 2006


(Genomikon, a former iGEM team company from team Alberta 2010, merged with Synbiota)


Team: Paris Bettencourt 2015

Upcycled Aromatics

Team: Alberta Entrepreneurship 2012