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A conversation with Luna Yu

March 22, 2019 By: Barry Chong

What is your company trying to do?
Genecis is trying to reprogram bacteria to convert low-value waste into high-value materials. We are developing a synthetic biology platform to create bacteria that eats carbons from waste and turns it into premium materials like biodegradable plastics.

Now that you’re a finalist, you have about two years ahead of you to develop your tech. How would you describe the first few months of this challenge?
They’ve been a rapid ramp up for our company. We’ve learned the importance of surrounding ourselves with the best people and partners, which is critical for building momentum in the right direction. We’re figuring out how to best leverage the great amount of resources received to accelerate our next steps.

What has surprised you most so far?
Having been through accelerator programs before, the sheer amount of resources made accessible through this program genuinely shocked my team and I — dedicated staff, experienced and multi-disciplinary advisors, access to NRCan Labs, quarterly stipend and training programs are all within reach. It’s now up us to figure out how to make maximum use of all the resources and adequately direct them towards achieving top objectives.

What are you hoping to achieve over the next few months?
We have four main goals: close our seed round, execute two more licensing deals, scale up to Phase II of our partnership with Sodexo, and finally, develop our QML project to create better in silico models for synbio.

What was your New Year’s resolution?
To learn how to bring the best out of everyone at Genecis. I’ve come to realize that a person’s perceived weakness is a reflection of their strength. It’s neither productive nor healthy to waste time trying to fit round pegs in square holes. I want to encourage people to follow what they’re good at. This is critical to building a balanced team.

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Luna Yu Profile