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The Opportunity

Do you have a biotech startup? Are you a life sciences student with entrepreneurial leanings? Or an early to mid-career professional with an inch to solve a large problem? Have you recently done an MBA and are ready for a new challenge? Are you a business person with a passion for science? Have you created some intellectual property that could form the basis of a startup? Are you passionate about science, biology and data? Is there some creativity burning inside you that needs to be born? Do you see the potential of biology as a technology to change the world?  


If the answer to any of these questions is YES, and you are looking for grant and equity funding please read a bit further and reach out to us at


Climate change is the defining crisis of our time. The unsustainability of our current industrialised world necessitates a green global economic transition. A big part of this transition will see us engineering biology to improve human and planetary health. Exponential advances in biotechnology in recent years is ushering in what many are calling the ‘Age of Biology’. It is now possible to build a biotech startup in manner in which you would build a software startup.    

OneBio, a Cape Town based biotech early stage investor and venture builder, is looking for biotech entrepreneurs to build the companies of the future with. If you are a scientist or entrepreneur interested in building a biotech company please reach out to us on  


We ideate with you, helping you define and redefine the problem you are solving. We support you along the journey, venture building alongside you. We gets our ‘hands dirty’, provide expertise, networks, grant and equity funding; helping you to realise your dreams.    


We are open to all biotech startups and startup ideas as long as the problem you are solving is large and consequential. We are particularly interested in building companies in the following areas:


Future of Food – Tools

OneBio believes that the way we produce our food is about to change. For millennia, humans have exploited animals for their meat, eggs and milk with ethical and sustainability abandon. For the first time in history, we have the ability to make these products using advanced biotechnology. This means that without compromising the quality, flavour, nutritional profile, smell or texture, we can enjoy these products with a clean conscience and without damaging our planet. The last decade has seen an explosion in companies making plant and cell based meat alternatives.


The second wave of innovation is emerging; companies being built to support this growing industry. Companies are increasingly focusing on a specific niche as this industry grows, including specialist companies focusing on growth media, bio-scaffolds, fats, bioreactors and plant based food ingredients. As Mark Twain once said, “During the gold rush its a good time to be in the pick and shovel business”.



The duration of human life (longevity) is influenced by genetics, the environment, and lifestyle. It is estimated that about 25 percent of the variation in human life span is determined by genetics, but which genes, and how they contribute to longevity, are not well understood. As humans have improved on controlling infectious disease, we have seen a steady rise in life expectancy, but we seem to have hit a plateau, where non-communicable diseases such as cancer, heart disease and hypertension appear in the elderly. For the first time, scientists are starting to recognise “aging” as a disease. OneBio believes that the next great frontier in medicine will be in undoing the mechanism of aging, allowing us to live fuller, healthier and longer lives.



What if the solution to many of our health issues is already inside our bodies? The human body is home to billions of microbes thriving on our skin, inside our bowels, mouths and genitals. Far from being inactive guests, their diversity, gene expression, and metabolism influence our mood, our ability to digest certain foods, our response to certain drugs and our general wellbeing. How can we harness the body’s microbiome to improve human and animal life?


Anti-Microbial Resistance

Today, there are very few novel antibiotics in development. At the same time antibiotic resistance is on the rise, making available antibiotics ineffective. The latest discovery of a new antibiotic class that has reached the market was back in 1987. Since then there has been a lack of innovation in the field, and today there are few novel antibiotic classes in the drug pipeline. With a world reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic, how can we develop new treatments that effectively control microscopic pathogens.


Tools for Drug Discovery

Drug discovery is becoming more and more inefficient. So inefficient in fact that there is now a law to describe this decline in productivity, Eroom’s Law. Moore’s Law spelt backwards, it describes how drug discovery productivity has spiralled over the last two decades to a point where traditional drug discovery is becoming simply unsustainable. Next generation tools such as genomics, induced pluripotent stem cells and big data may hold the key to making drug discovery economically viable once again. OneBio sees lots of potential to improve the tools used in the drug discovery process.


African Genomics

DNA is the code of life, the instruction manual for all living things. Whether animal, bacteria, fungi or plant, the same code accounts for the differences between all life on earth. For the first time in history, we can affordable read this sequence, in the form of genomic sequencing. With useful proteins hidden away in the genomes of bacteria, new antimicrobials in the genomic code of fungi and the molecular targets for cancer treatments in our own genomes, mining this genomic information is an exciting prospect for humanity. With incredible genomic diversity in its people, but also its flora and fauna, Africa is the perfect location to unlock the secrets of life.


If you are a biotech startup and would like to build a company with us please write to

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