Q&A


What is Petri?

Co-founded by a team of world-class entrepreneurs and scientific leaders, Petri is a year-long accelerator program that develops companies at the frontier of biology and engineering.

In each cohort, every founder receives:
  • 1-year program to transform your concept into a funded company

  • Coaching and mentorship from our co-founding team

  • Access to a community of peer founders working to change the world

  • Resources, strategic guidance and support to help you start-up

  • Equity investment of $250,000 or greater

  • Shared office space and turnkey BSL2 lab space

If it’s your ambition to build an important company at the frontier of biology and engineering, Petri is for you. You might be a graduate student or postdoc with a special insight. You might be working at a large company and ready to go out on your own. You might be a founder working on a company, and maybe you have even raised some pre-seed capital.

We are looking for founders to begin working with us in February 2020. We don’t have a paper application, because we want to get to know you and for you to get to know us.

Petri earns 12.5% common stock of each company in exchange for participation in our program, access to our office and BSL2 laboratory space, and $250,000 in cash (not in-kind service value).

If $250,000 is not enough to make significant progress on your company, we can provide options to access additional capital.

As part of this investment, we don’t ask for any form of control or a board seat. It's your company, and we are coaches and advisors.

You do not need to be incorporated to participate. Upon entering the program, we will help you incorporate before making an investment.

Petri is co-founded and co-owned by an unparalleled team operating at the leading edge of biology and engineering across a range of industries. Collectively, they represent the voice of experience, a deep network of relationships across industry and academia, and a set of special insights into our evolving field.

Based on their individual areas of experience, they will mentor Petri founders, and perhaps even collaborate as board members or SAB members, or even as co-founders.

Outside of running your company, a typical month at Petri will consist of 2-4 hours/week on:

  • Strategy meetings with the directors, advisors, and other founders in your cohort to help you set goals and find resources to achieve them
  • Workshops to upgrade your skills and knowledgebase
  • Dinners with prominent founders and other top people in the ecosystem

There’s no process to entrepreneurship, so instead we tailor support to you in sprints, or targeted efforts to make progress on specific aspects of the company. At each sprint, we’ll work with you to focus on a specific set of goals such as hitting technical milestones, building commercial traction, filing intellectual property, and recruiting, and give you the resources and guidance to get there.

We’ll also host lectures and workshops to address the many shared needs of founders. Some example topics include recruiting, fundraising, and intellectual property strategy.

Last, hear from those who have done it before in a dinner series with prominent founders and the leaders.

To help you fundraise, we’ll host a Demo Day over the course of the program, so that you have the opportunity to pitch investors, press, customers, and others in our network.

Petri was launched by our co-founding team and Pillar, an early-stage venture fund based in Boston co-founded by 22 CEOs, including the leaders of Ginkgo Bioworks, Iora Health, Cytyc and Exact Sciences. Pillar has helped to build companies including PillPack, PathAI, Asimov, and GRO Biosciences.

Pillar currently provides funding for every Petri investment; over time, we may grow to include additional investors who align with our approach to collaborating with founders. While Pillar may participate in follow-on funding rounds, we believe it is in the best interest of our founders to seek an outside investor to lead these rounds. Our team will support you in navigating the fundraising process, from identifying a list of aligned investors to developing milestones, shaping your story and refining your pitch.

Petri will be located at the heart of Boston's Innovation District at 27 Drydock Avenue in the Boston Seaport. Our neighbors include leading biology companies like Ginkgo Bioworks and Emulate, as well as other innovators in a wide range of other industries, like Reebok, Autodesk, the Boston Beer Company, and Living Proof.

Access to our office and BSL2 lab space is included as part of the program. We think there is a tremendous amount of value in working together with other founders in your cohort. However, outside of requiring that the team live in the greater Boston area so that we can work together in person, you can decide what is best for you and your company.