Q&A


What is Petri?

Co-founded by a team of world-class entrepreneurs and scientific leaders, Petri is a 3-6 month accelerator program that develops companies at the frontier of biology and engineering.

In each cohort, every founder receives:
  • 3-6 month 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

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 join our Fall 2020 cohort. Due to COVID-19, the fall cohort will be a virtual cohort; there is no relocation necessary to Boston at this time.

There is no "one size fits all" for bio startups. Instead, when applying to Petri we will work with you to determine how much capital you need to make progress on your company and you can request anywhere from $0 to $300,000. For acceptance into our program, Petri earns 8.5% common stock, and capital is invested on fixed terms as a SAFE with a $6M valuation cap. 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 apply. 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 knowledge-base

  • 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 is located in Boston. We think there is a tremendous amount of value in working together with other founders in your cohort. Due to COVID-19, however, we are currently running our accelerator as a virtual program; there is no residential requirement at this time.