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Illumina and Sequoia Capital China Partner to Launch Genomics Incubator in China


January 31, 2021Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN), the global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, and Sequoia Capital China, a leading investment firm, today announced a collaboration to catalyze the startup ecosystem in China with the launch of the Sequoia Capital China Intelligent Healthcare Genomics Incubator, Powered by Illumina. The company creation engine will focus on building life sciences startup companies advancing breakthrough applications in genomics.

Sequoia Capital China Intelligent Healthcare Genomics Incubator, Powered by Illumina will leverage the expertise of Illumina for Startups in building genomics companies with the unparalleled track record of Illumina Accelerator in San Francisco Bay Area and Cambridge, UK. Sequoia Capital China will dedicate to this genomics incubator its investment expertise and unmatched community of entrepreneurs to advance genomics founders, which marks another strategic step following the launch of Sequoia Capital China Digital Intelligent Incubator.

Illumina has a successful track record of creating venture-backed genomics startup companies through Illumina Accelerator in the U.S. and UK, said Francis deSouza, Chief Executive Officer at Illumina. Together with Sequoia Capital China, we will now partner with leading entrepreneurs in China to build genomics startup companies that unlock powerful breakthrough genomics applications and clinical sequencing solutions that harness the unique strengths and dynamic markets in China.

As a key driver fueling and accelerating innovations and entrepreneurship, we are committed to taking the initiative in incubating startups and enabling innovators to access global resources, ultimately transforming advanced technologies into products and services of essential value,” said Neil Shen, Steward of Sequoia Capital, Founding and Managing Partner of Sequoia Capital China. “Together with Illumina, we aim to build a genomics innovation platform to discover and nurture founders in the field of genomics in China. We also look forward to working together with many more leading healthcare companies to jointly promote the development of human wellbeing.”

During two six-month funding cycles per year, the genomics incubator will provide selected startups with access to investment and business guidance from Sequoia Capital China, access to Illumina sequencing systems and reagents, as well as genomics expertise, and fully operational lab space in Shanghai, China. The inaugural funding cycle of the genomics incubator will begin in Fall 2021.

China has a vibrant genomic startup ecosystem, supported by the countrys strategic plan and robust long-term investment. Were thrilled to bring our best genomics technologies and innovation models to this market and Chinese innovators, said Li Qing, Vice President and General Manager of Greater China at Illumina. Sequoia Capital China Intelligent Healthcare Genomics Incubator, Powered by Illumina will fuel genomic startup creation and demonstrates Illuminas development and commitment in China.

Applications for the inaugural funding cycle of Sequoia Capital China Intelligent Healthcare Genomics Incubator, Powered by Illumina, are open until June 1, 2021. To learn more, please visit the application website.

About Illumina For Startups

Illumina for Startups is focused solely on creating an innovation ecosystem for the genomics industry by partnering with leading venture capital investors and entrepreneurs to create, launch, and grow genomics startups. Illumina for Startups initiatives include Illumina Accelerator, founded in 2014, and Sequoia Capital China Intelligent Healthcare Genomics Incubator, Powered by Illumina, launching Fall 2021. Illumina Accelerator is a company creation engine co-located with Illumina research and development sites in San Francisco Bay Area and Cambridge, UK. Illumina Accelerator has invested in 45 genomics startups from across the globe, which have collectively raised nearly $600 million in venture capital funding. For more information, visit our website.

About Illumina

Illumina is improving human health by unlocking the power of the genome. Our focus on innovation has established us as the global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, serving customers in the research, clinical, and applied markets. Our products are used for applications in the life sciences, oncology, reproductive health, agriculture, and other emerging segments. To learn more, visit and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.

About Sequoia Capital China

The Sequoia Capital team helps daring founders build legendary companies. In partnering with Sequoia Capital, companies benefit from our unmatched community and the lessons weve learned over 49 years. As The Entrepreneurs Behind the Entrepreneurs, Sequoia Capital China focuses on three sectors: TMT, healthcare and consumer/service. Over the past 16 years weve had the privilege of working with approximately 600 companies in China.


Juliet Cunningham



Dr. Karen Birmingham (Global)


Sam Shen (China)

+86 21 6032 1066

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