Colleen Cutcliffe, CEO, Whole Biome
Bio and Contact Info
Listen (2:32) Do we know enough about the microbiome yet to commercialize it?
Listen (5:58) The Complete Biome Test
Listen (6:50) A higher resolution platform for developing new diagnostics and therapeutics
Listen (3:12) What are the low hanging fruit?
Listen (2:25) Going forward what is the biggest unknown for you?
There is an intense research effort underway to find out more about the human microbiome. But do we know enough yet to commercialize it?
Whole Biome is one of a handful of new startups in the microbiome space. It was founded by three former employees of PacBio who decided, yes, they knew enough to begin offering a product, the Complete Biome Test.
One of those founders, and the CEO of Whole Biome, Colleen Cutcliffe, joins us to tell their story.
As entrepreneur trainer Steve Blank said here in a recent interview, startup phase is that time period where a company searches for a successful business model. That certainly applies to Whole Biome. Colleen says that early on, the team saw that there was a gap in bacterial strain resolution that they could fill with a tool, meaning they could offer a much clearer picture of a person’s microbial community than what has been available to researchers.
“Before we even began developing that tool,” Colleen says, "we went out and we talked to people who were key opinion leaders in the field and had been thinking about the microbiome and different diseases for a long time. And we said, hey we feel this is a gap. Do you think this is a tool that would be useful? And they all said, that would be a great tool. And if you start a company around that, we’d love to work with you. And we started the company and went back to them and asked would you like to work with us now. And every single one of them is partnered with us.”
Just what will be their business model? And what are the low hanging fruit Colleen and her team are pursuing? She answers these questions and more in today’s interview.