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BioCurious: A Hackerspace for Biotech.  The Community Lab for Citizen Science's video poster

A hackerspace is a place for collaboration, learning, and community support. The model has been wildly successful for IT and hardware, lets try BIO! Read more

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This project was successfully funded on September 23, 2010.

A hackerspace is a place for collaboration, learning, and community support. The model has been wildly successful for IT and hardware, lets try BIO!

About this project

BioCurious? Experiment with friends. What ideas would you come up with if you hung out with a molecular biologist, a mechanical engineer, a computer programmer and an artist - and happened to be sitting next to a lab?

Biological and genetic knowledge is growing fast. The way forward in an increasingly cross-disciplinary area is through collaboration. Recognizing this need, we brainstormed BioCurious, a collaborative labspace where, together, we learn, socialize, research and make the tools that will change the change the face of biotech. BioCurious puts biotech in the hands of Makers, creators with the passion requisite for innovation.

We have been working on this project since January, first having meetups out of our garage lab then, exceeding capacity, searching for industrial space to serve more members of our community, adding classes and a larger lab. The good news is that there is a lot of space available out there. The not-so-good news is that we need pledges to kickstart out community lab in order to pay for a basic starter synthetic biology lab, provide a security deposit on a warehouse, and cover liability insurance for all lab users. Do you want more details before deciding to pledge? Please get in touch with Eri Gentry, at She's got a great story to share!

BioCurious is a non-profit effort. We will receive revenue from monthly membership fees, not to exceed $200/mo, and classes; and all revenue will go toward building our lab. None of our members or founders is paid for the work they do. Nor will the funds from kickstarter be used to pay salaries.

- - -
Curious about Biology? Find out more at the new biology collaborative lab space where citizen science moves out of the classroom and into the community. Following the successful example of hackerspaces such as Noisebridge, Langton Labs, Hacker Dojo, and co-working spaces such as the Hub, we're pleased to offer the first Bay Area space dedicated to Non-Institutional Biology. Got an idea for a startup? Join the DIY, "garage biology" movement and found a new breed of biotech. Meet cofounders and friends, and make things you'd never dreamed possible.

How is this possible? Governments and big business once dominated computing. Today, entrepreneurs and hobbyists play leading roles in developing computing technologies and products, both hardware and software. The tools for serious biological engineering are getting cheaper all the time. See

However, aspiring entrepreneurs lack affordable access to a complete set of lab equipment outside of a university lab or high priced industrial commercial space. Perhaps you have a day job in biotech already, but have neither the time nor freedom to nurture your pet project at work. Maybe you are seeking a career in the life sciences, are between jobs, or are a recent graduate wanting to improve your skill set. Whatever your current level of interest or ability, BioCurious has a spot for you.

Remember our Motto: Education, Collaboration, Innovation

As always, Safety First!

BioCurious will offer:

1) Education, Outreach, Community building events. Science was once a cultural activity, carried out by wealthy “gentlemen scholars” who had the leisure and material resources to experiment. The 20th century saw an unprecedented centralization of science around an industrial model. The plummeting costs of enabling technologies has brought meaningful biological research back within reach of the independent citizen scientist. From Bio-Art to BioFuels, the wave of next generation biotech applications is set to transform our culture and economy. BioCurious will be Ground 0 for this revolution.

2) Entrepreneurship Incubation, Mentoring, Angel Investment. The Bay Area is home to many networks that help entrepreneurs launch web businesses with a shoe-string budget and a dream. Similar support infrastructure does not yet exist for biotech ventures. Until recently, biotech has required large start up costs. An ecosystem of mentorship and a network of investors who understand the possibilities for lean-biotech-start ups to leverage shared resources and amplify their creative efforts to have disproportionate commercial impact, does not yet exist. BioCurious will catalyze the formation of this system.

Your support will help us acquire the remaining needed equipment and secure the deposit of 3 months rent for a lab in a ~3,000sqft industrial building in Silicon Valley. Together with the matching pledges from our founding members, whose monthly dues will support operations, we'll have a sustainable non-profit community lab. Science and education grants (STEM) will provide further support as well as kits and classes (eg, core biotech courses, how to build a gel box, PCR technique, SNP testing). Again, if you have questions about our work so far, please get in touch with Eri, at, twitter: erigentry.

Do you like our project? Contact us! Make a pledge! Or, dare to go so far as to write or tweet about us! In which case, you'll want the video, which is available for embedding on vimeo, at

Thanks for your support!

Eri, Joseph & Tito


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  • You selected
    Pledge $3 or more

    5 backers

    The Coffee Level. Can you live without Starbucks for a day? Forgo that skinny soy pumpkin soy latte for A DAY, and pledge toward the advancement of Citizen Science! For your pledge, you get your name listed on our website as a founding kickstarter!

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    Pledge $5 or more

    45 backers

    BioCurious decals. Stick 'em where it counts!

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    Pledge $25 or more

    54 backers

    BioCurious t-shirt. Proudly display how you feel about biology! (Everyone who donates above this level will also receive a t-shirt.)

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    Pledge $26 or more

    24 backers

    Friend of BioCurious, Cathal Garvey, has designed a special edition BioCurious Accurate 3D DNA model. It's a real looker and, for $26, this DNA model will be yours!
    Check out Cathal's other creations at and his blog

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    Pledge $40 or more

    5 backers

    1 Weekend Pass to BioCurious

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    8 backers Limited (92 left of 100)

    Party thrown in your honor (for locals). Come meet and party with fellow BioCurious supporters!

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    52 backers

    BioCurious founding supporters. Your name will be listed in a founding mural – a DNA base pairs graphic with names written along the base pairs. (Everyone who donates above this level will also have their name put in the mural.)

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers

    Quantify your blood's cancer killing ability (locals only). How well will your blood (innate immune system) fend off cancer? Come in person to give a blood sample and we will determine exactly that. For technical details, see

  • You selected
    Pledge $600 or more

    4 backers

    3 Month Membership @ BioCurious! Become a Founding Member and receive a 3 month membership, your name in the founding DNA mural, a t-shirt and a decal.

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers

    OpenPCR (your choice of kit or machine fully-assembled) + private instruction from its creators, Tito Jankowski and Josh Perfetto (video chat for non-locals)

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,100 or more

    0 backers

    6 Month Membership @ BioCurious! Become a Founding Member and receive a 6 month membership, your name in the founding DNA mural, a t-shirt, a decal, and a special edition BioCurious DNA model by Cathal Garvey.

  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    7 backers Limited (18 left of 25)

    Lifetime BioCurious membership

Funding period

- (89 days)