Illumina campus
The Illumina Campus in San Diego. Courtesy of the company.

San Diego-based Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) and Sequoia Capital China, a leading investment firm, have announced a collaboration to boost startups in China.

They launched the Sequoia Capital China Intelligent Healthcare Genomics Incubator, Powered by Illumina to focus on building life sciences startup companies advancing breakthrough applications in genomics.

The incubator will leverage the expertise of Illumina for Startups in building genomics companies following the success of Illumina Accelerator in the San Francisco Bay Area and Cambridge, UK.

Sequoia Capital China will dedicate its investment expertise to support genomics founders, which marks another strategic step following the launch of the firm’s Digital Intelligent Incubator.

“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,” said Francis deSouza, Chief Executive Officer at Illumina.

Neil Shen, founding and managing partner of Sequoia Capital China, said the aim is “to build a genomics innovation platform to discover and nurture founders in the field of genomics in China” while jointly promoting “the development of human wellbeing.”

“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 Shen, also a steward of Sequoia Capital.

During two six-month funding cycles per year, the 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.

The inaugural funding cycle of the genomics incubator will begin in the fall.

Li Qing, vice president and general manager of Greater China at Illumina, noted China’s “vibrant genomic startup ecosystem,” and said the incubator “demonstrates Illumina’s 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. To learn more, visit the application website.