What could you create with 100,000 bp of DNA?

Do you want to change the world? IDT wants to help.

The IDT Synthetic Biology Start-Up Grant Program aims to empower the next generation of world-changing companies seeking to make a positive impact in the fields of sustainable manufacturing, human health, or humanitarian causes. If you are a small US-based start-up looking for a way to jump-start your business plan, we invite you to apply.


Winner: The grant winner will receive 100,000 bp of DNA provided as gBlocks® Gene Fragments* (or the equivalent value in other products, including Megamer™ Single-Stranded Gene Fragments, custom Gene or MiniGene™ Synthesis products, and Alt-R® CRISPR genome editing products), highlights through IDT’s communication channels, and a feature video about their winning business plan.

A runner up will be granted 50,000 bp of DNA provided as gBlocks Gene Fragments* (or the equivalent value in other products, including Megamer Single-Stranded Gene Fragments, custom Gene or MiniGene Synthesis products, and Alt-R CRISPR genome editing products).


How to apply

Step 1: Register with IDT by completing the form on this page.

Step 2: Upload your application using the link on this page. Please review the application guidelines before submitting. Incomplete or improperly formatted applications may be disqualified.

Submission deadline

August 1, 2018

Eligibility requirements

The grant is open to US-based organizations that have been in business for less than 5 years, have fewer than 50 employees, and have not completed any fundraising beyond Series A. Additionally, academic scientists with a business plan in place to launch a company within the next two years may apply. Products from IDT must be an essential component of the company’s business plan. The company’s plan must be in the field of human health, sustainable manufacturing, or humanitarian causes. Applicants must grant IDT the ability to use any materials received by IDT during the grant program for sales and marketing purposes. Applicants must be granted the authority by their organization to agree to this condition. Applicants agree to comply with all applicable laws, statutes, ordinances, and regulations regarding applicant’s grant proposal. The grant award offer is void where prohibited. IDT reserves the right to limit or cancel the grant program at IDT’s discretion. IDT account registration is required.

Application guidelines

Applications must be submitted on this webpage. Use presentation format, 3 slides in length, and including the following information:

  • Slide 1: Describe the company’s vision and objectives
  • Slide 2: Describe how the company will benefit from the grant
  • Slide 3: Describe how the company will impact the world in one of the three specified fields

Judging criteria

  • Impact/benefit to humanity
  • Innovation
  • Feasibility (technical and commercial)
  • Must include use of gBlocks® Gene Fragments, Megamer Single-Stranded Gene Fragments, Custom Genes or MiniGene Synthesis products, or Alt-R® CRISPR products
  • Small bonus will be given to applicants from the state of Iowa

Award announcement

Winners will be directly notified in September, and will be publicly announced in early November.

Grant program rules

Please read detailed contest rules for more information.

For questions, please contact us at genes@idtdna.com.

* The awards are calculated based on purchasing 1000 bp gBlocks® Gene Fragments; selecting other products may reduce the total number of bases below the described 100,000 or 50,000 bp awards. See rules for details.