a16z Podcast: Bio Meets Computer Science


Biology startups have been around for a long time. But the world has changed since that first wave of bio startups, and especially more recently, due to the “peace dividends of the smartphone wars”. So what happens when you combine those cheap sensors and compute power — and apply it to bio?

Cheaper costs and Moore’s Law-like effects may mean lower barriers to entry, the ability to experiment more often and more easily, and other AWS-like effects for a new wave of bio company founders. But is all this just about cost … or about something more? And how do we know if this time is really different when it comes to bio startups?

On this episode of the a16z Podcast, a16z partners Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon, and Vijay Pande discuss how everything changes when software eats biology — that is, when computer science is at the heart of bio companies. Pande also shares three trends we think are particularly interesting: “digital therapeutics”, “cloud bio”, and “computational biomedicine”.