Startups routinely operate on the fringe of what the masses consider obtainable.
As any number of founders will tell you, just because something hasn’t been before doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
Quite the contrary – the prospect represents one of the most elusive and alluring in the business world.
While we’ve watched countless movies depicting faraway technologies and scientific revelations yet unseen in the modern world, these lofty visions were spurned from the human imagination.
In the same way that someone conceived it and put it on paper, another person is working hard to bring it to reality.
We’re not sure we have lightsabers to look forward to anytime soon (maybe that’s a good thing), but there are other things developing in the world of science that are making science fiction seem more like non-fiction.
For example, in the 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park, scientists found and extracted dinosaur DNA from ancient mosquitoes preserved in amber.
Disastrous storylines aside, given the scale of the park and the seemingly endless capital at their disposal, it would appear as though this discovery spurred financial windfalls.
Well, they say that life imitates art. While dinosaurs aren’t imminent (at least not that we know of), there is one startup on the verge of bringing back a couple species from extinction.
And just like Jurassic Park before it, these developments are spurring financial windfall, as this company just wrapped up a Series B at a valuation of $1.5 billion.
Colossal Biosciences, a bioscience and genetics company launched in 2021, made headlines upon its founding when it declared its “de-extinction technology,” which uses CRISPR gene engineering, would have Wooly Mammoths walking earth once more.
Now, two years after that initial declaration, the company has set its sights slightly smaller – the dodo bird.
While these goals seem borderline bonkers, the problems the technology aims to address are very much grounded in reality.
Sure, the Wooly Mammoth and Dodo have been extinct for centuries, but since 1970, earth has seen a 69% decrease in wildlife populations. Between 2010 and 2019, 160 more species were declared extinct.
“Colossal is a new symbol for hope in species preservation and conservation,” Colossal investor and special advisor Erik Anderson said. “Their de-extinction achievements are making it possible for ecosystems to return to their intended state, which is an incredible breakthrough in biodiversity.”
Not only that, these genetic technologies, once refined, will have sweeping applications across agriculture and human health.
It’s no wonder that in just the past 16 months, Colossal Biosciences has raised $225 million across its rounds of funding.
This is just another example of a startup not just seizing, but making its opportunity by tackling a problem others deemed impossible.
And in industries like bioscience, quantum computing, nuclear fission, and others of the like, it’s a reminder that there are going to be companies that emerge ahead of the rest of the pack.
It’s a matter of identifying those industries and startups before they hit that unicorn level.
We’ll do that together.