We visited LabGenius, partly out of curiosity, to see how they transformed their office space into a science lab. We spoke to LabGenius COO Mo and CSO Harry about how the company is integrating machine learning, gene synthesis, and robotic automation to engineer proteins.
LabGenius is developing EVA – the world’s first autonomous AI-driven evolution engine. The company is a London-based startup run by synthetic biologists, data scientists, and engineers. They use technology to develop new biological products in partnership with world-leading multinationals.
Can you tell me a bit more about LabGenius? What is it that you do and what is your vision for the company?
Mo: James, our CEO, created LabGenius to engineer proteins with enhanced and novel functionality, integrating machine learning, gene synthesis, and robotic automation to build a platform for evolution.
In nature, evolution happens slowly over many generations and is an inefficient and unpredictable process. We aim to make this process more intelligent by taking apart the design rules of biological systems by predicting which mutations will improve biological designs. EVA, our automatous AI-driven evolution engine enables us to continuously test new biological designs which EVA has predicted will perform well.
How did you hear about Hubble? Why did you choose us to help you find an office?
Harry: We found Hubble through Google search, we liked the easy-to-use user interface and the number of listings available for small, creative companies.
How did you find your office search process from start to finish? Did you look at many websites and spaces before deciding?
Harry: Our office search process was fairly efficient. Once we decided to take our search online, we did a lot of upfront work digitally to make a shortlist, so we only had to visit 3 or 4 places before we made a decision.
What were the selling features when you were picking the space?
Mo: We love the building—it’s walking distance to the Tube and there’s space for us to grow into. There’s also something charming about hearing trains going by outside. They have a great café here, along with other great amenities and facilities. Also, a lot of us climb and the climbing spaces nearby are fantastic.
How are you and your team liking your office and neighbourhood? Why did you choose to set up in Bermondsey?
Mo: We love it. Harry and I first went with an estate agent and viewed offices in the London Bridge area but we didn’t find one that suited our specific requirements since we were looking to build a science lab in our office. We then found Workspace through Hubble and liked the space because of its proportions and windows, especially since we were coming from an office where there was less natural light. We saw that we could create an integrated lab and office in the space and that it was the right size for our team, so we decided to move in. The space fitting and installation was done by Stables & Lucraft, our wonderful former neighbours at Makerversity.
Harry: We opted to build our Central London facility from scratch rather than renting bench space in a biotech incubator. The problem we’re working on is exceptionally multidisciplinary. Our team is comprised of synthetic biologists, automation engineers, software engineers, data engineers, and data scientists. We created a specialist, purpose-built environment where our team can work together in a fully integrated fashion. For LabGenius, establishing our own purpose-built facility in Central London has enabled us to both recruit exceptional talent and provide a working environment that’s conducive to solving highly multidisciplinary challenges.
What did you like about the Hubble experience?
Harry: We liked the support that Hubble provided. The Hubble team is always keen to help. They checked in on us often to see how things were going with our space and host.
What’s next for LabGenius?
Mo: Our intention when we moved in was to stay here for probably the next 18 months, so we chose space to accommodate for the growth of our team. We’ve just made a few new hires and are will be raising our next round of funding soon. Right now, we’re working hard on hitting our growth objectives.
Want to build your own in-office science lab, photo studio, planetarium, greenhouse, etc.? Check out great London office spaces to make your own.