About

Visionary startups developing innovative life science technologies with outsized potential often struggle to raise capital from traditional funders. These companies are typically multi-disciplinary (e.g. genomics + optics + microfluidics + big data) and/or market-making, and don't neatly fit most VC’s patterns and boxes.

Genoa Ventures stands in this gap. Genoa Ventures uniquely combines an appetite for technology-driven, “category-defying” opportunities in life sciences with the domain expertise and operational experience necessary to select and nurture the best bio-based companies early, before most other investors. We take the time to understand the science and technology, applications and markets, and to help these companies achieve their full potential.

We believe in the enormous and relatively untapped possibilities of life science technologies and discoveries applied to realms outside of healthcare, and in the unbounded potential of the entrepreneurial visionaries who will lead us in realizing these possibilities.


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Life Science Expertise

 Experienced investors with deep domain expertise


Early-Stage Focus

Seed, Series A, and follow-on


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OPERATING EXPERIENCE

We bring a builder mindset


ENTREPRENEUR-CENTRIC

It’s your ship; we’ll help you get there faster


Areas We Invest In

Research tools

Drug development

Diagnostics

 

Agriculture

Animal health

Bio manufacturing

Biodefense

Industrial Bio

Synthetic Biology

Genetic engineering


Our Focus

Genoa Ventures invests in early-stage life sciences companies innovating at the intersection of biology, technology, and data science. From next-gen 'omics platforms to CRISPR-Cas genome editing, our portfolio companies are transforming biomedical research, diagnostics, agriculture, chemicals, and other industries beyond traditional biotech therapeutics.


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Technology Driving Biology

Miniaturization, automation, data sciences


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Biology as Technology

Synthetic biology, genetic engineering, stem cells


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Biology Beyond Healthcare

Agriculture, chemicals/industrial, consumer


Previous Investments

 High-throughput engineering of microbes for production of chemicals; automation + genetic engineering + big data

High-throughput engineering of microbes for production of chemicals; automation + genetic engineering + big data

 Commercializing revolutionary CRISPR-Cas gene editing technology invented by Dr. Jennifer Doudna at UC Berkeley.

Commercializing revolutionary CRISPR-Cas gene editing technology invented by Dr. Jennifer Doudna at UC Berkeley.

 Developing Stanford-invented technology to generate more and better data in tissue / pathology, especially immuno-oncology

Developing Stanford-invented technology to generate more and better data in tissue / pathology, especially immuno-oncology

 
 Proprietary chip technology with the potential to generate “big data” for proteins, which has lagged DNA sequencing

Proprietary chip technology with the potential to generate “big data” for proteins, which has lagged DNA sequencing

 Developing microbubble technology for rapid, effective isolation of valuable cell populations (e.g. T cells)

Developing microbubble technology for rapid, effective isolation of valuable cell populations (e.g. T cells)

 Commercializing affordable, easy-to-use cell sorter for genomics and cell line development

Commercializing affordable, easy-to-use cell sorter for genomics and cell line development

 
 Rapidly developed an accessible  product for a high-growth application space (single-cell analysis)

Rapidly developed an accessible  product for a high-growth application space (single-cell analysis)

 Developing a new protein analysis solution for pharma/biotech biologics R&D to decrease expensive late-stage drug failures

Developing a new protein analysis solution for pharma/biotech biologics R&D to decrease expensive late-stage drug failures

 

Our Team

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Jenny Rooke PhD

Founder, Managing Director

A decade of investing experience in life sciences and deep tech

For over a decade, Genoa Ventures’ founder and managing director Dr. Jenny Rooke has been deploying capital at the frontiers of life sciences innovation, with a penchant for technology-fueled solutions and category-defying opportunities. Jenny got her start in venture at Fidelity Biosciences, a Cambridge-based healthcare VC, during their Fund I formation. Jenny then brought her unique toolkit of genetics domain expertise, strategic business acumen, and venture investing to the Gates Foundation, where she deployed and managed over $250M in funding in genetic engineering, diagnostics, and synthetic biology. She also played a key role in establishing the foundation’s investing function. 

 

In 2014, Dr. Rooke began independently investing under the brand 5 Prime Ventures, financing her investments using what has become the largest life sciences syndicate on AngelList, and one of the highest-performing AngelList syndicates of any sector. Jenny founded Genoa Ventures in 2018, building on the 5 Prime Ventures track record, in order to scale a proven, differentiated investing strategy, to ensure continued access to the very best deals, and to maximize portfolio returns.

 
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William C. Hyun MS, hPhD

Venture Partner

Scientist, inventor, entrepreneur, and strategic investor

With more than 25 years of life technology experience, William (Bill) Hyun is a respected expert in both basic research and clinical technology development. At the University of California San Francisco, he directed one of the largest academic core laboratories in the world, with a strong concentration on cytometry and genomic technologies and applications. His academic career included joint appointments at UC Berekeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, three honorary doctorates, and authorship of over 100 peer-reviewed publications. Bill has been has been directly involved in the conception, design, and engineering of numerous commercially successful analytical instruments, consumables products, and software programs.

 

Bill's career is characterized by his ability to repeatedly identify opportunities for disruptive science and technology in transformative markets, and to add value through the life cycle of a start-up. Bill has been a founder, investor, and/or advisor to more than 20 startups with the common goal of impacting healthcare worldwide. Bill has served as Venture Partner with two Bay Area venture groups focused on early-stage investment, and is closely affiliated with four life tech incubators.