New Tech Founder Spotlight: Jacob Lee, Co-Founder and CEO of Genemod

Each week in the New Tech Newsletter we feature a Spotlight Q&A with founders, angels, New Tech alumni presenters, and other people or companies in our community we believe you’d like to learn about. Reach out if you’d like to recommend a startup, founder, angel, accelerator, or New Tech alumni presenter for us to spotlight for the PNW tech community!

This week we spoke with Jacob Lee, CEO & Co-Founder at Genemod.

Jacob LeeGenemod logo

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned since you first presented at NTNW?

How we as a team can be flexible enough to prioritize and deliver what researchers need, especially with so many things happening unexpectedly over the last 18 months.

What drives us every day are companies and institutions telling us how game-changing Genemod is to their workflow and day to day operations. Many companies have been with us since the start of the pandemic, and it’s been so great to work with them during this difficult time and help them save on both time and resources.

Being agile and flexible requires us to both focus on team well-being and create a customer obsessive culture based on hard data. Besides the hard data, you need soft data: the why. And that comes from talking with customers, running hypothesis-focused experiments (not result-focused) and by looking at feedback from customer support or surveys.


Did the pandemic cause your company to change/pivot your business model or strategy?

Not really, but it did allow us to rethink how we can better support life scientists and researchers during these challenging times. It motivated us to do our part to battle the pandemic by allowing labs involved with COVID-19 research to use our paid plans for free. We also built specific features that were time-sensitive for certain partners.

We’ve partnered with world-class institutions on federal grants to tackle the pandemic and consistently involve ourselves with the community since we are in a prime position/sector to do so.


What’s the most innovative way your tech solves the problems of your customers?

Life scientists and researchers might be working on the next life-saving breakthrough therapeutic or vaccine, but the methodologies they use are old school and inefficient.  This includes siloed means of data sharing, traditional processes of recording and storing data, and no way of using past data and experiments to inform future decision making. 

Genemod changes all of that. Our technology allows scientists to record, analyze, and easily collaborate with their team so that that they can spend more time on the actual science. We’ve created a world class platform that allows researchers to visualize their projects and inventory all in one place – something that has never been done before. 


What’s something interesting and unexpected that people would be surprised to learn about your company?

From Day One we’ve been the “textbook definition” (if it exists) of a startup. Our early team started off working in public library conference rooms and then we moved to my small studio apartment when the library rooms weren’t an option.  

Because resources were extremely limited, we had the support of many UW students (thanks to our team all being UW alumni). It’s been an honor to give back to the student community and many of the interns from our program have gone on to work at world-class companies like Google, ServiceNow, DoorDash, Outreach, REI, General Motors, TikTok, and many more.

Reach out if you’d like to recommend a startup, founder, angel, accelerator, or New Tech alumni presenter for us to spotlight for the PNW tech community!

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