This article was originally written for Genome Alberta’s Genomics Blog.
The pandemic has put significant pressure on many small businesses and startups around the world. But for a group of student entrepreneurs, COVID-19 has actually opened up a lot of new doors.
yOIL is a Calgary-based synthetic biology startup, which spun out from the award-winning Calgary iGEM project in 2019. The iGEM project focused on addressing the “green seed problem” in the canola industry. Their project aimed to remove chlorophyll from green canola oil and upgrade it to create an antifungal that can be used to treat new canola crops.
As of this writing, the company is just under a month old, but they have made a lot of progress even in the midst of a global pandemic. According to Sara Far, CEO and co-founder, the shift towards virtual events has allowed them to take part in more pitch competitions.