Vectr Bio: “The 23andMe of cannabis”

Eric Dunteman, founder of Vectr Bio, speaks at 1 Million Cups Des Moines on February 13, 2019.

Erik Dunteman is looking to give cannabis growers and breeders more genetic and chemical control over their crops.

His company, Vectr Bio, offers a mail-in genetic screening kit for cannabis growers.

“A simple way of thinking about it is as the 23andMe of cannabis,” Dunteman said.

Here’s how the service works. Growers come to Vectr Bio with a specific breeding strategy request. Vectr Bio sends them two boxes, a genotype and phenotype box, in which they place samples of all the seedlings they’re interested in screening. From there, Vectr Bio sends the genotype kit to a DNA sequencer and the phenotype kit to a chemical testing lab. That paired data feeds to Vectr Bio, where they aggregate the data, notice specific markers within the genome and make recommendations to the growers.

By using Vectr Bio, cannabis growers will be able to receive feedback within a matter of days rather than having to wait an entire 6-month grow cycle.

“We are a data company. We’re not a bioscience company,” Dunteman said. “We’re not touching the crop. We’re not growing it. And we’re not experimenting on it. We’re doing nothing but data aggregation with the hopes that machine learning and advances in data technology will allow us to be able to screen for traits just computationally.”

Dunteman was recently accepted into the sixth cohort of the ISU Startup Factory and is now in the process of developing an MVP that he hopes to have completed by the end of the year.

Vectr Bio is currently in the middle of a friends and family investment round with a target raise of $160,000. The raised money will go towards developing an MVP and hiring a CTO.

Previous coverage

ISU Startup Factory announces twelve new teams for its sixth cohort -Jan. 23, 2019