To truly enable today’s biologists, automation needs to be built from the ground up.
Volta Labs was spun out of MIT in 2018 with the simple mission of building biological automation from the ground up.
Volta is in the proximity of Kendall Square, known as "the most innovative square mile on the planet". Being part of the open biotech culture in Kendall Square made us realize that today’s biologists are held back by the limitations of existing automation tools. With DNA sequencing in particular, we observed that the advances in DNA readout technologies had moved further along than the advances in the upstream steps of preparing samples for sequencing (sample prep).
What started out as a simple printed circuit board to manipulate colored droplets at the MIT Media Lab during co-founder Udayan Umapathi’s graduate work was quickly directed toward solving the “sample prep bottleneck”. The company raised Seed Funding from top VCs in 2019 and later that year added Will Langford as a co-founder and Head of Engineering.
Since then, we have been heads down in the lab inventing and building novel fluidic and sample manipulation technologies. We take an anti-disciplinary approach to solve very hard problems and weave together instrumentation, fluidics, software, biology and chemistry. While our current focus is on sequencing sample prep, we envision a new approach where a single universal machine automates most biological workflows in genomics, proteomics and synthetic biology.