Top Techie Kevin Ness is building new tools for biologists

After a career of building tools for scientists, Ness helped launch an automated tool for genome-scale engineering

Kevin Ness | CEO

Inscripta | Boulder



“I’ve spent my career building tools for scientists. I’m an engineer by training, with degrees in mechanical engineering and material science from Stanford and the University of California-Santa Barbara. The common thread of my career has been developing life science tools — first for reading genomes, and now for writing them.”


“The technology upon which Inscripta was founded was developed at the University of Colorado-Boulder, and we have a strong collaborative relationship with CU.”

“We have designed and launched the world’s first fully automated instrument for genome-scale engineering that can be run by any biologist in their own lab. The gene-editing techniques commonly used today are typically either accessed through a large ‘biofoundry’ service provider or done in one’s own lab in a laborious and temperamental process. We wanted to offer scientists a reliable, robust system that would allow any biologist to be able to engineer cells with desired traits regardless of his or her expertise in gene editing. As an engineer and tool builder, I am excited that this is a truly groundbreaking platform — nothing like this currently exists on the market. It’s an entirely new capability for scientists around the world.”


“As Nobel Laureate Sydney Brenner once stated: ‘Progress in science depends on new techniques, new discoveries and new ideas, probably in that order.’ I take this philosophy to heart, and have focused my career on creating disruptive techniques that allow scientists to fully realize their vision and pursue answers to important questions that were previously intractable.”


This article was part of a Top Techies feature, which highlighted six Colorado tech companies that are thriving on ideas and execution. While each company is in a different stage of their journey, the people behind the technology all believe that the tools themselves need a mission attached and positive impact on the bottom line. Read more about the other top techie standouts: 

Categories: Business Leaders, Magazine Articles