Jessica Green, co-founder and CTO of Phylagen, is a data-driven entrepreneur who understands the need for the right advisory team.

The data-driven entrepreneur

Successfully transitioning an idea from academia to entrepreneurship requires the right mindset. Jessica Green, co-founder and CTO of Phylagen, explains how starting with the right advisory team is also key.

Jessica - Partnership

Jessica Green, co-founder and CTO of Phylagen, explains how she built a team of trusted co-workers and advisors who openly communicate.

Jessica - Obstacles

Jessica Green, co-founder and CTO of Phylagen, explains why she left the university lab for startup life.

Seeing possibility in the unseen

Harnessing the power of microbiomes to solve large-scale global challenges motivated Jessica Green to leave the university setting and join the startup world. "In a startup environment I realized we could move at a faster pace and have a greater societal impact," she explains.

While pharmaceuticals are the most widely known microbiome uses, Phylagen is developing applications beyond human health. "Using advanced microbiome technology, we can mitigate the negative consequences and enhance the positive elements."

Phylagen developed the capability to sequence and map the microbes in an environment, generating terabytes of data that, once analyzed, provides a powerful new decision-making tool. "Our capability in big data analytics allows us to cull actionable meaning out of large amounts of genetic information," says Green.

Making the right connections

To move microbiome technology into a commercial setting, Green shifted her mindset. "Academia celebrates the lone wolf. In building a company, the company comes first and everyone needs to work as a team for the success of the company," she explains. 

So Green, along with co-founder Harrison Dillon, developed a network of people and business partners to turn to for honest advice. "Assemble a trusted advisory team you can reach out to and who will give you good feedback," Green says. Being new to startups, Green trusted the advice of board member Dave Bagshaw and his recommendation of Silicon Valley Bank.

Partnering with SVB for the long term

In SVB, Green found an advisor that is helping her company reach key milestones “All of our seed-round funding is held by Silicon Valley Bank," Green says. That funding allows her to build the core technology team, including wet lab expertise, data analytics, and software engineering, and prepare for Series A-round funding.

Green says her relationship with SVB gives her confidence to tackle challenges yet to come. “I’ve heard the metaphor of ‘eating glass’ in Silicon Valley.  I feel totally ready for those difficult times.” With SVB in her corner, she has been able to make the most of the network and resources that come along with this partnership. “The personal touch I’ve had with SVB,” Green said, is now leading to a “conversation of financial resources and partnerships that will be available downstream,” It’s one she says she’s really looking forward to.

Green explains, "I've learned to trust my gut, and very often the feeling from a first interaction with someone holds true over time." The way SVB has initiated and maintained contact has strengthened the initial bond and laid the groundwork for a long and successful relationship.

More from our inspired entrepreneurs

See all Next2 client stories: Larry Cutler, Maureen Fan, Jessica Green, Zheng Yu Huang, Emily Leproust, Kathryn Minshew, and Frida Polli.

See all Next2 conversations: Larry Cutler & Zheng Yu Huang, Jessica Green & Joshua Hoffman, Frida Polli & Kathryn Minshew.

SVB invited several clients on the frontlines to share their experiences and points of view on how to build a successful innovation company. This collection of stories is titled Next2 POV.

At Silicon Valley Bank, we have conversations every day with technology visionaries who are shaping the future. We invited several clients on the frontlines to share their experiences and points of view on how to build a successful innovation company.

In this collection of stories, titled Next2 POV, you will hear about the vision, passion and sheer grit necessary to get going, and how building a trusted team of partners and advisors is a prerequisite for success. Our goal is for these stories to give you insight and inspiration to move your big idea forward.

Jessica - Speed

Jessica Green, co-founder and CTO of Phylagen, explains how big data and genetic sequencing are creating powerful new decision-making tools.

Spotlight - Jessica 2

Jessica Green, co-founder and CTO of Phylagen, explains the benefits of banking with a partner who can expand your world.

Jessica - Obstacles 02

Jessica Green, co-founder and CTO of Phylagen, discusses the advantages of hiring a diverse workforce when building a startup.

FC Datadog

Alexis Lê-Quôc, co-founder and CTO of Datadog, describes how he has found success by sticking with his convictions.

Spotlight - Larry

Larry Cutler, CTO of Baobab Studios and Zheng Yu Huang, CEO of ViewFind, discuss their approaches to failure and experimentation.


Emily Leproust, CEO of Twist Bioscience, discusses the value of building relationships.