aaron kimball


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The Research and Applied AI Summit (RAAIS) is a community for entrepreneurs and researchers who accelerate the science and applications of AI technology. In the lead up to our 5th annual event on June 28th 2019 in London, we’re running a series of speaker profiles to shed more light on what you can expect to learn on the day!

At RAAIS 2019, we’re shining the spotlight on how machine learning methods are supercharging life science discovery. In this context, we’re thrilled to welcome Aaron Kimball from Zymergen! The company is focused on overhauling the pace of industrial progress that has traditionally been driven by human intuition and low-throughput experimentation. Instead, Zymergen uses biology, coupled with advancements in artificial intelligence and robotic lab automation, as a source of new chemical building blocks that enable the development of novel products and materials. Importantly, Zymergen works at scale –– improving industrial economics while making new markets realizable. And Zymergen has the backing to deliver on this mission, having raised $400M in Series C funding at the end of 2018 led by the SoftBank Vision Fund.


As Chief Technology Officer, Aaron is responsible for delivering the AI systems, laboratory automation, software and data architecture that facilitates Zymergen’s approach to microbial engineering. In his talk at RAAIS 2019, Aaron will introduce Zymergen’s atheoretic approach to microbial engineering and discuss its proprietary technology platform, which leverages machine learning and automation to navigate a genomic search space and makes discoveries far beyond the bounds of human intuition. It enables Zymergen to deliver material diversity and performance capabilities not previously possible, with applications across industries –– from agriculture, to chemicals and materials, to pharmaceuticals and more.

Prior to joining Zymergen, Aaron worked with big data enterprise software and founded Hadoop-based company WibiData in 2010. Previously, he was the first employee at Cloudera, which was founded in 2008, went public in 2017 and completed a merger with Hortonworks in 2019 to create a market-leading data platform for the enterprise. Aaron holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s degree from the University of Washington in computer science.

Welcome to #RAAIS2019, Aaron!