Our Story

In the summer of 2015, our Chief Scientist, Tom Leung, struggled to find the best antibodies for his experiments. He looked for a database that aggregated published data for antibodies to support his purchasing decisions, but was surprised to find none existed. So he wondered: Why not create one?

Trained as a scientist, however, Tom didn’t have the business knowledge to run a company, nor the technical ability to build the platform he envisioned. So he turned to LinkedIn and networking. On LinkedIn, he searched for "University of Toronto," "PhD" and "Computer Science" and cold-messaged the first profile that showed up, David Q. Chen, who is now our Chief Technology Officer. And through a student executive committee, he met Elvis Wianda, our Chief Database Officer.

This early team then enrolled in its first incubator, Hatchery, under the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Toronto, which allowed them to test a proof of concept on scientists. Positive feedback led to three more incubators: the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) under the Rotman School of Management; the Health Innovation Hub (H2i) under the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto; and Founder Fuel in Montreal.

At CDL, the early team met a Rotman MBA student named Liran Belenzon, assigned to BenchSci as a mentor. He so believed in BenchSci that he’s now our CEO.

Finally, we launched to the world officially in July 2017.

Between Tom’s initial idea and our formal launch, we spent two years building machine learning software to extract antibody usage data in the form of published figures, decoding millions of papers and making the data easily discoverable for scientists. During this time, our mission and purpose crystallized: end reagent failure to drive discovery.

FAST FACTS
Founded in
2015 by Tom Leung, David Q. Chen, Elvis Wianda, and Liran Belenzon
Headquarters
Toronto, Canada
Employees
21
Official launch
July 2017
Antibody products analyzed
3,684,615
Antibody use cases identified
958,000
Press Articles
LabWorm
Top 17 research tools of 2017
BenchSci made LabWorm's top 17 trending research tools of 2017 that were most appreciated and used by the LabWorm community.
Forbes
In The Lab Of The Future, Robots Run Experiments While Scientists Sleep
Automation will give scientists more time to think while distributed devices run and gather data on experiments.
BetaKit
BenchSci’s David Chen: Startup CTOs need to be ready for ‘unknown unknowns’
David Chen is a PhD turned tech founder. As founder and CTO of BenchSci, Chen’s work is focused on the biomedical and life sciences field, using machine learning to help doctors and medical researchers solve…
UHN Research
Game Changer: Benchsci
Drug discovery programs are long and expensive. They involve i) detecting potential drug targets with antibodies, 2) finding candidate molecules with a therapeutic effect on the disease state, and 3) confirming effectiveness…
MilliporeSigma
MilliporeSigma Hosts Leading Scientists at Life Science Symposium in Greater Boston
MilliporeSigma will welcome world-renowned academic researchers, technology experts and industry entrepreneurs to discuss advances and opportunities in some of the most exciting areas of life science on…
BenchSci Press Release
ASPET Partners with BenchSci to Increase Discoverability of Its Journals
American Society for Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) has signed a license for closed-access peer-reviewed content to create a community for scientists, publishers and suppliers with BenchSci.
Labratory News
The Great Reproducibility Problem
Thorough, low cost, application-centric validation strategies need to be developed and validation needs to be performed by the vendor as well as the end user. If we can’t reproduce findings – then it isn’t science anymore.
Benchsci Press Release
BenchSci Partners with The FASEB Journal to Increase Discoverability of Content
BenchSci continues its mission to create a community for scientists, publishers and suppliers by signing its first license for closed-access peer-reviewed content with the Federation of American Societies for…
Globe and Mail
Science startups make research faster, cheaper, more accurate
While he was working on his PhD in neuroscience at McGill University in Montreal, Ian Blum says that he spent a year looking for the right antibody to use in an experiment. It's a common problem faced by researchers…