Nigerians are awesome. A young Lagos-born entrepreneur-but-now in California is extending the boundaries of impossibilities. Oshiorenoya Agabi runs Koniku which operates at the intersection of biotechnology and electronics. According to an entry in Crunchbase, the startup proclaims thus:
Koniku is the world’s first Neurocomputation company. We start with a premise that the human brain is the most powerful computer ever devised. We show that capturing that computational power is an engineering problem. Koniku proceeds to meet that challenge with clear solutions.
With his startup Koniku, Oshiorenoya Agabi is working to integrate biological neurons and silicon computer chips, to build computers that can think like humans can. Faster, cleverer computer chips are key to solving the next big batch of computing problems, like particle detection or sophisticated climate modeling — and to get there, we need to move beyond the limitations of silicon, Agabi believes. Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Agabi is now based in the SF Bay Area, where he and his lab mates are working on the puzzle of connecting silicon to biological systems.
“Koniku eventually aims to build a device that is capable of thinking in the biological sense, like a human being. We think we can do this in the next two to five years.” — Oshiorenoya Agabi
Agabi had raised $250,000 in seed funding. He did that in Sept 2015. He followed with another $1.4 million in venture funds last August. He is hoping to be in the markets with his chips later this year (87 days from today, exactly).
Agabi prototype chip
According to Vice, “Koniku, which completed a stint at the biotech accelerator IndieBio, touts itself as “the first and only company on the planet building chips with biological neurons.” Rather than simply mimic brain function with chips, Agabi hopes to flip the script and borrow the actual material of human brains to create the chips. He’s integrating lab-grown neurons onto computer chips in an effort to make them much more powerful than their standard silicon forebears”.
He is hiring and if you can dream, you can email him – firstname.lastname@example.org