Preventative Testing for Everyone


NewCo Shift Forum

By routing around insurance companies and going direct, Color Genomics wants to help everyone get the health data they need

Jill Hagenkord

Continuing our focus on innovative health companies that are changing the game in their industry, earlier this year at Shift Forum we heard from Jill Hagenkord, Chief Medical Officer at Color Genomics, a preventative genetic testing startup. Hagenkord was drawn to Color because of its mission — to bring vital and potentially life saving information to health consumers who previously were left in the dark due to our bureaucratic “sick-care” system, which focuses only on addressing illness, instead of preventing it. Below is Hagenkord’s presentation, along with a transcript, edited for clarity.

Jill Hagenkord: Hi, thanks to Shift for the opportunity to speak here and to represent Color. My background is as a board certified pathologist. I did two fellowships after that, one in molecular-genetic pathology and the other in pathology-oncology-informatics. My Chairman said to me, “Jill, why don’t you do a real fellowship. You’re never going to get a real job.” And I lucked out. I was training myself to do precision medicine before we had the phrase “precision medicine.”

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Genome Testing Is Now Affordable: Ancestry Is Bringing It To The Masses


NewCo Spotlight

As the largest genealogy company in the world, Ancestry has gone through several iterations throughout its 34-year history. The company began its life as a newsletter in 1983, graduating to magazine format in 1994, then launching its .com two years later. Today Ancestry offers ancestryDNA kits, a simple test that analyzes an individual’s DNA in order to provide insight on origin, their ethnic mix, discover distant relatives, and find new details about their unique family history via their large DNA database and many historical records.


As a global leader in family history and consumer genomics, Ancestry has experienced intense growth, partially due to a rapid decrease in costs for genome sequencing. Just 10 years ago, sequencing a genome could cost $10 million, but today that price has dropped to hundreds of dollars. This has allowed Ancestry to offer kits to genotype a customer’s DNA that otherwise would have been cost prohibited just a few years back. Although genotyping a customers DNA isn’t full genome sequencing, the test still offers unprecedent insignts to an individual’s background.

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