Why a serial entrepreneur wants to bring back the woolly mammoth

It's not just a science experiment. With a famed geneticist on board, Ben Lamm is launching Colossal from stealth with $15 million in funding — and hopes of saving the planet.


Ben Lamm has started five different companies, from a consumer gaming startup acquired by Zynga to a mobile software development firm acquired by Accenture.

But his new startup is his most ambitious, outlandish and world-changing one yet: Colossal, which aims to bring back the woolly mammoth and help the climate crisis in the process. He calls it “thoughtful disruptive conservation.”

His goal is to start with the woolly mammoth and build tools for bringing back other extinct species from there. Lamm isn’t going it alone. He’s teamed up with Harvard genomics pioneer George Church to create the company. Colossal will be exclusively licensing technology from Church’s lab for use in nonhumans and support the lab’s research in creating an elephant-mammoth hybrid. The grand vision is a “living, walking proxy of a woolly mammoth,” according to Church, but also helping restore some of the Arctic tundra by re-wilding the species.

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