Most yacht owners buy a boat to escape the trappings of work. Jonathan Rothberg did the opposite. The geneticist spent so much time conducting research aboard his family yacht that he wound up buying a shadow vessel and converted it into a floating laboratory.

It might seem odd, then, to describe the entrepreneur as a devoted family man, but that’s the truth.

“Every one of my companies was started because of somebody I love,” Rothberg says, sweeping a thick mop of brown hair back from his face. “They’re not random start-ups.”

With 100 patents to his name and $2.3 billion raised in seed capital to date, the 59-year-old Rothberg made his name inventing high-speed, “next-gen” DNA sequencing. He now spends months at a time aboard his two boats: the 180-foot (55-meter) Amels Limited Editions Gene Machine and the 182-foot (56-meter) Damen support vessel Gene Chaser.

Jonathan Rothberg cooking up the next great entrepreneurial idea—or, pondering what’s cooking for dinner on board.

Jonathan Rothberg cooking up the next great entrepreneurial idea—or, pondering what’s cooking for dinner on board.





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