Phylagen is a microbiome data company using machine learning to harness the vast, unseen world of bacteria and fungi present in dust that inhabit every inch of the world. Our goal is to arm organizations with the power of environmental genomics and data to answer critical traceability and safety questions that build trust and confidence. By understanding indoor environmental quality, and monitoring the microbiome in buildings and throughout supply chains, our customers can assure surface cleanliness, customer and worker safety, and even brand and labeling fidelity. This year, Phylagen adapted the mission of the company to monitor and slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 by developing a surface SARS-CoV-2 test kit that has been on the market since July. In this talk, Lara Reichmann presents the many data science challenges at Phylagen and discusses the broader role of data science within a fast-paced startup environment.