The three transcription factors, PDX1, NGN3 and MAFA, are very important in pancreatic development. Overexpression of these three factors can reprogram both pancreatic exocrine cells and SOX9-positive cells of the liver into cells resembling pancreatic beta cells. In this study we investigate whether other cell types can be reprogrammed. Eight cell types are compared and the results are consistent with the idea that reprogramming occurs to a greater degree for developmentally related cells (pancreas, liver) than for other types, such as fibroblasts. Using a line of mouse hepatocyte-derived cells we screened 13 compounds for the ability to increase the yield of reprogrammed cells. Three are active and when used in combination they can increase the yield of insulin-immunopositive cells by a factor of six. These results should contribute to the eventual ability to develop a new cure for diabetes based on the ability to reprogram other cells in the body to a beta cell phenotype.