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Great Talks, Innovation, and Prizes Inspire at BCLA’s Entrepreneurship Summit 2016

On Saturday June 11th, over 100 registered guests joined us at CNSI for BCLA’s 2ndAnnual Entrepreneurship Summit. The event was inspiring to all, as it gave each participant a chance to learn about the exciting biotech opportunities in Los Angeles and network with many of the industry’s leaders.

This year’s event program was packed full of activities throughout the entire day. In the morning, a short welcome address from the director of CNSI, Jeff Miller and Adrienne Lindgren from the Los Angeles Mayor’s office, kicked-off the day by giving insight into the current biotech developments in our city. Our keynote speaker Dr. Hemai Parthasarathy, Scientific Director at Breakout Labs, gave a wonderful presentation, that didn’t only display her expertise in evaluating scientific innovation, but also inspired by explaining Breakout Labs unique model in supporting start-ups with disruptive innovations. The morning also featured a panel discussion on tech transfer and spin-offs, where multiple experts discussed the challenges and pitfalls for academic entrepreneurs. During lunch, breakout sessions allowed participants to talk one-on-one with mentors in various fields of expertise, such as intellectual property, SBIR grants, incubators and angel investors, to just name a few.

This year’s Entrepreneurship Summit included an exciting Innovation Prize Competition. Matching the theme of our event “Innovation and The Path to Market,” BCLA gave participants a chance to showcase their business ideas in biotech for the grand prize, a generous start up package valued at $4000, including 2 months of free lab space provided by LabLaunch Inc. In the competition hosted by Ryan Bethencourt from Indie.Bio and our own Yari Fontebasso, fourteen contestants gave a two-minute pitch in front of the audience and a panel of judges. They then continued to discuss their ideas with attendees during an interactive poster session. After a live voting by the audience and a thorough evaluation by the judges a first, second and third place were announced. At this point we would like to congratulate Aukera Nanoparticles again for taking home the grand prize, Saima Biopharmaceutics for placing second, and Responsive Polymers Therapeutics for making third place. We thank all of the contestants for their participation in the Innovation Prize Competition, as it was a tremendous amount of fun! The day concluded with a tour of the CNSI incubator and a relaxed networking mixer.

We would like to thank all of our sponsors enabling us to organize such an extensive event. We would also like to thank all the mentors, speakers, moderators, panelists and judges for taking the time to come out on a weekend and share their expertise; we could not have done it without them! And lastly we would like to thank all of you who attended the event and we hope you made the most of it.

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