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Where Bio and Start-ups Meet

BCLA’s Lunch Seminar featured the president of Y Combinator, co-chairman of Open AI, top investor under 30 in 2015, named by Forbes, entrepreneur, investor, programmer, and blogger - one influential figure, Sam Altman! At Y Combinator, Sam helps startups to pin down major milestones, boost their ambition, and communicate better to stakeholders. The lunch seminar was held on April 6th, 2018, at USC, where Sam shared his knowledge with a full room of attendees who were hungry to carve out their niche in biotech.

In recent years, Sam has witnessed an investment shift from software to biotech, with companies focusing on diagnostics, therapeutics, bioengineering, and genomics attracting a large percentage of the investment. For aspiring entrepreneurs, he advised creating products people want, rather than just following a trend. Most importantly, when pitch time comes, entrepreneurs need to be able to articulate their competitive advantage. Also, he recommends finding mentors early on and building a valuable network. Sam mentioned that one of the constant challenges start-ups face are how to recruit the best candidates through interviews and how to persuade the most talented people to join. However, “hire slowly,” he emphasized.

Lastly, Sam expressed his faith in LA becoming the next big biotech hub, a statement the audience answered with thunderous applause. For those who have missed his talk, you can watch the live stream on the BCLA Facebook page (video credit: Ryan Bethencourt).

We sincerely thank BioBuilt for their generous sponsorship of this inspiring seminar.

The BCLA team wishes you success in painting a thriving startup blueprint.

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