Newswise — California State University, Los Angeles and its partners the Biocom Institute and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) have been awarded an i6 Challenge grant of nearly $500,000 to fund LABioStart, a boot camp to train emerging bioscience entrepreneurs in the region and prepare them to launch bioscience startup companies. The award is part of the Department of Commerce Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program, which helps communities create the building blocks that foster economic development through new technologies and job creation.

In addition to the flagship LABioStart boot camp, the grant will support ancillary programs to promote bioscience innovation and facilitate networking in the Los Angeles area. The programs will leverage the distinct strengths of the three primary partner organizations (Cal State LA, Biocom Institute and LACI) and will engage local governments and additional partners to develop suites of training modules in business fundamentals, leadership skills and bioscience-specific business competencies. Using these modules and leveraging a team of seasoned subject matter experts and mentors, LABioStart will train five cohorts of emerging bioscience entrepreneurs during the three-year funding period, with the first boot camp planned for summer 2017. Each cohort of boot camp participants will learn from and interact with experts and mentors during four weeks of intensive training in areas including: business formation, human resources, financing, intellectual property, visioning and strategic planning, interpersonal and communication skills, research and development process, and regulatory affairs and manufacturing.

In addition to its boot camp, LABioStart, in collaboration with a long list of additional partners, will host a series of innovation showcases and bioscience networking events for regional entrepreneurs, experts, investors and other stakeholders to strengthen the bioscience innovation and collaboration ecosystem in greater Los Angeles. Additional partners include: the County of Los Angeles, the City of Los Angeles, LA BioMed, the Pasadena Bioscience Collaborative (PBC), Cal Poly Pomona, Caltech, UCLA, USC, City of Hope, LA Bioscience Hub, LabLaunch, Biotech Connection LA, Grifols Biologicals, Molecular GPS, Inc., C3 Jian, Inc., Hatch, and Synova Life Sciences, Inc.

“With this grant, LABioStart will help build the human capital for Los Angeles to create the bioscience industry jobs that will drive long-term economic growth,” said Cal State LA Executive Vice President Jose A. Gomez, who chairs the LA BioSpace Advisory Board. “Cal State LA is proud to join our government and private sector partners in this drive to spur innovation, opportunity and economic development for the communities we serve.”

“With our new Biocom L.A. office now well-established, we have exceptional resources to devote to this initiative,” said Liisa Bozinovic, executive director of the Biocom Institute. “According to feedback from local stakeholders, efforts to support the Los Angeles entrepreneurial community in the life sciences are welcome and needed. This is the first of several efforts for us to partner with local groups to support workforce development, entrepreneur education and STEM, all of which are needed to support the growing life sciences cluster in L.A.”

Said Cal State LA biology professor Howard Xu, who directs the planning and development of the University's LA BioSpace incubator: “This is a great example of the region’s bioscience stakeholders working in harmony. Cal State LA is extremely grateful to have nearly 20 partners from government, colleges and universities, bioscience companies and other incubator operators in the area.”

LABioStart is a county-wide collaborative effort to address the severe shortage of bioscience executives and managers. It will elevate the capabilities of bioscience entrepreneurs whose startup companies will join local bioscience incubators, such as PBC, LabLaunch and LA BioSpace. LA BioSpace is under construction and expected to open during the 2017-18 academic year. It is part of an ambitious regional bioscience industry strategy spearheaded by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Substantial support for the construction of the LA BioSpace incubator has come from the County Board of Supervisors, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and the National Rongxiang Xu Foundation.

For further information about the LABioStart project and its programs, send your inquiries to [email protected] and/or call 323-343-2188.

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California State University, Los Angeles is ranked number one in the nation based on the upward mobility of its students. Founded in 1947, Cal State LA is the premier public comprehensive university in the heart of Los Angeles and is dedicated to the mission of engagement, service, and the public good. The University serves more than 27,000 students and more than 247,000 distinguished alumni, who are as diverse as the region we serve. Led by an award-winning faculty, the University offers nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and the humanities. Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit


Biocom Institute was founded in 2008 as the non-profit workforce development and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) arm of Biocom, the largest, most experienced leader and advocate for California’s life science sector. Biocom works on behalf of more than 825 members to drive public policy, build an enviable network of industry leaders, create access to capital, introduce cutting-edge STEM education programs, and create robust value-driven purchasing programs.

Founded in 1995 in San Diego, Biocom provides the strongest public voice to research institutions and companies that fuel the local and state-wide economy. Our goal is simple: to help our members produce novel solutions that improve the human condition. In addition to its San Diego headquarters, Biocom has continuous staff presence in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Washington, D.C. and Tokyo. Our broad membership benefits apply to biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, genomics and diagnostics companies of all sizes, as well as to research universities and institutes, clinical research organizations, investors and service providers. Connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter (@BIOCOMCA).


The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is a private non-profit organization helping to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies by offering flexible office space, CEO coaching, mentoring, and access to a robust network of partnerships and capital. LACI was founded in 2011 as a cluster-driven economic development initiative supported by the City of Los Angeles, LADWP and the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles. Recognized as one of the most innovative business incubators in the world by UBI, LACI identifies local entrepreneurs across multiple cleantech business sectors and guides them to market, creating jobs that advance LA’s green economy. In just five years, LACI has helped 64 companies raise $118M in funding, created 1,200 jobs, and delivered more than $270M in long term economic value for the City of Los Angeles. LACI operates out of the La Kretz Innovation Campus with satellite offices in Northridge, CA and Silicon Valley and is the organizer of GloSho and founder of the Network for Global Innovation NGIN. For additional information, please visit: