create / 2015

Lets Create Innovation Space for LA Biotech

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Lab Launch

Our goal, and our vision for the Los Angeles of 2050 is a vibrant network of affordable, accessible biotech incubators across the LA metro region, where life science innovators from any background can access the facilities and equipment they need to move their ideas forward. At LabLaunch-Monrovia, we will provide high-quality laboratory space, state-of-the-art shared equipment, and a supportive innovation community, giving biotech startups a place to take root in Los Angeles.


In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • San Gabriel Valley
  • Monrovia; Monrovia USD; LA County; City of LA

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

  • Conduct research
  • Engage residents and stakeholders
  • Implement a pilot or new project
  • Expand a pilot or a program

How will your proposal improve the following “Create” metrics?

  • Concentration of manufacturing activity in LA
  • Federal research grant funding
  • Patents per capital
  • Jobs per capita
  • Minority- and women-owned firms
  • Number of high growth startups
  • Venture capital investment
  • Measures of cultural and global economic influence (“soft power”) (Dream Metric)
  • Recruiting and retention rates for local higher education institutions (Dream Metric)
  • Percentage of graduates from local higher education institutions that remain in LA County 5 years after graduating (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to create.

Los Angeles is home to several world-class research universities, and thousands of talented young scientists. However, there is little entry-level business incubation space for biotech startups, and the few incubator facilities that exist for more mature, growth-stage companies are consistently at or near full capacity. As a result, many scientists and inventors from Los Angeles are moving to other areas that are perceived as more supportive, such as San Francisco and San Diego, to start their biotech businesses.

Life science technologies are predicted to be among the leading growth industries of the 21st Century. Innovations in healthcare are leading the way to future generations of drugs and healthcare products that will treat illnesses earlier and more effectively, prolonging and increasing the quality of human health. New advances in bioenergy and biosynthesis promise to allow our society to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels by producing energy, pharmaceuticals, and other products without relying on chemical feedstocks. Biotechnology represents the best technological hope we have to effectively feed the 7 billion-plus people on Earth, and the larger generations to come. Los Angeles is also home to leaders in the new commercial space age – if they are to be successful in creating long-term human occupation of outer space, they will need many new life science technologies to be developed to keep humans fed, healthy, and safe for long periods away from the Earth.

Creating an open, affordable space in Los Angeles for life science startups, along with business support and access to investors and advisors, is essential to reverse the current trend of young companies moving to San Francisco or San Diego to found their businesses. Our facility at LabLaunch-Monrovia will allow research discoveries from Los Angeles’ universities to stay in LA, grow into successful businesses, employ staff from the LA area, and lay down a strong foundation for the economy of the 21st Century.

By 2050, some of the early startups that were supported by our incubator will have grown into large, successful businesses, employing thousands of people across Los Angeles. The founders of these successful companies will become the next generation of investors, as they use the profits from their success to invest capital into new innovations. Through this new community, we will be able to anchor a self-perpetuating cycle of success and innovation in biotechnology for LA.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

Our mission is focused on creating an environment that will foster the creation of high-growth startup businesses. Our metrics of success will therefore be focused on the number and success of our startup tenants, and the number of jobs they create in Los Angeles. Specifically, we aim to collect and measure the following metrics to evaluate our success:

-Number of startups launched -Number of LA area jobs created by a) our facility b) our tenant startups -Total private investment in a) our facility b) our tenant startups -Total public funding (i.e. state/federal research grants) in a) our facility b) our tenant startups -Public valuation of companies that have graduated from our incubator

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)
  • Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)
  • Community outreach