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create / 2020

Expanding High-Growth Inclusive Bioentrepreneurship

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Cal State L.A. University Auxiliary Services, Inc.

LA BioSpace, a Cal State LA initiative, provides entrepreneurs with state-of-the-art facilities and resources to launch startups and spur regional economic development. LA BioStart, a signature program of LA BioSpace, has trained and mentored more than 100 culturally diverse bioentrepreneurs over the last 3 years. LA BioSpace is looking to create a dedicated workspace for LA BioStart, including 2 state-of-the-art conferencing facilities, maximizing the cross-pollination of ideas and allows LA BioStart to reach bioentrepreneurs across LA County.

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

  • County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

  • Biocom Institute
  • Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)
  • City of Los Angeles
  • LA Bioscience Hub
  • County of Los Angeles
  • CSU
  • East Los Angeles College

If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.

Biocom Institute and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator will work with LA BioSpace to help train and educate the LA BioStart Fellows, with Leadership and Business Fundamentals Suites of the training program, respectively. LA Bioscience Hub and Biocom will help promote our program to entrepreneurs in the Los Angeles region. The City and County of Los Angeles have provided significant support to LA BioSpace construction and programming in the past and will continue as partners going forward. We will work with our neighboring Cal State University campuses (i.e., Northridge, Long Beach, Pomona, and Dominguez Hills) and community college partners (East Los Angeles College and Pasadena City College) to encourage their students to participate in the LA BioStart program.

What is the need you’re responding to?

LA BioSpace is located at Cal State LA on the east side of Los Angeles and serves culturally diverse bioentrepreneurs who typically lack access to the resources and networks of biotech centers like Boston and San Francisco. Of the more than 27,000 students attending the university, about two-thirds are Latinx and 60% are the first in their families to attend college. LA BioSpace will provide these students and the broader community the necessary space, technology, and network of scientific and business experts to be competitive with these other biotech hubs.

Bioentrepreneurship needs to be democratized and accessible to the culturally and economically diverse people of Los Angeles County. For the 2021 cohort, LA BioStart will address this need with focused training and mentoring of approximately 20 entrepreneurs. The LA 2050 award would provide LA BioSpace the necessary resources to help scale LA BioStart and make it accessible across LA County.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?

Cal State LA was selected by the Coalition of Urban & Metropolitan Universities to uplift the economies of communities across the nation. We are committed to fostering a thriving and progressive region through meaningful community partnerships and initiatives. LA BioSpace encourages inclusive entrepreneurial programs that impact Cal State LA and our broader community of minority and female entrepreneurs. This commitment is further evidenced by the high diversity represented within LA BioStart’s previous 5 cohorts of entrepreneurs.

LA BioSpace wants to extend inclusive entrepreneurship to reach scientists and entrepreneurs throughout LA County. We know how to build life science companies and communicate this to the Fellows within the LA BioStart program. This project enables LA BioSpace and LA BioStart to increase their ability to communicate and collaborate with a much larger group of entrepreneurs, creating more high-growth startups and economic development within LA County.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?

Direct impact
Indirect impact

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

LA BioSpace wants to democratize access to training and mentorship for bioentrepreneurship for the culturally and economically diverse County of Los Angeles. In so doing, we support more entrepreneurs that create high-growth startups that lead to increased venture capital investment, intellectually property, and high-paying jobs for the region. The development of state-of-the-art conferencing centers within LA BioSpace provides a mechanism to bring the much-needed life science technical and business expertise to the East Los Angeles region, virtually. Experts from the major world biotech hubs such as Boston and San Francisco can train and mentor our local startups, making entrepreneurship truly inclusive.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

Goals for the project:

  1. Goal 1 – develop two conferencing centers within LA BioSpace to facilitate communication and collaboration with our partners in LA County and other biotech hubs, worldwide
  2. Goal 2 – support LA BioStart’s goal of increasing inclusive innovation within LA County

Measuring success for Goal 1:

  • Centralization of LA BioStart – 90% of LA BioStart activities such as business creation, financing, and intellectual property development will be conducted at LA BioSpace
  • Improved collaboration – improvement in collaboration across geographically distributed partners is measured by 1) surveying collaborators and 2) measuring communication (e.g., emails, Zoom meetings) across regions

Measuring success for Goal 2:

  • LA BioStart participation – the next cohort will include approximately 20 bioentrepreneurs, with approximately 2000 participating, virtually
  • Company creation – approximately 10 newly incorporated high-growth startups will join the next cohort, with another 40 LA County-based companies participating, virtually
  • Jobs – an estimated 100 new jobs will be created by LA BioStart companies (within 12-24 months post-program participation)
  • Intellectual property – approximately 20 new patent provisional applications will be filed by LA BioStart companies (within 12 months post-program participation)
  • Venture capital & grant funding – an estimated $10MM of venture capital financing and grants will be raised by LA BioStart companies (within 12 -24 months post-program participation)

Which of the create metrics will your submission impact?​

  • Jobs per capita
  • Minority- and women-owned businesses
  • High-growth startups

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?

  • LA is the best place to LEARN

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?

  • Access to the LA2050 community
  • Communications support
  • Other funding partnerships