LabCentral Launches Second Annual LabCentral Ignite Golden Ticket Contest
Offers opportunity for underrepresented biotech entrepreneurs to benefit from LabCentral’s lab space, shared resources and community
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 21, 2022— LabCentral, with support from Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) and Mission BioCapital, today announced the launch of its second annual LabCentral Ignite Golden Ticket contest, designed to support diverse, underrepresented biotech entrepreneurs who are using innovative science to solve problems for human health. This year, the program will award four LabCentral Ignite Golden Tickets, two to companies with a founder who identifies as a woman and two to companies with a founder who identifies as Black, Latinx, Indigenous or other person of color. Winners receive one year of advisory support and a seat at LabCentral’s shared lab space in Cambridge.
“Pfizer is proud to sponsor the LabCentral Ignite program as part of our commitment to supporting the work of entrepreneurs who identify as underrepresented in STEM,” said Charlotte Allerton, head of medicine design and site scientific director for Pfizer Kendall Square. “Programs like Ignite, which provide dedicated resources to help talented women and people of color advance promising science, are emblematic of the intentional effort required to help diversify our industry.”
“Bristol Myers Squibb is honored to support and partner with LabCentral for this year’s Ignite Golden Ticket contest by donating our two tickets to LabCentral Ignite,” said Emma Lees, senior vice president, mechanisms of cancer resistance thematic research center for Bristol Myers Squibb in Cambridge. “Forging meaningful partnerships in the life sciences field is essential as we collectively work to empower underrepresented groups and foster an inclusive environment to enhance innovation and scientific discovery.”
Jennifer E. Griffin, Ph.D. and partner at Mission BioCapital, said, “Our firm has always believed that anyone with a great idea can be an entrepreneur if given the right resources. LabCentral is a dynamic platform where entrepreneurship is an exhilarating and full contact sport. We couldn’t be prouder to support LabCentral Ignite’s efforts to also make it an inclusive one by addressing the issues keeping some on the sidelines.”
As part of Ignite’s mission to address systemic racial and gender underrepresentation in the life sciences, the LabCentral Ignite Golden Tickets and the accompanying fellowship program provide access to LabCentral’s extensive network, resources and support to promising entrepreneurs that have historically faced roadblocks to entering the life sciences industry.
“Entrepreneurship is so critical to life sciences innovation. Our Ignite Golden Tickets contest underscores the dedication we and our sponsors have to uplifting innovators who have often been overlooked or excluded from pivotal connections, advice and lab space in which to focus on the next groundbreaking discoveries that’ll enhance our quality of life,” said Gretchen Cook Anderson, executive director of LabCentral Ignite.
As with all LabCentral Golden Tickets, candidates will be reviewed based on the quality and potential impact of their science along with other standard selection criteria. A select number of finalists will receive access to coaching and will be invited to present at a pitch event in September during Global Biotech Week, which draws industry professionals and investors to life sciences events around the world. Following the pitch contest, the four winning companies will be awarded Ignite Golden Tickets.
For more information, please visit: https://labcentralignite.org/golden-tickets.
About LabCentral Ignite
The growing Ignite platform is dedicated to developing equity, inclusion, and opportunity within the life sciences field. Through a range of equity-driven programs and a growing member network of industry, startups, higher education, and nonprofits, Ignite connects underrepresented students, talent and innovators to academic, technical skills-building, mentoring, job placement, and board and leadership preparation opportunities that fuel biotech diversity and inclusively transform careers. More information is available at www.labcentralignite.org
A private, non-profit institution, LabCentral was founded in 2013 as a launchpad for high potential life-sciences and biotech startups. Operating a total of 225,000 square-feet in the heart of Kendall Square in Cambridge, Mass., LabCentral offers fully permitted laboratory and office space for as many as 100 startups comprising approximately 1,000 scientists and entrepreneurs. More information is available at www.labcentral.org.