October 20, 2021 (CAMBRIDGE, MA) – Today, the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio®) announced a relaunch of the organization’s mentorship program to advance breakthrough science and provide opportunities to innovators from all parts of the life science ecosystem. Now called MassBioDrive, this enhanced program is a component of MassBio’s Innovation Services and is designed to provide early-stage entrepreneurs and academics a more robust set of resources, tools, and networks earlier in their growth trajectory to fully realize the potential of their science.
MassBio launched one of the country’s first biotechnology mentorship programs, MassCONNECT, 10 years ago to harness and advance the innovation emanating from Massachusetts’ early-stage companies. Since its inception, the Massachusetts life sciences industry has experienced unprecedented growth, creating a demand for an evolution of the MassCONNECT program. As such, MassBioDrive will serve as a next-generation biotechnology accelerator for entrepreneurs representing the breadth of the industry.
“Massachusetts’ success as the best place of the world for the life sciences has largely been driven by the density of its premier startup economy,” said Kendalle Burlin O’Connell, President & COO, MassBio. “In recognizing the amount of science never making it out of the lab, we established MassCONNECT to accelerate innovation and give some of the world’s most innovative science the best chance to reach patients. However, as we reach a new era of innovation, I am so excited to announce the launch of MassBioDrive to meet the evolving needs of emerging founders, our members, and the industry at large.”
MassBioDrive will host two cohorts each year with the first taking place in Spring 2022. Each cohort will include 3-5 post-tech transfer startups with less than $1 million in funding and require each startup to undergo a rigorous two-step vetting process following the completion of a formal application. Once selected for the eight-week program, the startups will participate in six business-focused curriculum modules taught by seasoned industry experts.
Participating startups in each cohort will receive a small, dedicated group of mentors, networking events throughout the cohort, an end-of-program Demo Day to help grow visibility in the ecosystem, equity-free prizes, and 1:1 partnering meetings at MassBio’s bi-annual Partnering Week. There is no cost to participate in MassBioDrive, nor is any equity taken.
“The life sciences industry in Massachusetts is largely comprised of small and emerging biotechs that are working to solve the world’s most complicated science,” said Gauri Nair, Vice President, Innovation Services. “Taking this science from idea to commercialization is an extraordinary feat and requires an advanced degree of resources and expertise. Innovation is iterative and oftentimes, it takes a village to nurture an idea to become a breakthrough technology. Through MassBioDrive, we aim to foster the connections and develop the avenues necessary for all founders, especially those who do not have equitable access to established tools and resources, to be successful in this industry.”