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HomeEducationLabCentral Ignite Launches Fourth Annual Golden Ticket Contest

LabCentral Ignite Launches Fourth Annual Golden Ticket Contest

Six Ignite Golden Tickets offer opportunity for underrepresented biotech entrepreneurs and scientists to benefit from LabCentral’s lab space, shared resources and community

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 30, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — LabCentral Ignite, a platform dedicated to advancing racial, gender and other representation and opportunity within the life sciences field, recently launched its fourth annual Ignite Golden Ticket contest. This program was designed to support diverse, underrepresented biotech entrepreneurs who are using innovative science to solve problems for human health.

LabCentral Ignite Golden Tickets offer winners a $50,000 credit towards space available at LabCentral’s flagship site in Kendall Square for use within 13 months of the award, one year of advisory support, a $13,000 cash prize, a $15,000 credit toward LabCentral expenses and a $1,000 conference stipend. Interested entrepreneurs and scientists can visit LabCentral Ignite Golden Tickets for a program overview, eligibility rules, and to apply.

Thanks to the support from sponsors Bayer, Bristol Myers Squibb, EisnerAmper, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Pfizer, Silicon Valley Bank, a division of First Citizens Bank, Takeda and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, LabCentral Ignite will award six Ignite Golden Tickets this year, three to companies with a founder who identifies as a woman and three to companies with a founder that identifies as Black, Latinx, indigenous, or other person of color. LabCentral Ignite adjusted the number of Ignite Golden Tickets that will be awarded this year from eight to six to extend the program offerings and provide enhanced support to the recipients.

“With this year’s Golden Ticket program, we look forward to increasing the impact of the awards and expanding the resources available to the winners with new mentorship programs, educational workshops, specialized tools and expanded networking,” said Johannes Fruehauf, president and co-founder of LabCentral. “We continue to enhance the program’s ability to support our diverse Golden Ticket Fellows by meeting their present needs as they work to positively impact human health in the future.”

As part of LabCentral 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 for promising entrepreneurs that have historically faced roadblocks to entering the life sciences industry. By expanding program offerings and services, such as mentorship programs, educational workshops and access to specialized tools and networks, LabCentral Ignite aims to foster greater success and development among its Ignite Golden Ticket Fellows. Since the inception of the Ignite Golden Ticket program in 2021, winners have raised more than $16 million in subsequent financing.

“Bristol Myers Squibb is enthusiastic to once again support the LabCentral Ignite Golden Ticket program in providing opportunities for underrepresented groups in the life sciences,” said Emma Lees, Senior Vice President, Oncology Discovery and Cambridge site head for Bristol Myers Squibb. “Fostering avenues to provide equitable access to our industry is essential to building inclusive and diverse scientific teams who are empowered to drive the discovery and development of innovative new medicines for patients.”

“Takeda is delighted to return as a LabCentral Ignite Golden Ticket sponsor and support this vibrant community of entrepreneurs and scientists,” said Alison Handley, Head of Center for External Innovation for Takeda. “Diverse perspectives that underrepresented groups in the life sciences bring reflect the perspectives of the patients who rely on novel treatments they are developing, and we recognize the value of building a more inclusive and equitable environment.”

“At SVB, we are committed to fueling the innovation economy with powerful banking solutions and services that propel high-growth companies,” said Anton Xavier, Director of Life Science & Health Care Startup Banking at Silicon Valley Bank, a division of First Citizens Bank. “We are proud to sponsor LabCentral’s Ignite Golden Tickets, which underscore our mission of supporting diverse life sciences entrepreneurs pioneering novel scientific breakthroughs to thrive, accelerate their business and shape the future of healthcare.”

The application process opened on May 21, 2024, and the deadline to apply is June 30, 2024. As with all LabCentral Golden Tickets, candidates will be evaluated 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 on September 24 where the six winning companies will be awarded LabCentral Ignite 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.

About LabCentral
A private, non-profit institution, LabCentral is a launchpad for high potential life-sciences and biotech startups with 243,000 square feet of space across Kendall Square in Cambridge, Mass., and the Harvard University campus. Founded in 2013, LabCentral offers a full complement of programming and networking to life sciences entrepreneurs in addition to fully permitted laboratory and office space for early-stage and growing life sciences companies. More information is available at www.labcentral.org.

SOURCE LabCentral

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/labcentral-ignite-launches-fourth-annual-golden-ticket-contest-302159784.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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