CLS FASTFAST California provides founders of disruptive innovative life science technology companies with a customized advisory program to perfect their business models, assess strategic focus, maximize IP and help develop a milestone and scale-up plan to exit. A group of curated advisors, each with deep domain expertise, will work with them over twelve weeks to build a compelling commercialization strategy and prepare them for an Innovation Showcase to a curated audience of potential investors and collaboration partners. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. To apply, click here.

About the Program

A state-wide program FAST California provides founders of disruptive innovative life science technology companies with a customized advisory program to perfect their business models, assess strategic focus, maximize IP and help develop a milestone and scale-up plan to exit.

Tailored, expert guidance A group of curated advisors, each with deep domain expertise, will work with them over twelve weeks to build a compelling commercialization strategy and prepare them to pitch to potential investors and collaboration partners.

Specialist deep dives In addition to mentorship, positioning for capital resources include live and on-demand workshops focused roadshow prep, pitch development, term sheet negotiation, due diligence, and other best practices to close the deal on a Seed or Series A round with venture capital funds and/or angel investors. CLS has partnered with industry leaders who can offer practical tips to set up a successful funding round and strategy.

Key Benefits

No cost + equity free support

8-12 hours of customized guidance with seasoned experts

Mentorship and training

Exclusive discounts to industry leading partnering and investors events

Founder network and peer-to-peer engagement

One-year complimentary CLS membership

FAST program photos

Application Criteria

✔️ <12 employees
✔️ Raised less than $5 million
✔️ Precommercial
✔️ Developing highly innovative and transformative products

Key Dates

November 29, 2024
Applications Open

January 6, 2024
Applications Close

March, 2024
Spring 2024 Cohort Announced

March 26, 2024
I&E Office Hours
Shikha Sharma, Senior Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
To Schedule email: [email protected] or call 510 384 9108

June 25, 2024
Innovation Showcase (Pitch Day)

June 25, 2024
Innovation Showcase (Pitch Day)

FAST Testimonials

Xiretsa“The diversity of our FAST advisors’ domain expertise allowed our small team to work through multiple obstacles and opportunities, from technical to legal. Their advice was instrumental in preparing ourselves for external meetings regarding intellectual property and strategic partnerships.” (Alex Moreland, Phd, Xiresta)

Catena Biosciences“The FAST program set our team up with a world class advisory team that exploded our growth through robust discussion and an amazing network of connections that we were able to leverage. The opportunity to discuss strategy and development decisions with industry veterans was crucial for our team which came from mostly academic backgrounds. We have grown so much as a company thanks to the FAST program!” (Marco Lobba, PhD, Catena Biosciences)

Our Impact

FAST Advisor Community

Our advisor community is a great way to network with likeminded individuals. If you are interested in an advisor or mentor role to work with start-ups or have specific domain expertise to help them, please complete our intake form to help us understand your area of expertise and interest. We tap into our advisor community using the information you provide and will reach out if there is a company that could use your expertise.

Apply to be a FAST Advisor

FAST Track Partners

Servier Discovery Award:  Companies and academia who are developing innovative therapeutic approaches in the following disease areas of oncology; auto-immune diseases; and genetically driven neurodegenerative and movement disorders are encouraged applied for the new Servier Discovery Award. The winner will be selected to participate in the CLS FAST Fall cohort—a program that matches entrepreneurs with a custom team of advisors for intensive team review.

FAST MedTechColor Track: CLS supports the MedTech Color Pitch Competition which sends select winners of both through the FAST program—growing the pool of diverse life sciences startups in the FAST community.

WIB-FAST Advisory Track: The WIB-FAST track is open to early-stage female (co-)founders of pre-revenue life sciences companies who are developing highly innovative technologies that will have a meaningful impact on human or environmental health. WIB-FAST is designed to help women entrepreneurs who seek advising on raising capital (Angel, Seed or Series A), commercialization or business plans, and legal or scientific strategy.

Interested in Learning More?

Shikha Sharma, PhD
Senior Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
[email protected]
510 384 9108