Innovation and Entrepreneurship

We believe bias, discrimination and social inequities unjustly impact many facets of our industry, including: (1) our BIPOC populations’ opportunities to launch companies and secure funding, and (2) entrepreneurs’ abilities to create and fund solutions that meet our under-served populations’ needs.

California Life Sciences, on behalf of our members, will:

  • Partner with J&J Innovation, and other partners, to deliver and fund a QuickFire Challenge for California, which will award up to $300,000 and mentorship for up to six (6) California-based entrepreneurs; three (3) that represent under-represented innovators and three (3) with solutions for under-served patient populations
  • Secure Investors to join the QuickFire Challenge review board who will commit to match our funding awards for those entrepreneurs
  • Work with California incubators to research, create and adopt a best-practices playbook for inclusiveness to increase diversity of startup founders and early employees from our BIPOC populations
  • Get commitment from portfolio reporting organizations to report, subject to relevant privacy and confidentiality considerations, on the aggregate numbers of funded companies who have founders/executives and/or investors from BIPOC populations

Annual Metrics

  • CLS and J&J Innovation QuickFire Challenge completed, with at least 3 investors with matching commitments
  • Secure commitment of 50%+ of California incubators and accelerators to implement the playbook and increase the diversity of member companies
  • Track YOY the amount of funding awarded to founders from our under-represented populations
  • Track YOY the number of investors from our BIPOC populations

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