California Life Sciences to Support MedTechColor: Championing Persons of Color Who Are Making Meaningful Contributions to the Life Sciences Ecosystem


California Life Sciences (CLS), has partnered with MedTech Color, a non-profit organization with a mission to advance the representation of persons of color in the medtech industry. Last spring, CLS supported the 2021 Annual MedTech Color (MTC) Virtual Pitch Competition, aimed to celebrate innovative ideas from early-stage start-up companies who have raised less than one million dollars – bringing their founders not only direct funding, but mentorship from medtech industry leaders.

Ten finalists, Advanced Surgical Retractor Systems, Inc., Alva Health, Inc., DiaM Life, Inc., Disati Medical, Guardian Lane, Inc., LENA, NewGait, Respira Labs, Sayenza Biosciences Inc., and Starling Medical Inc., were selected from 82 applications to receive curated masterclasses and workshops from top industry leaders. The winners received a total of $100,000 in non-dilutive funding and in-kind services, mentorship, and more from other MTC partners such as ResMed, Olympus, and Ximedica.

In addition, California Life Sciences has accepted one California entrant from the MTC Pitch Competition to participate in their acclaimed FAST Advisory Program, launching in September.

Dr. Jose Morales, founder of JUAD NextGen NeuroEnd, will receive 12-weeks of customized coaching and intensive team review to perfect his business model and commercialization strategy. He will also present to a distinguished audience of potential investors and collaboration partners at the December FAST Closing Showcase.

“Receiving less than one percent of total venture funding, Black and Brown-led startups and the incredible innovations they bring to the table are often overlooked. Through the MedTech Color Pitch Competition, we took steps to address that disparity by directly funding early-stage startups helmed by Black and Brown leaders,” said Kwame Ulmer, Founder of MedTech Color and Principal at Ulmer Ventures. “Through the partnership with California Life Sciences, we can have an even greater impact on this young, compelling company, and hopefully, many more in the months ahead.”

“We are pleased to make the connection with MedTechColor, which has important ties to innovative medtech companies led by Black and Brown founders,” said Julie Harness, PhD, Sr. Director of Innovation Services at California Life Sciences. “We look forward to bringing more of these founders into the FAST community to connect with the expertise, networks and resources that will help them build successful companies based on their cutting-edge technologies.”

The FAST MedTechColor Track is part of the California Life Sciences’ Racial and Social Equity Initiative, a unified effort to do more for the historically excluded Black, Indigenous and other People of Color (BIPOC) populations in California. #WeCommitToChange.