Aug. 23, 2022

Building the Bay Area Life Sciences Startup Ecosystem

Building the Bay Area Life Sciences Startup Ecosystem

Regis Kelly and Doug Crawford have been instrumental in building the Bay Area life sciences startup ecosystem over the past two decades. They continue to grow this ecosystem, making it easier for aspiring founders to translate their research to...


Regis Kelly and Doug Crawford have been instrumental in building the Bay Area life sciences startup ecosystem over the past two decades. They continue to grow this ecosystem, making it easier for aspiring founders to translate their research to products at startups.

In this episode of Lab to Startup, we talk about the story behind building QB3 that started over two decades ago; the challenges they had to overcome; the evolution of academia and biotech startups from 1970’s to the current day; macroeconomic conditions that are shaping the funding and growth of this sector; government policies; lessons learnt from the Massachusetts biotech ecosystem; evolution of new research centers like the Arc Institute, Altos and others; and finally discuss ways to move more technologies out of academia to benefit the society.

Shownotes:
- Story of how Reg and Doug started working together
- Story of how QB3 was built
- Story of not believing in productizing university research to becoming champions of building startups
- Concerns about curiosity driven research vs translational research
- Herb Boyer and Bob Swanson founding Genentech
- Changing markets and influence on biotech
- Conversations around alternative research institutions like Altos Labs and Arcadia
- Progress of academic entrepreneurship
- You need public support to build startup ecosystems, especially in the biotech space
- Credit card is a sufficient source of capital to start a biotech startup
- Better interface between academia and business
-  Ideas to getting technologies out of academic labs
- Ways big pharma and biotech are working with startups
- Need for looking beyond cancer
- Workforce development to support biotech startup ecosystems
- Lack of role models
- Lessons learnt from Massachusetts biotech ecosystem
- Addressing the lack of diversity in the botech space
- Flexible space has been hugely beneficial in building biotech startups
- Academic vs non-academic leaders leading startups ecosystems