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Bulletin, Institute

Spring 2016 FAST Program is Open for Applications

The California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI) is currently accepting applications for the Spring 2016 Fellows All-Star Team (FAST) Advisory Program, a team-based business advising program that connects qualified startups with the strength and experience of the world’s leading life sciences cluster. Applications close on January 29, 2016.

Open to CLSA Fellows, the FAST Advisory Program provides selected entrepreneurs with intensive team review and coaching to perfect your business model, product development plans, and to build a compelling commercialization strategy. There is no charge to the selected Fellows.

Selected entrepreneurs will be paired with a team of experienced entrepreneurs and product and business development experts (which may include product and clinical development, marketing, communications, corporate law, IP, financial, regulatory, reimbursement and business development specialists), over 12 weekly meetings through the spring, culminating in a final FAST Showcase before a distinguished audience of life science executives, entrepreneurs and investors in late June.

“The opportunity to participate in this program was a lot like joining the military, and the FAST advisors were like my boot camp drill sergeant,” stated Fall 2015 FAST graduate and Valitor CEO, Wesley Jackson, “They tore us down at first, but then put us back together as a more promising, productive, and confident company.” “The FAST program gave us a big boost at a transitional point in our company’s evolution,” stated Kelly Gardner, CEO of Zephyrus Biosciences. “It was invaluable to be able to tap into the diverse wisdom & experience of our advisory board weekly to discuss issues ranging from company culture, intellectual property, hiring, and customer development…. [We] were also introduced to our first large customer and several prospective hires through introductions made by our FAST advisory board.”

The FAST program draws on a high-level team of advisors to provide experience, contacts and counsel to qualified applicants. “The chance to work with high quality, high-growth companies and talented colleagues in a relatively low-touch way was very satisfying,” stated Jenny Rooke, Life Sciences Investor and Venture Partner at Fidelity Biosciences. “I would highly recommend it as a way to give back to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, sharpen business-building skills, and build relationships/network.”

“Our 24 FAST graduates have received over 2400 advisory hours valued at over $610,000, and have raised over $57 million and created 73 new jobs,” reported Steve Karp, Senior Program Advisor for FAST. “One-quarter of our FAST graduates have now entered the commercial arena.” Added CLSI Executive Director, Lori Lindburg “Ninety FAST advisors continue to support the companies with which they worked, a testament to the fact that FAST is only the beginning of enduring valuable relationships.”

FAST is made possible through the generous support of AbbVie, Lilly and Bayer Healthcare. If you would like to learn more about participating in or supporting the FAST program, please contact FAST@califesciences.org.