WHAT OUR FAST COMPANIES ARE SAYING
We treated the program as a first experience with a Board of Directors. It was always my intention that each meeting I would walk in to discuss the most difficult situations facing us each week. Literally anything. We always wanted sound, honest feedback and that feedback was achieved, and then some. The back and forth ideas and new direction was both exciting and phenomenal each time.
Mark Kline, X-Therma, Spring 2017
The FAST program was an excellent resource of motivated and helpful advisers that helped us with issues from drug development issues, fundraising strategy, pharma partnerships, GLP compliance, and hiring strategies. Many are maintaining their relationship with the team offline and continue to help us move forward.
Maria Soloveychik, SyntheX, Fall 2016
I really found it useful how tailored the program was for each participant. As we all know, companies see many different obstacles along the way and having the right help at the right time is crucial for expedient progress. Having a premeeting to discuss needs before enrolling the advisors is a very smart way to accomplish this.
Donnie McCarthy, Empire Biotechnologies, Fall 2016
The FAST program gave us a big boost at a transitional point in our company’s evolution. 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. In addition to the many intangible benefits of being in the program, we were also introduced to our first large customer and several prospective hires through introductions made by our FAST advisory board.
Kelly Gardner, Zephyrus Biosciences, Spring 2014
Any startup company that is interested in building a comprehensive business plan, receiving mentorship and advice from high level professionals, expanding its network and/or becoming part of a top tier entrepreneurial community should strive to become part of the FAST program. This is a program sponsored and led by groups dedicated to continuing the spirit and success of innovation that are part of the Bay Area tradition.
Colleen Cutcliffe, Whole Biome, Spring 2014
Participating in the BayBio FAST program was highly valuable to our start-up. BayBio does an excellent job with connecting entrepreneurs to resources including start-up space, discounted purchasing groups and most importantly – to people. The advisors I was connected with had decades of relevant experience and were able to provide me with actionable feedback on challenges I was dealing with in real time. Their guidance directly impacted our market research strategies, clinical trial plans and our value proposition story. Thank you BayBio FAST!
Kate Garrett, Ciel Medical, Spring 2014
Sandstone was honored and privileged to be selected for the inaugural FAST program in the fall of 2013. The program timing was perfect for our early-stage company and brought enormous value to our company’s direction and management team. Steve and his team compiled a phenomenal group of mentors with deep experience in our area. We came out of the program with tremendous corporate focus, an extensive network of new connections, and we were ready to hit the fundraising trail. Our FAST participation led directly to Series A investment from a consortium of investors, and brought in several partners and advisors with whom we are still working closely. I highly recommend the FAST program to any early stage companies and CEOs interested in growing their business and learning valuable skills from the best in the business.
Greg Sommer, Sandstone Diagnostics, Fall 2013
The BayBio FAST program was a great help to Glialogix in multiple ways. First, it is a terrific way to connect to a large group of talented individuals that share the same passion for biotechnology as you do. Second, the FAST program was instrumental in us meeting high quality advisors, several that are now formally associated with the company. Lastly, the structure of the program and the constructive dialogue between the entrepreneur and the advisers really allowed us to walk through our whole value proposition- to find out where our company had weak points and how we could correct them. I would recommend the BayBio FAST program to any biotechnology entrepreneur.
Thadd Reeder, Glialogix, Fall 2013
BayBio’s FAST program provided a strong network and great forum for us to receive guidance from a diverse team of experienced mentors tailored to the specific issues we were facing. The mentors were able to offer us tactical advice on partnerships we were navigating, as well as a depth of longer-term strategic advice about the business model and the customer segments we were targeting. It was certainly a unique opportunity that has had an indelible impact on our thinking about our business and our future development plans.
Brian Feth, Xcell Biosciences, Fall 2013
WHAT OUR ADVISORS ARE SAYING
The FAST program provides a supportive forum to pressure test your ideas and business assumptions with a ready-made advisory board of industry veterans. What price would you put on the opportunity to be asked hard questions that you could expect from VC’s or corporate partners in a risk-free, supportive environment? FAST is a low cost/high reward opportunity to give back to the biotechnology community through bringing your own experiences to entrepreneurs bringing new and meaningful therapies to the market.
Richard Wilson, Director of Corporate Partnerships, Innoviva
Participating companies get access to the real world experience of advisors who have been through various aspects of the startup process. Interactions take place in an informal setting where no question is a “stupid” one. Advisors benefit from the experience of others in a way that does not typically happen in the context of business dealings. We also get to see the perspective of the participating companies which is very important in the rapidly changing dynamic of today’s business environment.
Linda Judge, Counsel, Sand Hill Angels
Being an Advisor has been an enriching experience. Being part of such a high caliber, professional team working with talented early -stage companies is a truly unique experience. BayBio’s very thoughtful matching of entrepreneur business needs and advisor expertise creates strong focus on specific business challenges faced by businesses today. The opportunity to discuss differing approaches and solutions around the start-up generates a rich learning environment for all involved. I have made time to participate in two FAST programs and plan to do so again.
June Fallon, Sand Hill Angels
The chance to work with high quality, high-growth companies and talented colleagues in a relatively low-touch way was very satisfying. I would highly recommend it as a way to give back to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, sharpen business-building skills, and build relationships/network.
Jenny Rooke, Life Sciences Investor, Venture Partner, Fidelity Biosciences
BayBio’s FAST program is the perfect model for entrepreneurial development and advocacy. Through rigorous mentoring sessions, seasoned professionals impart important experiences and contacts to a new generation of entrepreneurs and in doing so, strengthen the Bay Area’s life science community. Being a FAST advisor was an extraordinary experience and I definitely gained as much as I gave.
Stephanie Diaz, President & CEO, Vida Strategic Partners, Inc.
The startup participants were driven, passionate entrepreneurs, mostly with technical backgrounds. Their feedback indicated that they greatly benefited from advisor input, directed to both long-term value creation and immediate needs, especially in areas where they had less experience. Helping to build such “commercial sensibility” in these entrepreneurs builds not only their current enterprises but also the entire Bay Area biotech ecosystem, which stands to benefit from a deeper bench of savvy entrepreneurs with the wherewithal to launch successful companies.
Tito Serafini, CEO Atreca, Inc.
As an independent patent agent and as mentor for the UCSF Idea to IPO and the BayBio FAST programs, I have had the pleasure of supporting several start-ups and early phase companies. Almost always I am impressed with the creativity and drive these mostly young entrepreneurs demonstrate. At the same time it is clear that the guidance of more senior advisors with respect to strategic planning, clinical-regulatory strategies, commercialization and generally setting up the company for ultimate success is indispensable. The FAST approach of a high-intensity coaching program by a multi-disciplinary team of experts provides, in my opinion, enormous added value to the companies in the program.
Wouter Roorda, Ph.D., Principal, IP Pipeline
In addition to having fun as an advisor, I was impressed by the great progress made by both companies in the short period of time. They put their best foot forward and we helped them take some giant steps forward. They “drank from the fire hose” effectively – as reflected by their superb presentations last month. From my perspective, BayBio’s FAST program advanced 5 startups significantly – a good thing for Bay area biotech and for potential investors and acquirers.
MJ Whitehouse, Founder, JumpStart BioDevelopment
I have been an advisor for the FAST program since last year and worked with two promising young start ups doing anything from fundraising, putting together pitch decks to identifying business/IP strategies. I’ve greatly enjoyed working with the CEOs, their management teams and other FAST advisors. I believe the FAST program constitutes an important component of the SF Bay Area biotech ecosystem by offering local support and mentorship for entrepreneurs. We as a biotech community will all benefit from the continuous success of FAST.”
Michelle Chen, CBO, DNAtrix Inc.
I think it is a great program and has gotten off to a very good start. I would advise colleagues to participate. This program may help keep the Bay Area a vibrant center of startups and small biotech companies.
Julie Taylor, CMC Consultant
The program is a great match between the interests of advisors with needs of companies. Challenges faced by companies are problems that advisors find interesting and difficult. Advisors also benefit from experience of the other advisors—there’s plenty of learning going on.
Dave Nelleson, VP, Analysis Group