Students, Venture Capitalists Launch Equity-Free Program To Support Future Biotech Leaders

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Nucleate, the non-profit organization seeking to support future leaders in the life sciences industry, announced its official launch and immediately opened applications to its Activator program. 

The organization is designed and run by academic trainees looking to empower the creation of new biotechnology companies and expedite the progress of those engaged in high-potential research. Nucleate's goal is to streamline the company formation process so that scientists and founders can get past this administrative hurdle and focus on their life-changing work better. 

"The world is facing global-scale challenges in food, water, climate, and disease. By making company creation easier and open to all, Nucleate is helping to expand the number of people able to tackle these problems head-on," said Reshma Shetty, founder of Ginkgo Bioworks and one of the national advisors to Nucleate, in a statement. 

Along with the launch, Nucleate announced that it is accepting applications to its equity-free, six-month Activator program, which the group has been spearheading out of Harvard University and MIT over the past three years. To date, the program has raised more than $24 million spread across 29 new companies to develop biotech innovations, including drug discovery (Manifold Bio), microbial fertilizer (Ivu Biologics), protein sequencing (Glyphic), and RNA synthesis (EnPlusOne). 

The latest move expands the Activator model on a national scale by launching in 10 regions, such as Baltimore, Bay Area, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, New Haven, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, and the Research Triangle in North Carolina. 

Nucleate is led by more than 190 trainees from top-tier business and scientific programs and is participated in by over 60 institutes and universities. It has a high-profile list of advisors, including Harvard University's George Church and Pamela Silver, RA Capital's Peter Kolchinsky, Polaris Partners' Ellie Mcguire, and Stanford University's Steve Quake, among many others. 

"There's a missing layer between academia and the biotech industry, and potential startup founders are getting left behind. We're launching Nucleate to empower the next generation of biotech leaders. Nucleate supports academic founders from the beginning, so they no longer need to graduate prematurely or lose ownership just to give initial life to their ideas," said Michael Retchin, executive vice president for strategy at Nucleate and a Ph.D. student at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, in a Twitter post

Successful candidates to the Activator program will be equipped with funded fellowships, legal support, and subsidized privileges, including lab automation, reagents, and cloud computing technology to support their companies. Interested applicants can visit the Nucleate website for details.

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