The U.S. Department of Commerce granted nearly $500,000 to California State University, Los Angeles and its partners, the Biocom Institute and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, to fund the creation of a bootcamp for bioscientists in the region.

The bootcamp, called LABioStart, will prepare participants to launch bioscience start-up companies. The companies will go through four weeks of intensive training, in areas including financing, manufacturing, and business formation.

Liisa Bozinovic, executive director of the Biocom Institute, said a report done by the Batelle Memorial Institute found that Los Angeles had entrepreneurial deficiencies for bioscience companies, including a lack of early stage venture capital and commercialization services. She added LABioStart is part of a county wide effort to develop the Los Angeles-area bioscience industry.

“When you are scientist you may have an incredible innovation or idea, but you may not have the business skills to transform that idea into a business,” Bozinovic said. “We are going to provide the support and foundation so that these scientists can receive the skills necessary to make those ideas into a business reality.”

Executive Vice President at California State University, Los Angeles, Jose A. Gomez, said participants will be selected through an open application process. A team of twelve industry experts, who will be mentoring and training the participants, will help to choose twelve people to participate in each bootcamp.

The award came from the i6 competition within the Department of Commerce Regional Innovation Strategies program. The competition is a national initiative that supports the creation of programs that provide assistance to innovators and entrepreneurs, and that increase the commercialization of innovations, ideas, intellectual property and research into viable companies.

LABioStart will train five groups over its three year funding period, with the first bootcamp planned for summer 2017.

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