Biotech Startup in LA Launches Accelerator

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

Biotech Startup in LA Launches Accelerator
Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash

MedTech Innovator, created by Paul Grand, former CEO of a slew of biotech startups, has long been hailed as a successful accelerator that helped bring 74 medical products to market, from implants to prosthetics.

Now, the eight-year-old program has launched BioTools Innovator, a new virtual accelerator for genomics, personal medicine, targeted drug therapy and other life science startups. The program expands the accelerator's focus on medical devices to biotechnology, including platforms and other diagnostic tools that will improve health.


"In a lot of ways, Medtech Innovator is one of the things that's helped Southern California build a reputation as a device hub," said Llewelyn Cox, CEO of Lab Launch. The new program, he said, will help "influence the global industry and vice versa."

On Thursday, it announced its first cohort. The ten startups participating come from all over the U.S., and Zurich.

They include: Kino Discovery, a cancer technology startup from Irvine, Celldom, a genomics platform in San Carlos, Claremont-based Machine Bio, a protein production company, and Massachusetts-based Elemental Machines, a data compiler upstart for labs.

"Partners of ours have seen a gap in the life science tool space and seen how what we do on the medtech side can really benefit companies or innovators," said Kathryn Zavala, managing director of BioTools Innovator. "It's really just about taking our successful model and applying it to a different vertical."

According to BioTools Innovator, over 160 companies applied for the accelerator. The 10 startups selected will slowly whittle down to four, and they will compete for a cash prize in Carlsbad.

For the next three months, each will undergo a customized mentorship program, set up short-term goals, talk to industry experts and compete for as much as $200,000.

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