A Google for Biotech: Sci Find Launches a Tool to Connect Researchers and Funders

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.

A Google for Biotech: Sci Find Launches a Tool to Connect Researchers and Funders

A former Facebook machine learning analyst is behind Sci Find's new Google-like search engine for bioscience companies. The service launches Monday, aiming to eliminate the often-tedious task researchers must face to find labs that can help them test different products or drugs.

The startup used AI to cull thousands of publicly available research abstracts from the National Institute of Health and is now gathering proprietary documents to build its free search engine. It provides results on researchers' contact information, patents and expertise.

"The scientific part of science is very innovative and groundbreaking," said Sci Find co-founder and genomics expert Guy Rohkin. "But a lot of the communication channels and the way that the information is disseminated is kind of traditional and disjointed."


"What we tried to do on our platform was use AI so that your search queries are more accurate and there's more utility than if you were to go use Google," said Stefani Robnett, former machine learning analyst at Facebook. She founded Sci Find with Rohkin in 2019.

The project was inspired by Rohkin's struggle as an outsourcing provider for a genomics company. His work there required him to sift through pages of research reports in order to find clients who specialized in an extremely obscure niche within life sciences the company was trying to make waves in.

"You have to really hit the exact thing that they want," Rohkin said. "Someone who's doing next-gen sequencing is highly, highly specialized in it, so you can only sell the products and services in that field."

Sci Find allows partners to connect and chat within the platform. That's big for biotech startups, many of which seek to outsource research tasks or large scale trials to more established companies.

Outsourcing in biopharma became increasingly common after the "blockbuster drug" era around the 2008 recession, when big companies began to offload the cost of manufacturing facilities and in-house research and development teams. It created growth among small labs and researchers who operate independently, sometimes with the help of venture capital. When those labs start developing and testing new technologies, they turn to larger companies.

According to a white paper by Provident Healthcare Partners, the majority of small biopharma companies developing drugs rely on outsourcing to develop the active ingredients.

Among its beta testers is California Nanotechnologies, a Cerritos-based lab that provides research and development and access to cryogenic services. Microbiologics, another lab specializing in antimicrobials, is also testing the product. Both hope that the new search engine will connect their lab with new customers.

Sci Find raised $800,000 in a family-and-friends pre-seed funding round in May 2020 and is now raising its seed funding.

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This Week in ‘Raises’: Saviynt Lands $205M, Pagos Secures $34M

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in ‘Raises’: Saviynt Lands $205M, Pagos Secures $34M
This Week in ‘Raises’:

While it was a slow week of funding in Los Angeles, security vendor Saviynt managed to score $205 million that will be used to meet the company’s growing demand for its converged identity platform and accelerate innovation.

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LA Tech ‘Moves’: Saviynt Gains New CEO, The FIFTH Taps Agency Veteran to Lead Creative Team

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: Saviynt Gains New CEO, The FIFTH Taps Agency Veteran to Lead Creative Team
LA Tech ‘Moves’:

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.

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Los Angeles’ Wage Growth Outpaced Inflation. Here’s What That Means for Tech Jobs

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Los Angeles’ Wage Growth Outpaced Inflation. Here’s What That Means for Tech Jobs

Inflation hit cities with tech-heavy workforces hard last year. Tech workers fortunate enough to avoid layoffs still found themselves confronting rising costs with little change in their pay.

Those national trends certainly touched down in Los Angeles, but new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that the city of angels was the only major metro area that saw its wage growth grow by nearly 6% while also outpacing the consumer price index, which was around 5%. Basically, LA was the only area where adjusted pay actually came out on a net positive.

So, what does this mean for tech workers in LA County?

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