Science2Startup 2019: Bringing Venture & Academia Together

Posted October 15th, 2018 in Bioentrepreneurship

After last year’s inaugural success, we’re excited for 2019’s Science2Startup conference in April 2019, an invitation-only university-focused biotech entrepreneurship event aimed at building connectivity across the academic, tech transfer, and venture communities.

Working with a steering committee comprised of Atlas, F-Prime Capital, RA Capital, Osage University Partners, and MassConnect, we’ve got a great Science2Startup (S2S) planned for April 23, 2019, once again hosted at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, MA.  

As described last year, the mission of S2S is to connect world-class academic science with the venture ecosystem to stimulate the creation of innovative therapeutic discovery startups. We again hope that S2S can help “catalyze the convergence of ideas, people, and capital that will foster new venture formation”.

The event brings together investors, entrepreneurs, and academic colleagues to talk about innovative therapeutics coming out of universities worldwide and how we can work together to translate these ideas into great companies.

Importantly, this isn’t just a Boston-focused event. Although Boston is clearly a great place for starting and building biotech startups today, the foundational insights and IP for these startups come from all over the world.  In short, the Boston biotech ecosystem is a keen “importer” of science. 

As an example, which likely reflects that of other early stage investors, only about a quarter of our startups at Atlas over the past decade have a deep founding connection to a Boston-area institution: academics in the rest of the US, and even the world, play a key role in Atlas’ venture formation process.

To share more about the “big tent” aspiration of the event, this isn’t exclusive to one set of investors or institutions. We expect to have scores of venture investors from many different firms attending the conference. Last year, we had nearly 230 guests attend: ~50% were venture capitalists or corporate investors, 30% were academics and their tech transfer colleagues; and 20% were from industry roles in biopharma.  We expect similar participation rates this year.

The format is a one-day invitation-only symposium featuring innovative startup ideas accompanied by what we hope will be provocative panel discussions and a fun concluding networking reception.

The presenters, all of whom will be focused on therapeutics (vs other life sciences), will be selected by the S2S advisory committee, with a bias towards  startup ideas building on science with biologic validation (“proof of principle”) and a conceivable plan to enter clinical development in the near- to mid-term (2-4 years).

A big part of the community-building aspect of S2S, and URES before it, is the mentorship program – this year we will be working closely with MassConnect on this effort.

Further, we are assembling an amazing advisory board, comprised of partners at 15 of the top biotech venture investors, to help the selected presenters refine their venture proposals before the symposium.

If you have a startup therapeutics idea and would like to present at S2S, here’s the invitation and selection process – there are some deadlines approaching:

  • One-page proposal ideas can be submitted by tech transfer offices or academic investigators directly at the websiteThese proposals are due in 2-3 weeks – by November 2, 2018.
  • These proposals will be reviewed and a subset will notified in early December to submit formal presentations by the end of January 2019.
  • In February, we will select from these submissions a set of final S2S presenters, either for an oral presentation or a poster.
  • Over the final two months, presenters will work with their designated S2S mentors on refining their presentation prior to the event on April 23, 2019

If you are an entrepreneur, biotech executive, or investor in the biotech venture ecosystem, and would like to attend S2S as an invited guest, please contact us at  Please do the same if you are an academic investigator or a university tech transfer professional and want to learn more.

As with the inaugural event last year, S2S is designed to be small and invite-only to foster a productive level of real connectivity.


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