In a boost for bioentrepreneurs, the American Cancer Society’s BrightEdge has unveiled its new BrightEdge Entrepreneurs program. Aimed at accelerating the transition of cancer-focused innovations from research labs to the healthcare market, the program is set to begin on February 5, 2024.
The 10-month initiative will support a cohort of 6 to 8 entrepreneurs, providing them with essential training, mentorship, and funding. The program targets scientific innovators who are ready to take their preliminary business ideas and develop them into viable companies dedicated to cancer diagnostics, therapeutics, medical devices, and digital health solutions.
BrightEdge Entrepreneurs offers a rigorous curriculum addressing crucial business development areas, including market analysis, regulatory pathways, intellectual property management, team building, and investor relations, according to the group’s website. Each educational session will be led by industry experts, ensuring that participants receive top-tier business insights.
Integral to the program is one-on-one mentorship, connecting each entrepreneur with an experienced mentor from the biotech sector. These mentors will provide personalized guidance and support throughout the program.
Participants are not required to have incorporated their company at the time of application. However, they must formalize their business and secure the necessary technology rights before the program begins. “As a requirement of the program, newly formed companies will accept an initial BrightEdge equity-based SAFE investment of $100K to support salary, travel, legal, and miscellaneous company expenses during the program period,” per the group.
Further investment opportunities are available, with the possibility of an additional $250K after six months. The additional funding is contingent on the entrepreneurs’ ability to formulate a clear plan and demonstrate progress and effective leadership.
The program will culminate in a final pitch event where entrepreneurs can present their businesses to a curated group of angel investors, family offices, and early-stage VCs, aiming to secure further funding.
Applications are now open, with a deadline of November 17, 2023. The selection of participants will be announced on December 14, 2023. Those interested in applying can visit the program’s website for details and the application form.
BrightEdge aims to assemble a “portfolio of companies to attack cancer from every angle,” according to its website. Companies listed include Mercy Bioanalytics, Vincere, Naveris, CellCentric, Persephone Biosciences, Lunit, Alpheusmedical, Cygnal, Tailormed, and more.