May 22, 2018

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Initiative for Women Entrepreneurs Gains New Partners

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Initiative for Women Entrepreneurs Gains New Partners

 Massachusetts Next Generation Initiative receives $125,000 from Thomas Ragno and Stephen Lynch of King Street Properties; More than 30 applications received for program to support women-led, early-stage life sciences companies

Waltham, MA May 17, 2018 – The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) today announced two new financial partners for its Massachusetts Next Generation Initiative (MassNextGen), a new competitive program for women-led life sciences companies. Thomas Ragno and Stephen Lynch are the Principals of King Street Properties, a private real estate investment management firm focused on serving the complex needs of science-based companies. Their partnership with the MassNextGen initiative will provide $125,000 for a sponsorship, in addition to in-kind support, including spaces for coaching sessions.

“This makes absolute sense for King Street to further support a strong and diverse life sciences ecosystem,” said Tom Ragno of King Street Properties. “Supporting early-stage companies is not only smart business, but consistent with our corporate values to help attract and retain top scientific talent and create an atmosphere which accelerates diversity, collaboration and discovery. We applaud the MLSC for taking this decisive step to address the gap with this program.”

In November of last year, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the launch of MassNextGen as a five-year, $1.1 million commitment, aimed at empowering women and improving diversity in the next generation of life sciences entrepreneurs. The $1.1 million commitment includes $500,000 in direct awards to participants, with $250,000 in 1-to-1 funding matches from anchor partner, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and the MLSC. An additional $500,000 in in-kind contributions will be provided for networking, professional development and coaching support.

Since its launch, the MLSC has leveraged the region’s substantial network of seasoned entrepreneurs, investors and life science experts to create a newly formed executive coaching network that will select each year’s winners based on a set of criteria including, but not limited to, the level of involvement of women in the conception, strategy, and execution of the company, the proposed use of funding, and the business plan feasibility. The MLSC began accepting proposals in January 2018 and received a total of 37 applications from women-led, early-stage life sciences companies. The applicants are located throughout the Commonwealth and represent a range of sectors within the life sciences industry.

“We are grateful for the leadership of King Street Properties and our other partners for helping lead the charge to ensure the next generation of life science entrepreneurs is diverse,” said Jennifer Griffin, who serves as the Vice President of Industry Programs & Relations at the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.

According to Babson College’s The Diana Project report “Women Entrepreneurs 2014: Bridging the Gender Gap in Venture Capital,” only 15 percent of the companies receiving venture capital investment had a woman on the executive team from 2011-2013. Only 3 percent of total venture capital dollars in the U.S. went to companies with a female CEO and it is hardest for female executives to attain seed-stage funding. The life sciences ecosystem, entrepreneurs and investors alike, benefits from having more diverse leaders with talent and bright ideas. MassNextGen aims to visibly move the Massachusetts ecosystem in that direction.

“MassNextGen aims to identify promising women-led life science companies and to ensure that the individuals leading them have the tools to succeed, thereby providing an opportunity for Massachusetts to gain a competitive advantage by having women equally represented,” said Pam Randhawa, who serves on the MassNextGen coaching network, the MLSC Board of Directors, and is the Founder and CEO of Empiriko, an integrated precision medicine company.

Each year, through MassNextGen, winning companies will be awarded a year-long customized package of support that includes funding as well as access to a specially recruited network of executive coaches from the life sciences ecosystem to help support and develop the next generation of women life science entrepreneurs. Winners of the inaugural round are expected to be announced this summer.

“Gender parity is not only about equal representation, but also about a strong business case that supports a diverse ecosystem,” said Luba Greenwood, who also serves on the MassNextGen coaching network and recently joined Google, Verily in the Strategic Business Development and Corporate Ventures for the Google Life Sciences division. “While we continue to gain more and more insight into why the disparity exists, and more knowledge on what actions must be taken to fix it, we know for sure women are essential members of an innovative and thriving ecosystem.”

More about MassNextGen

 Having more women at all levels of our ecosystem makes the life sciences industry stronger. The MassNextGen initiative is designed to support women entrepreneurs, giving them the tools they need to succeed. These tools include expanding their network, increased visibility within the ecosystem, and directly investing in their ventures via non-dilutive capital. The Massachusetts Life Sciences Centers looks forward to featuring standout Massachusetts women-led life science companies over the course of the next five years and partnering with industry stakeholders to be agents of change.

More about King Street Properties

 King Street Properties is the largest privately-held and locally-based owner of life science real estate in the Greater Boston area. With over 1.2 million square feet of lab space under ownership and management in Cambridge and the core suburban laboratory markets, King Street is highly experienced in the development and operation of best-in-class multi-tenant laboratory buildings. King Street offers a hands-on approach while drawing upon the large company experience of its team and has the flexibility to deliver customized space solutions to a wide range of innovators and entrepreneurs.

 More about the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is an economic development investment agency dedicated to supporting the growth and development of the life sciences in Massachusetts, home to the most verdant and productive life sciences ecosystem in the world.  Through public-private funding initiatives, the MLSC supports innovation, research & development, commercialization, and manufacturing activities in the fields of biopharma, medical device, diagnostics, and digital health.  Since its creation in 2007, the MLSC has strategically deployed over $700 million in Massachusetts, through a combination of grants, loans, capital infrastructure investments, tax incentives, and workforce programs.  These investments have created thousands of jobs, and propelled the development of new therapies, devices, and scientific advancements that are improving patient health and well-being in Massachusetts and beyond.





May 2, 2018

New biotech lab opens at New Bedford High School

“We can simulate exactly what’s happening in the real world,” said Chu Kwen Ho, lead science teacher at the school.

Headmaster Bernadette Coelho credited Ho with spearheading the project and writing a grant proposal to get it funded. The lab and training program received $110,000 from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.

Read the full article here.

April 30, 2018

MLSC President & CEO on NECN, April 30, 2018

Travis McCready, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, discusses a new drug therapy that can potentially treat advanced Parkinson’s Disease.

View the interview here.

April 24, 2018

The 100 Most Influential People in Boston

— 44 —

Travis McCready
President and CEO, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

With a billion dollars of public and private money to hand out, McCready is shaping the future of the region’s most vital industry. The real test of his power, however, comes as he tries to persuade the state legislature to pass Governor Baker’s proposed five-year, $500 million extension of life sciences funding.

View the full list here.

March 29, 2018

Creating Pathways to Life Sciences Careers: Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and Life Sciences Cares announce funding to support workforce training programs

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) and Life Science Cares announced today $15,000 in funding to be provided to three non-profits to support their respective programs which train young adults and adults for careers in the life sciences industry. The non-profits Just-A-Start, The Possible Project (TPP), and Year Up will each receive $5,000 to further support their workforce training initiatives.

To read the full release, click here.

March 27, 2018

Bringing Life Sciences to the Berkshires

MLSC President & CEO Travis McCready joined New England Cable News for his monthly check-in on the life sciences industry. 

Click here to view the video.

March 26, 2018

MLSC Grant Featured in “Being Boston” on Boston 25 News

A club at a Boston school is blazing a path for future careers in Science.

Headmaster Dr. Lindsa McIntyre has transformed the Jeremiah Burke High School in Dorchester; focusing on the whole child, academically and socially.

The Science Club is an afterschool program helping to target those students. It’s a passion of science teacher Dr. Carl Reid.

Read the full article on Fox25 Boston.

March 19, 2018

Grant gives Goodrich Life Science Lab a facelift

Pictured from left: North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce’s David Ginisi, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center’s Ryan Mudawar, state Sen. Dean Tran, Goodrich Academy Principal Alexis Curry, Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale and Fitchburg Public Schools Superintendent Andre Ravenelle.

There was excitement and pride at Goodrich Academy for the Life Science Lab ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday morning.

Goodrich Academy science teacher Sara Goguen’s room certainly received a needed facelift, along with new STEM equipment, supplies and professional development through a grant awarded by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center during the 2016-17 school year.

“This is a beautiful space,” Goguen said. “Sometimes I sit around at my desk and look around a smile. It’s amazing.”

The awarded amount was $105, 345.

Read the full story here.


March 9, 2018

State set to launch $14M life sciences hub in the Berkshires

The Berkshire Innovation Center has been in the works since 2013, when the city of Pittsfield received a grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, a quasi-state agency, to put together a business plan for a potential biotech research facility in Western Massachusetts. But the project was delayed by funding gaps, leading to some uncertainty over when construction of the 20,000 square foot center would begin.

Read the article here.

March 8, 2018

Gov. Baker set to attend Berkshire Innovation Center announcement Friday

If Gov. Charlie Baker and several top aides plan to travel to the Berkshires barely a day after a major winter storm, it must for be something big.

How about an announcement involving the Berkshire Innovation Center?

Read the article here.

March 6, 2018


Gov. Charlie Baker last June offered a five-year, $500 million bill to basically extend the life sciences law and that bill could draw attention before BIO comes to town. While the bill has not advanced in the House or Senate, House Speaker Robert DeLeo in January said he favors a “renewal of our commitment” to the industry, which he said has “shown to be a good investment in the past, good for the Massachusetts economy.”

Read the full article here


March 2, 2018

Experts say higher ed, business must work together to solve student debt

Higher education and business leaders must work together if they’re going to solve the problem of rising costs for college and student debt, a panel of experts said Tuesday morning.

Travis McCready, the president and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, said colleges can — and must — do more to connect students with job opportunities in the local biotech industry, where annual salaries often run in the six figures.

Read the article on the Boston Business Journal here

March 2, 2018

Local Startup Has Big Plan for Farming

Travis McCready, President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, discusses how Indigo AG is using biotech to produce greater yields in agriculture.

To watch the video click here

February 16, 2018

Life sciences leaders grapple with growth, workforce

LakePharma, Inc. is the latest company to join the region’s biotech industry, all while state and business officials push for a robust workforce to keep the momentum going – and attract new businesses.

On Monday, the San Francisco company announced it will open a 69,000-square foot biomanufacturing building on South Street in Hopkinton. The company plans to add approximately 100 jobs at the center by 2020.

“Hopkinton is in close proximity to Cambridge/Boston, where we have a large cluster of clients, and we believe that this facility will increase our ability to serve their product development and manufacturing needs,” said Hua Tu, LakePharma’s CEO, in a statement.

The news comes as dozens of state and businesses officials gathered Thursday afternoon at Sunovion’s global headquarters in Marlborough to hear the latest update prepared by the 495/MetroWest Partnership on the life sciences industry. Life sciences is the second largest industry in the state behind information technology, according to the report.

Read the article here.

December 5, 2017

Getting More Women Involved in Life Sciences

MLSC President & CEO Travis McCready, joined necn to discuss women in the life sciences. McCready discussed the launch of the Massachusetts Next Generation Initiative, and how the Center is aiming to be an agent of change to improve gender diversity in the industry.

For more information on the MassNextGen Initiative, visit the program page here.

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