Massachusetts Next Generation Initiative

Program Overview

The Massachusetts Next Generation Initiative (MassNextGen) is a five year, more than $2 million commitment to ensure greater gender parity in the next generation of life science entrepreneurs. With our sponsors Takeda, King Street Properties, and Sanofi we aim to support women entrepreneurs expanding their network, increased visibility, and direct investment into their ventures. The Commonwealth’s entrepreneurs and investors alike, benefit from a life sciences ecosystem with more diverse leadership. MassNextGen aims to move the Massachusetts ecosystem visibly in that direction.

This is a competitive program. Women-led early-stage life science companies will be awarded a year-long customized package of support, which includes non-dilutive grant funding and access to a network of seasoned Executive Coaches from the life sciences ecosystem to refine their business strategies and effectively raise capital.

Learn more about becoming a sponsor and join us in making a change in the life sciences ecosystem by supporting women-led life sciences companies.  

Eligibility & Evaluation

Each year, following a competitive program, women-led early-stage life science companies will receive a yearlong customized package of support, which includes non-dilutive grant funding and access to a network of seasoned Executive Coaches. Throughout the year, the winners will work to refine their business strategies build a toolkit to more effectively raise capital.

  • The applicant company (“Company”) must be located in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and registered to do business in Massachusetts.
  • The Company must have the majority of its FTEs (full-time-equivalent employees, >35 hours per week) based in Massachusetts and must have a minimum of 1 FTE.
  • The Company must have a life sciences focus with core technology and/or service in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, medical diagnostics or imaging, bioinformatics, digital health, agricultural biotechnology, chemical synthesis and/or technology, genomics, marine biology or technology, nanotechnology, drug delivery, proteomics, regenerative medicine, and/or veterinary science.
  • The Company must be led by a woman in the CEO or equivalent position (e.g., President).
  • The woman CEO or equivalent must be open to executive coaching including receiving critique and feedback and must commit to attending executive coaching sessions in MA throughout the year-long program.
  • The Company must be in compliance with all other Center agreements, if any.

Please view the solicitation for Fiscal Year 2020.

Increasing the number of successful entrepreneurs is in the best interest of the entire life science industry, and as such, this initiative is a public-private partnership between the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and our corporate sponsors Takeda, King Street Properties, and Sanofi.

Learn more about becoming a sponsor and join us in making a change in the life sciences ecosystem by supporting women-led life sciences companies.  

  • The applicant company must be located and registered to do business in Massachusetts.
  • The company must have at least one employee and the majority of its employees in Massachusetts.
  • The company must have a life sciences focus.
  • The company must be led by a woman in the CEO or equivalent position.
  • The woman CEO or equivalent must be open to executive coaching via organized coaching sessions throughout the year, including receiving critique and feedback

For complete eligibility details, please view the solicitation for Fiscal Year 2020.

Resources

Application

Solicitation

Executive Coaching Network

Past Awardees

Become a Sponsor

Program Handout

Impact on the Ecosystem

The goal of MassNextGen is to shift the paradigm to build a diverse ecosystem with equal representation. Underrepresentation of women in the industry has real consequences not only for individual careers but also for new innovative therapeutics for patients.

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.           

In its inaugural year in 2018, five companies received access to a network of executive coaches for a year. Two awardees, Olaris Therapeutics and Reveal Pharmaceuticals received $62,500 in funding in addition to coaching. In November 2018, the MLSC also organized an inaugural A Pitch Of Their Own event featuring female CEOs of 10 early-stage companies. The entrepreneurs presented five-minute pitches to an audience of investors and members of the venture capital community, highlighting the groundbreaking innovations championed by women in Massachusetts. In March 2020, the Center will host the second A Pitch of Their Own.

In its second year, the MassNextGen initiative awarded five companies with $87,500 in funding and access to a network of executive coaches for a year. In total, awardee companies received $437,500.

Learn more about our 2018 and 2019 awardees, including their pioneering work.

Connect with us to Learn More

If you have any questions regarding the application process, e-mail MassNextGen@masslifesciences.com.