In its second full year of operation, LabCentral Ignite demonstrated explosive growth in service of its bold mission of creating a more diverse and equitable biotech industry in Boston (and beyond). In 2022, Ignite nearly doubled its full-time staff, launched a range of new programming and initiatives leveraging strategic partnerships, and further supported workforce development and training efforts providing access and opportunity to underrepresented demographics within the life sciences.
Programming AT LABCENTRAL
Career Forge is a training program that prepares career-ready people (“Forgers”) for technical roles, while partnering with hiring teams in our network to connect underrepresented talent to meaningful career opportunities in biotech.
Average Salary Upon Placement
The LabCentral Ignite Golden Ticket contest provides support to biotech entrepreneurs who identify as women, Black, Latinx, Indigenous, or people of color by giving winners access to shared lab space in Cambridge. In addition, winners participate in a year-long Ignite Fellowship program that aims to supercharge their networks.
MOSAIC convenes Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), building connectivity between them and the biopharma industry in order to tap fully into the talents and perspectives of people of color and other historically-excluded students.
LabCentral Ignite's bioDiversity Network is a membership-based platform that provides access to DEIB resources, best practices, and training for biotech startup leaders.
In 2022, LabCentral Ignite held its inaugural bioDiversity Summit & Awards. Designed to discuss actionable solutions critical to innovation expansion, the bioDiversity Summit & Awards is an annual event that convenes members from within the national biotech ecosystem, including representatives from higher education, the MOSAIC Innovation Consortium, early-stage companies, large biopharma companies, VC firms, nonprofits, and K-12 education.
The Summit culminated in the bioDiversity Awards Dinner, where our community celebrated and recognized individuals and organizations working to advance inclusionary practices in the life sciences.
BIODIVERSITY SUMMIT & AWARDS
TED W. LOVE INDIVIDUAL IMPACT AWARD
organizations AND institutions represented
MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS IN PILOT YEAR
The DEI Survey Suite is just one of the many resources developed by LabCentral Ignite in 2022 to support the growth of early-stage biotech companies. This first-of-its-kind survey tool measures and tracks an organization’s maturity and readiness around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, incorporating gender, racial and other demographics, and employee engagement issues.
The STAR Initiative aims to foster equal opportunities and diversity in fields like the life sciences by investing in high-performing STEM education nonprofits and Cambridge and Somerville public schools.
Please click here to learn more about STAR and read through their 2022 impact report
Officialy Adopted the star network from biogen
“As Ignite assumes strategic, fundraising, and administrative oversight of STAR in 2023, we are thrilled to continue and scale the impact that the Biogen Foundation has made since 2018. If STAR is as successful as we intend, the initiative will inspire greater passion for science among middle and high school students in highly diverse school districts, fueling an expanded, more inclusive education pipeline, and ultimately a more diverse profession advancing science innovation.”
- Gretchen Cook Anderson, Executive Director, Ignite
LIFE SCIENCES IN FULL COLOR CAMPAIGN
The industry needs new perspectives, new ideas, and fresh talent to sustain its growth and reach new heights. In 2022, LabCentral Ignite launched its first public awareness campaign: Life Sciences in Full Color, to spur interest and illuminate the world of possibility within biotech. The campaign was deployed across Greater Boston to inspire, inform, and activate a more diverse talent pool by highlighting the full spectrum of experiences, backgrounds, and roles possible within our community of entrepreneurs, scientists, movers, and shakers.
LabCentral Ignite launched a series of workshops titled "What the Heck is Biotech" alongside the public education campaign to engage and connect with communities outside Kendall Square. The workshops aim to demystify biotech and the life sciences and to spark curiosity around possible career pathways across all levels of education.
Please visit LifeSciencesinFullColor.com to read the stories behind the campaign.
Watch the award-winning campaign video about Rudy, an In Vivo Pharmacologist and semi-pro football player from Dorchester:
In 2022, Ignite kicked off its What the Heck is Biotech? program to de-mystify the industry. The initiative is comprised of workshops to learn about the cutting-edge science happening right here in Cambridge, as well as provide the participant hands-on experience in the lab to discover potential career opportunities.
Sponsored by New England BioLabs, the LabCentral Learning Lab at LabCentral's flagship location is operated by the LabCentral Ignite team.
LabCentral Ignite works with academic and community partners to create novel educational experiences in the heart of innovation in Kendall Square, providing hands-on lab training, seminars, and programming for students, educators, and broader community members.
Events held with learning opportunities
Organizations / Institutions Hosted:
Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology
UNCF Ernest E. Just Life Sciences Initiative
LabCentral Ignite Career Forge
New England BioLabs
The LEAH Project
DEI LEADERSHIP TRAINING
One participant has since been promoted within their company and is now responsible for DEI
Sponsorship and development
$250K EDA STEM Talent Challenge Grant
$150K sponsorship from Breakthrough Properties/Tishman Speyer
$10K sponsorship from Amgen
$50K sponsorship from Mission BioCapital
$50K sponsorship from J&J Innovation
$50K sponsorship from Third Rock Ventures
$200K grant from Biogen
Life sciences in full color
92.5K grant from MLSC
$100K sponsorship from Pfizer
$100K sponsorship from Bristol Myers Squibb
$100K sponsorship from Mission BioCapital
$150K sponsorship from Silicon Valley Bank, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati, EisnerAmper, and Alira Health