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CLSI Taps Bay Area Expertise for FAST International Program

The California Life Sciences Institute’s (CLSI) new FAST International program is in full swing, with three international partnerships underway or concluded, and several more under discussion. The new program targets non-U.S.-based clusters who are seeking to grow their regional economies by helping their life science startups build successful business strategies and gain commercial footholds in U.S. markets. In a variation of this model, CLSI’s advisory services can be offered to researchers who are seeking commercial spin-outs with strong U.S. market viability.

Access to the California ecosystem is especially valued by partners who are seeking to gain access to U. S. finance and markets.  The Bay Area is the source of approximately 50% of the world’s venture capital.  This asset goes hand-in-hand with a local culture that values and supports entrepreneurs who are breaking new scientific ground.  As California is the 5th largest economy in the world, developing a California network is a prime entry-point to accessing U.S. markets.

Just as important, however, is the opportunity to gain an understanding of how the Bay Area ecosystem works.  One of CLSI’s goals is to give those who come here the tools to help build robust life science clusters at home.  We concentrate on pairing companies with Bay Area life science professionals and encourage both sides to maintain those relationships long after the local program has ended.  We also work with academia by ensuring that development programs will have a commercial outlet and then help with company formation.

CLSI provides entrepreneurs with advisory services delivered by people with deep experience in the world’s most productive life sciences cluster. Over 350 experienced professionals form CLSLI’s FAST Advisory Network, veterans of the industry with significant company-building expertise. The Network is comprised predominantly of CEOs and other senior executives across multiple functional areas and industry segments.

CLSI’s Advisory Network is comprised of more than 350 industry veterans, many of whom are experienced C-level executives.


As a global industry, the progress of science is driven by the cross-pollination that results from the sharing of ideas and methods. FAST International connects California and international entrepreneurs to establish relationships and share ideas. Substantial benefits emanate from this practice for all involved.  In San Francisco, we learn as much from our partners as they do from us.

CLSI has now developed several models through which we can provide deep Bay Area expertise to startups worldwide, and has launched the following international programs:

CLSI just concluded a partnership with the Consulate General of Canada to deliver the Canadian Technology Accelerator Life Science Program. Over four months, seven Canadian companies received customized advising and an in-market program to advance their commercialization strategies.

CLSI has entered into a partnership with a Danish accelerator Nordic Mentoring Network for Entrepreneurship (NOME) / Accelerace to provide commercialization advising to 6 Scandinavian startups this June. The 6-day program includes sessions on U.S. Markets and Funding Opportunities and the U.S. Regulatory and Reimbursement environments, as well as one-on-one meetings with individual advisory teams.

Building on the success of the CARB-X-supported intensive advisory services provided by CLSI to a consortium of Edinburgh-based universities (which led to a successful company spin-out in December with a California-based CEO), the University of Edinburgh has entered into a partnership with CLSI to offer advisory services on 6 proof of concept product development programs through February 2020.

International FAST Showcase – June 11

Several of the international startups will join our FAST Spring 2019 companies at the Closing Showcase for a two-track program in Mission Bay. For information on FAST International, please contact Steve Karp at skarp@califesciences.org