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Silicon Valley Bank Leads Group of Sponsors Funding LabCentral Ignite Programs to Support Underrepresented Life Sciences Entrepreneurs

February 23, 2023

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Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, EisnerAmper, and Alira Health part of group sponsoring LabCentral Ignite’s 2023 Golden Ticket competition and fellowship program supporting diverse founders in the life sciences  

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., February 23, 2023 -- Silicon Valley Bank has assembled a diverse group of organizations, including Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, EisnerAmper, and Alira Health, to sponsor LabCentral Ignite, a first-and-only-of-its-kind platform to address systemic racial, gender, and other underrepresentation in talent across the life sciences and biotech industry.    

In addition to their banking, legal, accounting, and healthcare consulting expertise for the life sciences industry, the financial contribution from these sponsors will support Ignite’s entrepreneur programming, such as the LabCentral Ignite Golden Ticket competition and the accompanying Ignite Fellowship.  

The LabCentral Ignite Golden Ticket contest was designed to support biotech entrepreneurs who identify as women, Black, Latinx, Indigenous, or other persons of color who are using innovative science to solve human health problems. Winners receive free access to LabCentral’s shared lab space in Cambridge. In addition, winners participate in a year-long Ignite Fellowship program that aims to supercharge their networks, connecting these entrepreneurs to top investors, partners, advisors, and mentors.  

“As Ignite enters our third year, we remain dedicated to amplifying the voices and expanding opportunities for those who have historically been excluded from this industry so they can focus on changing the world through groundbreaking science. Thanks to the support of Silicon Valley Bank, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, EisnerAmper, and Alira Health, who believe in our mission, we can support more underrepresented entrepreneurs with the potential to significantly impact biotech and the life sciences,” said Gretchen Cook-Anderson, LabCentral Ignite’s Executive Director.   

“At Silicon Valley Bank, we know that diverse perspectives and inclusive environments ignite new ideas and power innovation,” said Anton Xavier, Director, SVB Startup Banking. “The LabCentral Ignite program spotlights often overlooked communities in biotech and life sciences and creates opportunities to foster a culture of inclusion in the industry.” 

The 2023 LabCentral Ignite Golden Ticket contest will launch later this year. Candidates will be reviewed based on the quality and potential impact of their science along with other standard selection criteria. A select number of finalists will receive access to coaching and will be invited to present at a pitch event in September during Global Biotech Week, which draws industry professionals and investors to life sciences events around the world. Following the pitch contest, the winning companies will be awarded Ignite Golden Tickets. 

About LabCentral Ignite 

The growing Ignite platform is dedicated to developing equity, inclusion, and opportunity within the life sciences field. Through a range of equity-driven programs and a growing member network of industry, startups, higher education, and nonprofits, Ignite connects underrepresented students, talent and innovators to academic, technical skills-building, mentoring, job placement, and board and leadership preparation opportunities that fuel biotech diversity and inclusively transform careers. More information is available at  

About LabCentral 

A private, non-profit institution, LabCentral was founded in 2013 as a launchpad for high potential life-sciences and biotech startups. Operating a total of 225,000 square-feet in the heart of Kendall Square in Cambridge, Mass., LabCentral offers fully permitted laboratory and office space for as many as 100 startups comprising approximately 1,000 scientists and entrepreneurs. More information is available at