Life Science Washington Innovation & Commercialization Program


To increase the probability of early-stage technology commercialization by helping entrepreneurs and startup companies with training and consultation, an online marketplace, and a bridge grant program

Anticipated Impact: 

An entrepreneur training program and “playbook,” support for all life sciences startups statewide, increased success rate in receipt of SBIR/STTR grants by Washington companies, and bridge grants to selected companies


The Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association (WBBA, the original grantee; now named Life Science Washington) is the industry trade association for Washington. In January, 2018, the grant was assigned to the Life Science Washington Institute, a 501(c)(3) spinoff.  LSDF earlier supported significant growth in Life Science Washington’s life science technology commercialization activities through the grant to the Washington Innovation Network for Life Sciences, a mentoring program for entrepreneurs that is now self-sustaining. Building on that, the Ecosystem grant, now at the Life Science Washington Institute, is sponsoring three principal activities to address the early-stage commercialization gap: 1) an entrepreneur “playbook;” 2) an online marketplace; and 3) a suite of entrepreneur services. The playbook will create programming, templates, and services to help entrepreneurs navigate complex issues such as intellectual property protection and successful SBIR grant applications, and increase the likelihood that they will survive to commercialization. The online marketplace will aggregate resources such as space and equipment availability so entrepreneurs do not have to seek them out piecemeal. The entrepreneur services consist of workshops and one-on-one consulting for topics such as SBIR/STTR grantwriting, health economics, a business library database, and intellectual property.  The program is anticipated to achieve sustainability by its third year, aided by an Entrepreneurship Summit held in conjunction with the Kauffman Foundation in January 2018 to map the needs of the life science ecosystem.

Collaborating organizations: Fred Hutch; Innovative Research Grants, LLC; Synaptic; Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; and UW School of Law.

Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association named Leslie Alexandre as program director, replacing Linette Demers, in August 2016. 
Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association named Patricia Beckmann as program director, replacing Leslie Alexandre, in December 2016.
Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association, with approval from LSDF, assigned the grant to Life Science Washington Institute in November 2017.
Life Science Washington Institute named Francisco (Frank) Velazquez as program director, replacing Patricia Beckmann, in July 2018.

Technology Commercialization Program

Grant Update

Principal Investigator:
Francisco (Frank) Velazquez
Grantee Organization:
Life Science Washington Institute
Grant Title:
Life Science Washington Innovation & Commercialization Program
Grant Cohort and Year:
2016 Ecosystem (11)
Grant Period:
04/16/2016 - 04/15/2019 (Active)
Grant Amount:
With LSDF funding over the past year, Life Science Washington has developed and launched several programs to support entrepreneurs within the life sciences ecosystem in Washington. We have launched educational programs around obtaining grant support, life science startup business basics, and health economics outcomes. These programs have taken place in or been video broadcast to various location statewide, including Seattle, Spokane, Vancouver, Pullman and Tri Cities. We have developed a collection of templates and step-by-step Guidebooks for entrepreneurs which we have begun to make available to the community. Additionally, we have begun the development of an online marketplace which will serve as a one-stop shop for resources critical to the success of life science ventures. We are also in the process of rolling out a suite of services in support of entrepreneurs which will include access to market research data, a basic health economics model and an entrepreneurial law clinic. Going forward we will be making more of these educational opportunities and resources available throughout the state.

Impact in Washington

Location of LSDF Grantee
Locations of Collaborations/Areas of Impact

Legislative Districts:
, 11, 34, 36, 37, 43, 46

Health Impacts

Technology Commercialization Program