New Venture Creation & Entrepreneurship
The Startup Process
The Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) at Caltech support founders interested in startup creation from ideation to launch.
The Caltech EIRs meet founders where they are and help accelerate their journey along their startup path as they define the best way to commercialize Caltech technology. It all starts with a meeting with one or both of the EIRs to discuss an idea or invention and its potential applications. Founders can check-in for advice or support at a frequency that meets their needs or interact intensively with the EIRs over several months to accelerate startup creation.
Whether it's your first startup or your fifth, Caltech EIRs provide customized mentorship and support including making connections to subject matter experts, supporting customer discovery and market research, helping craft product/market fit and differentiation, and advising on the art of fundraising. The EIRs coach founders on how to effectively pitch their startup to top venture investors to secure pre-seed or seed funding, including honing the startup's value proposition, budget, and technology development plans.
A founder's journey rarely follows a straight path. Our 1:1 engagement model ensures that we support founders wherever they are on the path to launching a startup with actionable advice, meaningful introductions for market exploration, warm introductions to potential investors, and support through pitching and securing funding.
Launching Your Venture
Caltech Funding Sources
Caltech Innovation Center
The Caltech Innovation Center (CIC) has been launched as part of Caltech's latest efforts to help its researchers commercialize technologies and build a vibrant innovation ecosystem around campus. The CIC functions as an incubator to house and support newly formed startup companies with the objective to position them for success. Located across from the Caltech campus, the close co-location maximizes collaborative opportunities and connects the latest research in academia with solving practical real-world problems. In addition to providing basic facilities for the startups, the CIC will be providing programming to support the entrepreneurial efforts of scientists and engineers who wish to commercialize promising new technologies as a key component of a successful innovation ecosystem. Please contact Maral Gharib with any questions regarding CIC and applications for use of the space.
The eClub is a student-run organization that provides educational and networking opportunities focused on entrepreneurship for undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, and staff through events and seminars. Learn more about the eClub.
The mission of the CBC is to foster better and stronger relationships between Caltech and the biotechnology industries. The CBC also provides career education through networking events and seminars. Learn more about the CBC.
The CPA organizes activities, workshops, and events to assist with professional development. Learn more about the CPA.
Like the CPA, the Caltech GSC organizes activities, workshops, and events to help with professional development. Learn more about the GSC.
Founder Notes: Advice from our Entrepreneur-in-Residence Helen McBride
The Caltech Office of Technology Transfer and Corporate Partnerships is offering two paid venture internships for the summer of 2021. The venture interns will provide support to the Caltech Seed Fund which is an early-stage venture fund specifically designed to help Caltech faculty and students create new businesses. We seek a life science intern and a physical science intern to work directly with the fund team including Caltech's Entrepreneurs in Residence.
Job Description: Venture Interns will support the Entrepreneurs in Residence to help identify and analyze the potential of technology spinouts. The specific job duties will vary but may include:
- Market Research
- Financial Modeling
- Strategic Commercialization Analysis
- Technology Analysis
- Risk Analysis
Skills Required: Ideal candidates will have an interest in entrepreneurial activity and be hardworking, professional, and eager to learn about venture capital and company formation in the life science or technology space. Strong communication skills, proven work ethic, exceptional analytical skills, demonstrated attention to detail, reliability, responsibility, and pride in workmanship are necessities.
A working knowledge of Excel, PowerPoint, SQL, and light coding are optional but a plus.
All options and years are encouraged to apply. See the complete description at the link below. You'll need to sign-in with your Caltech email to view the document.
Information for Summer 2022 entrepreneurship internship opportunities in OTTCP will be posted in December 2021.
- The Rocket Fund at Caltech offers $25,000 - $75,000 in non-equity grants for cleantech and sustainability startups, as part of Caltech's Resnick Sustainability Institute
- The National Science Foundation's I-Corps Program local chapter - Innovation Node-Los Angeles (IN-LA) - is a collaboration of USC, Caltech, and UCLA, with classes available for startup teams
- OTTCP maintains contacts at venture-capital firms, law firms, and other service providers for startups. Please contact a member of OTTCP to discuss your startup plans and how we can help
- Internal funding programs for Caltech-owned technologies can be used to move technologies from the lab to the marketplace
- The Entrepreneurs Forum holds monthly talks about technology-based topics
- ZAP Lean Startup Workshop Series is based on the Lean LaunchPad curriculum pioneered by Stanford University
Startup Support Organizations
- Alliance for SoCal Innovation networking organization
- Innovate Pasadena sponsors events and meet-ups for technology and design entrepreneurs in the greater Pasadena area
- BioscienceLA life sciences innovation catalyst for the Los Angeles region (aka BioLA)
- Biocom LA Life Science Association of California
- Southern California Biomedical Council (SoCalBio) is a nonprofit, member-supported trade association that serves the biotech, med tech, IVD and digital health communities in Greater LA
- MADIA Tech Launch networking organization hosts educational networking events within the greater San Gabriel Valley area
- University Lab Partners wet lab and med-tech incubator
- Launch Labs from Alexandria Real Estate Equities - various locations
- BioLabsLA incubator in the Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation at Harbor UCLA Medical Center coworking wet lab and office space (formerly LA BioMed)
- LA BioSpace at Cal State LA's Rongxiang Xu Bioscience Innovation Center has desk, lab bench, and walled wetlab suite coworking options
- HatchLabs in Alhambra, part of HatchSpaces across LA (Westwood, Thousand Oaks, East Los Angeles)
- The Design Accelerator (TDA) is a Pasadena-based accelerator focused on early stage design and technology companies
- LabLaunch enables access to affordable, high-quality lab facilities and a supportive innovation community for scientists and entrepreneurs
- Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) helps clean technology start-ups by providing office space, coaching and mentoring, and networking
- Oak Crest Institute of Science chemistry and biology research and education center
- The Pasadena Biosciences Collaborative (PBC) is an incubator offering affordable laboratory space and shared equipment for startups
Startups - useful resources on the web:
- Cap Table Scenarios for Biotech Startups by Bill Harrington, Osage University Partners
- IP for Entrepreneurs course videos from Columbia University (six classes, videos released fall 2020)
- Sequoia Capital Pitch Deck Template
- DARPA's "Heilmeier Catechism" for your startup idea
- Y Combinator's Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) and How to Start a Startup
- Top Ten Legal Mistakes Made by Entrepreneurs
- National Venture Capital Association's (NVCA) Standard Legal Forms
- Orrick's Startup Forms Library
- Cooley's Standard Legal Documents
- The Art, Science, and Labor of Recruiting by Vinod Khosla
- Illumina Accelerator facility for startups
- Stanford Technology Venture Program's Entrepreneurship Corner
- Kauffman Fellows and TechStars Venture Deals online course
- Stanford E-Corner
- Steve Blank
- Fierce Biotech
- Business Owner's Toolkit
- Rock Health Fundraising
- Y Combinator batch application
- Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati's term sheet generator