Beyond Mentoring

To provide context, for Massachusetts to lead the nation in translating basic research to the market, we designed and are executing a new solution.

MassVX is the first-in-the-nation statewide innovation program that expedites academic spin-outs from all 34 Massachusetts academic and research institutes.

MassVX curates talent matches for selected academic innovators and introduces the innovators to the right, vetted MassVX Entrepreneurial Champion.

Academic Innovators Apply Here: MassVX Application

To allow interested applicants the opportunity to look over the questions before submitting, we have attached a downloadable version of the application. However, the online application must be completed to be considered for the MassVX program.

Spinout with a MassVX Entrepreneurial Champion!

We are intentionally using the term MassVX Entrepreneurial Champion to keep the business lead role flexible. Depending on the introduction, the Entrepreneurial Champion could be the CEO, an Entrepreneurial Chairperson or an Executive Chair. The academic innovator is the Chief Scientific Officer or Chief Technical Officer.

“Bring on a business expert so you can successfully lead the science.” - David Walt, an Entrepreneurial PI, Scientific Founder of Illumina, Inc., Quanterix Corp. and several other life sciences startups. Dave is a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor.

1. How We Help Academic Innovators

If you are an academic founder who meets the following criteria: 1) ready to expedite your spinout with a MassVX Entprepreneurial Champion 2) secured or applied for a patent, and 3) secured proof-of-concept funding, contact Susan Ahern at [email protected]

If accepted, we’ll curate the matches and make the introductions.

2. Want to be an Entrepreneurial Champion and Lead a Spinout?

Interested in being considered as a MassVX Entrepreneurial Champion?

Specifically, would you like to be actively considered for leadership opportunities in a Massachusetts academic spin-out? 

I am always looking to work with the best Entrepreneurial Champions. Please contact Susan Ahern, Director of MassVX at [email protected]

3. MassVX’s Differentiating Factors

  1. We personally cultivate a statewide network of referred-in individuals who are qualified, vetted, and then introduced.
  2. MassVX is a formal program with a structured and efficient process.
  3. MassVX has no conflict of interest.
  4. We fill a gap for most scientific innovators who have not developed a vetted business network.
  5. We created a MassVX Founder’s Understanding Kit.
  6. We provide THE innovation pipeline of opportunities from across all Massachusetts institutions.

MassVX Partners and Collaborators

MassVX Traction since our Launch

Support by world-class leading scientist/inventors including:

Dr. Bob Langer at MIT.

Dr. Langer’s patents have been licensed or sublicensed to over 400  pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device companies.  Dr. Langer has received over 220 major awards. He is one of 4 living individuals to have received both the United States National Medal of Science (2006) and the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2011).  He also received the 2002 Charles Stark Draper Prize, considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for engineers, the 2008 Millennium Prize, the world’s largest technology prize, the 2012 Priestley Medal, the highest award of the American Chemical Society, and the 2014 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. In 2015, Dr. Langer received the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.

Dr. George Church at Harvard/Wyss

George helped initiate the Human Genome Project in 1984 and the Personal Genome Project in 2005. His many innovations have been the basis for a number of companies including Editas (Gene therapy); Gen9bio (Synthetic DNA); and Veritas Genetics (full human genome sequencing). George leads Synthetic Biology at the Wyss Institute. Among his recent work at the Wyss is development of a technology for synthesizing whole genes, and engineering whole genomes, far faster, more accurate, and less costly than current methods. George is widely recognized for his innovative contributions to genomic science and his many pioneering contributions to chemistry and biomedicine.

Dr. David Walt at Harvard/Wyss

David pioneered the use of microwell arrays for single-molecule detection and analysis, which has revolutionized the process of genetic and proteomic sequencing, enabling the cost of DNA sequencing and genotyping to plummet nearly a millionfold in the last decade. This technology is now the gold standard for sequencing in a wide variety of applications including screening embryos for genetic defects before in vitro fertilization, studying disease in preserved/frozen tissues, improving crop disease resistance, and identifying individuals’ metabolic profiles to ensure proper drug dosage. David is a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Pathology, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. David is the Scientific Founder of Illumina, Inc. and Quanterix Corp, and has co-founded several other life sciences startups. He is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Dr. Donald Ingber at Harvard/Wyss

Donald E. Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., is the Founding Director of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, and Professor of Bioengineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He is a pioneer in the field of biologically inspired engineering, and at the Wyss Institute, he currently leads a multifaceted effort to develop breakthrough bioinspired technologies to advance healthcare and to improve sustainability. Donald’s work has led to major advances in mechanobiology, tumor angiogenesis, tissue engineering, systems biology, nanobiotechnology and translational medicine. He has also authored more than 430 publications and 150 patents, founded 5 companies, and has presented 517 plenary presentations and invited lectures world-wide.

College level players are welcome as scientific innovators.

Gained the support of all 34 Massachusetts academic and research institutions and the entrepreneurial community including:

  • NovoNordisk
  • Boehgringer Ingelheim
  • Johnson & Johnson Innovation
  • Lily Pharmaceuticals
  • Sumitomo
  • Mass Life Science Center
  • MassBio
  • MassMedic
  • Launched beta with:
    • 400 Entrepreneurial Champions identified
    • and a dozen academic projects on the platform

MassVX Advisory Committee

MassVX is complimentary to, but different than, other great entrepreneurial and mentoring programs in our ecosystem. We are positioning ourselves to be the next step for the academic founders who prefer to be the scientific and technology leads.

For selection into MassVX, both the academic innovator and the Entrepreneurial Champion needs to meet certain criteria.
Spinout with us!