Life Science Accelerator

The Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) at Mission Bay is located in the QB3/PharmChem Digital Garage on the campus of the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF).

Typically, the space is only available to University of California spin-offs, but the CTA provides British Columbia entrepreneurs with direct access to California’s dynamic life science cluster.

Startups collaborate with UCSF scientists and QB3, a technology institute engaged in quantitative bioscience research. The focus is commercializing new discoveries as quickly as possible. The QB3 network includes over 220 research labs and has helped launch 65 companies since 2000. Corporate partners include Pfizer and GE Health.

Space is available in Mission Bay for up to six months. The immersion in the Bay Area’s business ecosystem provides entrepreneurial inspiration and new perspectives which help Canadian companies refine their business model. Specifically, accelerator participants receive:

  • office space with inspired and like-minded global entrepreneurs, free of charge
  • access to experienced mentors and advisors such as the Canadian expatriate group C100
  • access to industry leaders and talents, including University of California researchers
  • access to a broad range of core facilities that QB3 and UC provide to outside users for modest fees
  • participation in matchmaking, entrepreneur development programs and investor events
  • assistance from the Life Science Trade Commissioner in San Francisco

Three of the four Canadian companies that participated in CTA@MissionBay in 2012 are based in British Columbia:

Aquinox Pharmaceuticals: committed to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel and targeted small molecule therapeutics.

BioMark Technologies: focused on the research, development and commercialization of its novel Acetylated Biomarker Assay (ABA) Red Alert technology, a patented screening technology used for the determination of tumour burden.

Precision NanoSystems: creating innovative tools for the development and manufacture of best-in-class nanoparticles for use as medicines, and in medical research.