Nucleate announces Eli Lilly and Company as a Platinum Sponsor of the 2023 Activator

2 min readJan 5, 2023

Nucleate, a nonprofit organization led by academic trainees and dedicated to empowering future biotech leaders, today announced that Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) will become a Platinum Level Sponsor of the 2023 Activator Program. Nucleate’s equity-free Activator program has supported more than 100 venture teams in their earliest stages of development, including Glyphic, NextRNA, and Manifold Bio. Lilly will be providing $300,000 in grants to promising technologies as part of the inaugural Eli Lilly and Company Genetic Medicine Grand Challenge.

The Eli Lilly and Company Genetic Medicine Grand Challenge will provide three (3), $100,000 grants to support breakthrough technologies in genetic medicine sourced from Nucleate’s community of early-career scientist innovators. The focus of the grants will span various categories of genetic medicine, including genome engineering, regenerative medicine, delivery/manufacturing, and an open umbrella category. Winning proposals will also have access to Lilly’s deep network of scientific and business expertise.

Researchers interested in being considered for each of The Eli Lilly and Company Genetic Medicine Grand Challenge grants may submit their proposals at Proposals must be submitted by March 1, 2023. Affiliation with Nucleate is not required in order to apply.

“Nucleate is honored to partner with Lilly and support the next-generation of biotech leaders and transformative technologies for genetic medicine”, said Oliver Dodd, Co-President, Co-Founder, and Treasurer of Nucleate. “We have built a global community of more than 600 scientist-innovators associated with 120 academic institutions, and thousands of industry mentors, experts, and advisors. The Eli Lilly and Company Genetic Medicine Grand Challenge Grants will allow us to showcase what this community can do when united to address common unmet needs for patients living with debilitating disease.”

“Gaining the support of a pioneering and foundational pharmaceutical company such as Lilly is a transformative moment for our organization”, said Geraldine Ezeka, EVP of Culture at Nucleate. “We are eager to leverage Lilly’s talented and experienced network of scientists, operators, and investors. Together with our community of passionate & diverse early-career scientists, we will build an enduring bridge between academia and industry resulting in long-term friendships, mentor-mentee relationships, and increased innovation.”

About Nucleate

Nucleate is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering the next generation of biotech leaders. With chapters spanning 18 geographic regions and participation from over 120 academic institutions, Nucleate sparks new intellectual communities and embeds emerging talent within a global biotech community. Through open-access educational programming, Nucleate helps democratize biotech innovation — removing barriers and helping founders concentrate on building transformational technologies. Visit for more information, and email if you want to get involved with our programming.