Nucleate Boston partners with the Massachusetts Life Science Center to support the formation of early-stage biotech ventures

4 min readOct 31, 2022


Massachusetts Life Sciences Center extends grant to Nucleate Boston’s Activator Program to support promising early stage technology spin-outs from local academic institutions.

Today, the Nucleate Boston chapter is proud to announce its partnership with the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC). As a Platinum level regional partner, the MLSC will provide funding totaling $50,000 to the Boston chapter, support the regional expansion of its programming, and sponsor a Massachusetts-based prize for the 2023 Activator program, which facilitates early-stage company formation in the life sciences.

“We are proud to support Nucleate’s expansionary vision to support the next generation of life sciences startups,” said MLSC President and CEO Kenn Turner. “The entrepreneurial community is a foundational piece to the Commonwealth’s global leadership in the life sciences. The Activator program is a wonderful initiative catalyzing the innovation and diversity of our ecosystem.”

Since 2019, Nucleate’s equity-free Activator program has supported over 50 early-stage venture teams in the Boston Area, including Glyphic, Concerto Biosciences, and Manifold Bio. In the past two years, the Activator program has rapidly expanded from its founding Boston chapter to 18 U.S and international geographic regions. Activator participants meet potential co-founders and are equipped with an unparalleled network, educational workshops, and legal support. In total, Activator companies have received more than $170M in funding following program completion, and created over 120 new jobs already.

“Having launched out of the Harvard Biotech Club four years ago, Nucleate has deep roots in the Massachusetts life science ecosystem,” said Nucleate Co-President, Oliver Dodd. “We are excited to continue expanding our presence within Massachusetts, and honored that we are able to share resources and models of innovation across the country and the globe through our diverse and passionate community of student and industry leaders.”

The life science ecosystem in Massachusetts is unparalleled, and the MLSC exists to support continued innovation efforts. Nucleate’s partnership with the MLSC will be leveraged to expand the Activator to more academic institutions, further supporting the growth of the Massachusetts and broader life science industry.

“Through this partnership, we hope to bring the vibrant community that Nucleate built in Boston to more regions throughout Massachusetts. We will create a state-wide entrepreneurial network, increasing accessibility, diversity, and inclusion in the life sciences realm,” said Emma Bortz, Director of Partnerships for Nucleate’s Boston Chapter.

“Last year, our Boston Activator program had our largest cohort yet, with 19 venture teams and leadership covering over 15 regional institutions,” said Vidisha Mohad, Co-Managing Director of Nucleate Boston. “We are excited to see what our teams accomplish in this upcoming cycle as we contribute to the transforming Massachusetts biotechnology landscape.”

Partnership between the MLSC and Nucleate will facilitate further innovation and venture creation in the Massachusetts life sciences industry through the 2023 Boston Activator.

About MLSC

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is an economic development investment agency dedicated to supporting the growth and development of the life sciences in Massachusetts, home to the most verdant and productive life sciences ecosystem in the world. Through public-private funding initiatives, the MLSC supports innovation, research and development, commercialization, and manufacturing activities in the fields of biopharma, medical device, diagnostics and digital health. Since its creation in 2007, the MLSC has strategically deployed approximately $919 million in Massachusetts, through a combination of grants, loans, capital infrastructure investments, tax incentives and workforce programs. These investments have created thousands of jobs and propelled the development of new therapies, devices and scientific advancements that are improving patient health and well-being in Massachusetts and beyond.

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.

About the Activator Program

Nucleate’s flagship educational program, Activator, facilitates the formation of new life science companies solving pressing biomedical or ecological challenges. Unlike traditional accelerators, Activator is an equity-free, fee-free, hands-on entrepreneurship program that stimulates regional innovation and builds a global community of biotech entrepreneurs. Empowering academic trainees to translate their groundbreaking science into successful companies, Activator facilitates entrepreneurial education through team formation, mentorship and expert support, rigorous workshop series, and a final pitch showcase.