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First Look SoCal Innovation Showcase 2021 [Virtual]

June 16, 2021 @ 9:00 am June 17, 2021 @ 3:00 pm

Sponsored by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, KPPB LP, Alexandria Venture Investments, and EastWest Bank
Presented by the Alliance for SoCal Innovation and LAVA

Wednesday June 16 + Thursday June 17
9a – 3p PT (both days)

The First Look SoCal Innovation Showcase is an annual event that celebrates the best early-stage teams commercializing tech and life science breakthroughs from the top research institutions in Southern California. Startups will have an unparalleled opportunity to connect with top-tier investors and successful serial entrepreneurs. The day’s program will feature a lineup of quick-pitch presentations, each followed by investor-led Q&A, and panel discussions with key investors and industry leaders. 
Why You Should Attend

  • Get a first look at emerging technology with high potential for market disruption and impact
  • Discover companies seeking early stage funding to commercialize big ideas with massive potential
  • See 27 emerging startups do live quick pitch w/Q&A from notable investors PLUS 2 keynotes, 2  panels, and 2 workshops for startups
  • Free to attend including the webinar and startup workshops


Platinum Sponsor

Tech Track Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Full Event Schedule


Moderator: Matt Bresnahan, Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

9:00a Welcome Remarks Gene Sykes, Managing DIrector at Goldman Sachs, and Andy Wilson, Executive Director of the Alliance for SoCal Innovation

9:10a Keynote Andy Slavitt, Senior Advisor White House COVID-19 Response Team “Transformational opportunities in healthcare innovation”

9:45a Startup Presentations Session 1: Therapeutics
Aracari Biosciences  MyoGene Bio  OncoXome  Serpass Biologics  Tortuga Biosciences

11:00a Startup Presentations Session 2: Medtech/Surgical
ACatechol • Bio-Zipper • eLysis • SAAVI

12:00p Workshop for Startups
Zach Myers, Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati “Financing Trends and Strategies: Early Stage Financings”

12:45p Startup Presentations Session 3: Medtech/Device & Diagnostics
Sayenza Biosciences • StyloSonic • Synova Life Sciences • Veriskin

2:00p Corporate Innovation Panel 
“Beyond Licensing: How Life Science Corporations Tap Into and Commercialize Breakthrough University Research”
An expert panel of leaders from SoCal’s top Life Science companies discuss how they partner with research institutions and primary investigators for commercialization activities and collaboration including Acquisition, Funding/Investment, Sponsored Research and Joint Ventures and other non-traditional collaborations.


Moderator: Minnie Ingersoll, Venture Partner, TenOneTen Ventures

9:00a Welcome Remarks Gene Sykes, Managing DIrector at Goldman Sachs, and Andy Wilson, Executive Director of the Alliance for SoCal Innovation

9:10a Keynote George Whitesides, Chair and former CEO, Virgin Galactic “Frontier tech innovation and the future of commercial space.” 

9:45a Startup Presentations Session 1: Hardware & Devices
EDGE Sound Research • Force Impact Technologies • Milo Sensors  Zxerex Corporation

10:45a Startup Presentations Session 2: Computing/Software
Apsy  flashpub.io • SmartSpace AI • Tallyfor • Teuvonet Technologies

12:00p Workshop for Startups 
Kenji Funahashi, Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati “Startup and Financing Tips

12:45p Startup Presentations Session 3: Clean/Green Tech
Catapower • CurrentRF • Liquid8 • Mi Terro

1:45p Founder Panel 
“How it’s done: getting from lab to market success”
An unvarnished look at the ups and downs of the founder journey as told by the entrepreneurs who’ve taken the exhilarating challenge of commercializing frontier technology.

Participating Institutions

Selection Committee

The Selection Committee evaluated the team applications based on factors such as potential for disruption, novelty of the innovation/discovery, size of the commercial opportunity and/or overall potential for impact,  viability, and team composition.

We designed the final lineup with the committee’s input as well as ensure that it reflects the diversity of voices, geographies, and technologies that drive innovation in the SoCal ecosystem.

Dave Whelan

CEO, BioscienceLA


Bassil Dahiyat

CEO, Xencor


Brian Varnum

Chief Development Officer, Armata Pharmaceuticals


Darren Eng

Executive Director, LAVA


Matt Bresnahan

Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati


Andy Wilson

Executive Director, Alliance for SoCal Innovation