Programs for Entrepreneurs

NYC Early-Stage Life Sciences Funding Initiative

The City of New York Early-Stage Life Sciences Funding Initiative represents an unprecedented public-private partnership across world-class academic institutions, industry leaders, top-tier investors, and the philanthropic community.

NYC Life Sciences

Established by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) with at least $50 million in matching funds from top-tier venture capital partners including Celgene Corporation, GE Ventures, and Eli Lilly & Company, the funding partnership will deploy a minimum of $100 million and seeks to launch 15 to 20 breakthrough ventures by 2020.

The Life Sciences Funding Initiative is the capstone to a portfolio of City initiatives designed to champion New York City's early-stage life sciences ecosystem. It was designed to support the development of new technologies and products for patients and researchers, including therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics, research and development instrumentation, and digital life sciences technologies.

The program will anchor and accelerate the growth of New York City’s ecosystem for venture creation and early-stage research and development, ultimately transforming the landscape of life sciences in the city and advancing cutting-edge innovations for patients in need.


Phase I - Selection of Therapeutics VC Partner(s)

  • October 2013: VC Partner proposals submitted
  • November 2013 to Mid 2014: Competitive review of VC Partner proposals underway

Phase II - Selection of Non-Therapeutics VC Partner(s)

  • July-August 2014: Request for VC Partner Proposals Open
  • Fall 2014: Competitive review of VC Partner proposals

Late 2014: First investments


NYCEDC, Celgene, Lilly, and GE have agreed to co-invest a minimum of $50M in seed and Series A funding in new life sciences ventures alongside a select cohort of top-tier investment partners with venture capital and venture creation expertise in a structure that incentivizes the creation of new life sciences ventures in NYC.

The City is currently leading a highly competitive selection process to identify the fund initiatives' anchor venture capital partners. With responses to the RFP submitted before October 17, 2013, eight institutional VC investors from around the country are under consideration. With these selections in place by year-end, the Life Sciences Funding Initiative is expected to make its first investments in mid- to late 2014.

The strategic partners will receive early visibility on quality deal flow in NYC, benefiting from top-tier due diligence on new venture opportunities. The strategic partners will also participate in an extensive advisory network, working closely with the investment partners, leading scientists, and entrepreneurs to launch new companies from scratch. NYCEDC and the strategic partners envision increasing the scale of the project through additional civic and strategic partners and contributions from philanthropy and industry.

In seeking VC Partners for the Life Sciences Fund, the City will base its selection on a number of factors relating to the firms’ ability to build a generation of new companies around cutting-edge science, recruit first-class industrial R&D talent, deploy sufficient follow-on capital over the long-term, work alongside the City’s academic medical centers, research foundations and Strategic Partners, and commit resources to the NYC ecosystem.

These top-tier VC Partners will help strengthen networks and spark interdisciplinary collaborations across the City’s leading life sciences stakeholders and attract a critical mass of serial entrepreneurs and C-level managers with expertise in life sciences venture creation and producing high quality deal-flow for investors.

Contact Us

If you are interested in participating as a strategic investor, civic partner, or VC partner, email Raphael Farzan-Kashani. 

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