Bakar Labs Wins East Bay Innovation Award

By Kaspar Mossman.

Last night, at a gala ceremony in Oakland organized by the East Bay Economic Development Alliance, Bakar Labs won the East Bay Innovation Award in the Life Sciences category. Thank you to everyone who made this possible: our donor, behind everything we do; our tenants, working hard to find new cures; our affiliates, for all their support; and our bizops and lab ops teams, who ensure everything runs smoothly!

The Innovation Award recognizes the real contribution Bakar Labs makes to the regional economy by supporting entrepreneurs building new companies, hiring skilled workers, bringing in investment, expanding their operations, and forging partnerships as they develop cures and solutions for the most urgent challenges that face us in human health. Since the incubator’s launch in November 2021, the 38 companies that we’ve hosted have raised more than $380 million and created more than 300 jobs.

Workforce development, as an extension of education, is also a key economic contribution of ours that will only increase over time. Through the QWEST and Break Into Biotech internship programs run by QB3, which place UC Berkeley students with Bakar Labs companies, we provide an onramp for skilled talent to join the biotech economy in the East Bay and beyond.

The East Bay EDA is a public-private partnership that promotes strategic economic development throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties. According to their website, “The East Bay Innovation Awards is the premier program of its kind that celebrates and honors the extraordinary companies and organizations that contribute to the East Bay’s legacy of innovation. The annual awards ceremony showcases outstanding organizations that embrace innovation in their manufacturing, products, services, design, and information.”

The event, held at the Scottish Rite Center, a striking building on the shore of Oakland’s Lake Merritt, was an introduction to the breadth of economic activity in the region – from Richmond south to Fremont; from Berkeley and Oakland east to Brentwood and Livermore. Awards were made in ten categories: advanced manufacturing, arts & culture, built environment, clean tech, community impact, education, engineering & design, food, life sciences, and technology.

At the red carpet interview following the award presentation, managing director Gino Segre was asked what lay ahead for Bakar Labs in the coming year. His answer: “More innovative companies. More creative approaches to finding new cures. More investment and more jobs for the East Bay.” The interviewer insisted that Gino and his colleagues repeat it for the camera: “More!”