Early Stage Mentoring


Early-Stage Mentoring

Early-Stage Mentoring

Learn what Opus Bio’s QB3 mentor is doing for them.

So you’ve got an idea for a biotech or biopharma technology that can change the world, make people’s lives better. You have preliminary data. What now? How do you get on the road to commercialization? How can you set yourself up for success? Mentorship is the answer. We can connect you to mentors who have decades of experience in life science, having founded, led and invested in multiple companies. They’re grateful for what they’ve achieved. They want to give back by helping you.

“I should have sought out people who had been down the road before.”

— UC Berkeley professor & Nobel laureate Jennifer Doudna, on the one thing she would have changed about her experience commercializing CRISPR

We take applications quarterly, with deadlines on February 16, May 17, August 16, and November 15.

Our goals for the program

QB3 and Bakar Labs, the incubator that we operate in partnership with UC Berkeley, both serve entrepreneurs translating new technology to solve the most important problems facing society. Through this program, we offer training for entrepreneurs, and hope to generate high-quality tenant companies for our incubator. But if your company decides another space is better, we’ll be just as happy to have helped you get started!

Why you want this

Expert guidance

We’ll match you with experienced mentors who can advise you on:

Welcome to Our Community

  • Concierge service. You’ll get invitations to all in-person speakers, showcases, and networking events at Bakar Labs.
  • You’ll have fun connecting with and learning from your peers and the mentor group.
  • We arrange group meetings so you can get answers to your questions about IP law, financing, investing, and more.

Potential for Funding

  • You’ll get exposure to our affiliated venture firm BEVC.
  • Mentors will nominate select candidates to pitch for for $100K proof-of-concept support. This could take the form of a grant to a UC academic lab, or in-kind support to an incorporated company: $100K worth of rent at Bakar Labs, in exchange for a SAFE note. (This is contingent on acceptance to the incubator.)

What it costs

There is no fee for the program.

It is anticipated that after a 3-month trial period, if the entrepreneur-mentor relationship is productive, a mentor will begin to receive equity in the company as a consultant. Amount: If pre-incorporation, none. If recently incorporated, 1% to vest over months 4-6 of the program. If seed funded, 0.5%. If Series A funded, 0.25%.


  • Pre-incorporation or recently incorporated company commercializing biotech with a wet-lab component.
  • More than just a concept. Initial data in hand.
  • Based in California, or intending to move here soon.
  • No university affiliation required.

How it works

If you meet the criteria above, please scroll down to apply. Our team will assess your technology and connect you to a mentor or mentors with experience in your field. We assess applications and assign mentors on a quarterly schedule.

You’ll work with the mentors directly. We can reserve meeting space at the Bakar Labs incubator on the UC Berkeley campus.

We take applications quarterly, with deadlines on February 16, May 17, August 16, and November 15.

News from program participants

Companies in the program

Q4 2024
DiscoDisc Bio

Q1 2023
Elenae Tx
Radar Tx

Q2 2023
Olfa Thera
ReCreate Bio

Q3 2023
Omni Tx
Opus Bio

Q4 2023
Sprint Synthesis

Q1 2024
Tipping Point

Q2 2024
Aggregate Bio

Mentor Board

Brian Atwood

Managing Director, Versant Ventures

Jamie Bacher

agriculture biotech, industrial biotech, synthetic biology

Fay Christodoulou

CSO Microfluidics, Integra Biosciences

Ameena El-Bibany

Ameena El-Bibany

Life Science Investor

Colin Farlow

Colin Farlow

Head of Serotiny

Justin Farlow

Justin Farlow

Head of Serotiny, R&D

Xue Snow Ge

VP, Clinical Pharmacology, BridgeBio

Jane Grogan

Head of Research, Biogen

Mandana Honu

Mandana Honu

Biotech BD & Strategy Executive

John Hoekman

CSO & Founder, Impel NeuroPharma

Melissa Kotterman

Former CSO, Iris Medicine Co-Founder, 4D Molecular & IGNITE Immunotherapy

Manfred Lee

COO, Mirvie

Jennifer Leeds

Executive Director, Head BD&L Search and Evaluation, West Coast and Canada, Translational Medicine, and Oncology, Novartis

Xiaole Shirley Liu

Co-Founder & CEO, GV20 Therapeutics

Nadja Mannowetz

Nadja Mannowetz

Co-Founder & CSO, YourChoice Therapeutics

Widya Mulyasasmita

Managing Partner, BEVC

George Rehm

Director, Artera.AI

Ben Sun

Advisor, Berkeley SkyDeck

Mickey Urdea

Founder & Partner, Halteres Associates

Jimmy Zhang

Founder, Former Chairman & CEO, AccuGen Group; Former VP Transactions, J&J

Carolyne Zimmermann

CBO, SonoThera

QB3 Early-Stage Mentoring Application Form