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GMU/ICAP Mentorship Program Connects Mentors with Growing Life Science Startups

The purpose of the Innovation Commercialization Assistance program is to help startup businesses establish who their customers are so that business owners can form an appropriate and successful business model. ICAP is the perfect program for businesses that are still in the early stages of their business before any steps toward expansion can really take place. Learn more about other partner programs here.

Developing an ecosystem for life sciences startups takes a lot of energy and support. The Innovation Commercialization Assistance Program (ICAP), a program of George Mason University and the Virginia SBDC, has been laying the groundwork to support these emerging companies and has tapped two new life sciences mentors to provide guidance for entrepreneurs.

Paula Sorrell, Associate Vice President of Innovation & Economic Development at George Mason University, said the tech mentorship program run through the university has been funded by Virginia Bio, the state’s life sciences advocacy organization, and is part of Virginia Bio’s Virginia Bio-Connect Grant, which is funded by GO Virginia.

“Virginia Bio and Mason’s Institute for Biohealth Innovations were working together and had identified a need for specialized mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs.  It corresponded with Mason Enterprise’s plan to build a team of tech mentors,” Sorrell said.

Willie McPheat, who spent a significant number of years with AstraZeneca, joined ICAP as a mentor at the beginning of December 2021.Even though ICAP is overseen by George Mason University, McPheat noted that the mentors are available to all life sciences startups in Virginia.

“We’re hosted by GMU, but we work throughout the whole of the state. It makes no difference if people are affiliated with the university or not,” McPheat said. This is made possible by being part of the Virginia SBDC Network.

Anyone interested in learning more about ICAP and the Life Science Mentors should reach out to the program’s director, Josh Green, at [email protected].

Read more here.