A capacity crowd of over 100 entrepreneurs, scientists, students and the general public gathered at the Pasadena Convention Center on October 21st to learn about the exciting research happening in their city. Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, California Senator Jack Scott and President of the Pasadena Bioscience Collaborative Bruce Blomstrom set the tone in their opening remarks by underscoring the unique value of Pasadena’s thriving life science and biotech community.
In his intimate, conversational style Nobel Laureate and serial entrepreneur Dr. Robert Grubbs gave a rousing keynote presentation highlighted by his personal experiences running highly successful startups and insights on how Pasadena can help secure a bright future for fledgling companies. For Dr. Grubbs the decision to stay in Pasadena was an easy one. Proximity to Caltech and JPL, available real estate and a high quality of life made it hard for him to find any reasons to not.
This sentiment was echoed repeatedly throughout the rest of the afternoon in presentations covering a wide range of topics that ranged from science education to disease diagnosis or prevention and beyond. Joined by representatives from the Oak Crest Institute of Science and the Amgen Biotech Experience, over half of the companies who presented are tenants of the Pasadena Bioscience Collaborative, an early stage biotech incubator that has been helping companies succeed for over 10 years.
One of PBC’s newest tenants Platinum Group Coatings (PGC) specializes in implantable electrodes that help alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s disease along with a host of other applications. Co-Founder and CEO of PGC Jack Whalen floored the audience with a video demonstrating his groups’ technology at work. Shot by the recipient of the electrodes himself, the video showed how revolutionary PGC’s implants are when the uncontrollable tremors the patient suffers from disappeared completely when the implants were switched on. In an afternoon full of powerful moments, this remarkable testimonial provided a take home message that Pasadena will soon be mentioned in the same breath as San Diego or Boston when people talk about leading edge scientific research.