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SR Wins the 2020 Life Sciences & Healthcare Nonprofit Pitch Challenge

Nonprofit Receives $2,500 from Life Science Cares and a One-Year Membership with MassBio

On Nov. 4, MassBio and Life Science Cares hosted the 2nd annual Life Science & Healthcare Nonprofit Organizations Pitch Challenge, a competition to showcase and grow awareness of nonprofit organizations operating in our ecosystem. Five Massachusetts-based nonprofits pitched their missions and models to an expert panel of judges with life science and nonprofit industry expertise. Science Rehashed was crowned the Challenge Winner, earning a free one-year MassBio membership and a $2,500 award courtesy of Life Science Cares.

Runners up included Our Odyssey and BUILD Boston, each of which will receive a Visa gift card contributed by MassBio.

In Massachusetts, nonprofit organizations play a critical role in the life sciences ecosystem. Scientists move between nonprofit and for-profit organizations to conduct early-stage and cutting-edge research. Nonprofits advocate and educate to increase diversity in STEM fields, and they are often incubators for future generations in the workforce. In addition, these organizations provide partnership opportunities, best practices support and the relationships to reach and help members of the community with whom they already serve through their jobs.

“Many folks may be aware of nonprofit universities and hospitals in our industry; however, they may not be as knowledgeable about the life science nonprofit sector in areas such as workforce development, education, patient advocacy, science diversity, basic research, therapeutic discovery, research support and many more,” says Sarah MacDonald, Executive Director of Life Science Cares, a collective effort of the life science industry connecting companies with nonprofits that improve the lives of people living in poverty in target cities nationwide. “We wanted to create the awareness for and recognition of the community work within our industry through this event.”

Each finalist made a five-minute pitch and took questions from the judges before the judges met separately to determine a winner. Finalists included:

  • BUILD Boston, a nonprofit that leverages entrepreneurship to ignite the potential of youth from under-resourced communities and propel them to high school, college & career success

  • STEM Advocacy Institute, an incubator that provides access to infrastructure, mentorship, community, training, and funding to accelerate the building of tools, programs, and initiatives that increase access between science and society.

  • New England Graduate Women in Science & Engineering, Inc, a student-led cooperative designed to support all women graduate students in the STEM field in the New England area.

  • Our Odyssey, a nonprofit that connects young adults impacted by a rare or chronic condition with social and emotional support in the hope of improving their quality of life.

  • Science Rehashed, a podcast on a mission to bring breakthroughs in medicine and life sciences through interviews with scientists lead authors of recently published papers to anybody with internet access for free.

Science Rehashed was created in August 2019 to provide universal access to recent scientific breakthroughs in medicine and life sciences through podcast interviews with scientists of recently published papers. The program addresses a need of scientists and students in resource-poor countries, who do not have the means or institutional support to obtain recent scientific papers in the life sciences and engineering to enrich their research or education.

“There is nothing more rewarding than making a difference in the lives of people in poor and unprivileged geographies,” said Mehdi Jorfi, Founder and Co-host of Science Rehashed, who grew up in Iran and experienced firsthand the gap in access to scientific information. “If I could choose one thing to do for the rest of my life is giving back to the community that was so instrumental in paving my way.”

Science Rehashed offers four different series: Rehashing Science, Meet the Legend, 360ᵒ Perspective, and Wonder WomXn in Science and Engineering (WWiSE). Since its inception in 2019, Science Rehashed has released 21 episodes, hosted 32 leading experts in the fields of medicine, life sciences science and engineering, and released over 500 minutes of scientific content. The podcast has reached audiences across 75 different countries around the globe and the newly initiated Ambassador Program will continue to help spread the mission across the US and internationally.

“It’s exciting to know that we can give back while learning and growing in the process,” said Shen Ning, Co-founder and Co-host of Science Rehashed. “It’s amazing to see organizations come together to support nonprofit teams that tackle important social and scientific issues. We are very grateful for the support and confidence from MassBio and Life Science Cares.”

Judges included:

  • Laura Kleiman, Founder and Executive Director of Reboot Rx and 2019 Nonprofit Pitch Challenge Winner

  • Katie McCarthy, Chief Development Officer at Halloran

  • Sarah MacDonald, Executive Director of Life Science Cares

The pitch event was conceived by MassBio’s Nonprofit Working Group and enthusiastically supported by Life Science Cares, which works with 300+ companies to find ways to give back in Greater Boston. “The life science industry is an enormous sector in Massachusetts, but the community was not coming together to contribute to social justice in any organized way,” says Joanne Kamens, Ph.D., Executive Director for Addgene and Co-Chair of the Nonprofit Working Group. “Life Science Cares quickly became a force in changing this. Our committee was honored to partner with Life Science Cares because of the success they have had identifying nonprofit needs and harnessing industry time, talent and treasure to meet those needs.”

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