The Life Science Network

The Life Science Network is a systematic mentoring program that continues to make a positive impact on the entrepreneurial community in our industry. The purpose of the program is to develop quality startups so they are prepared to make pitches for investment.

In the spring of 2015, Life Science Tennessee partnered with Launch Tennessee to launch the mentor network program. Since then, it has successfully connected seasoned mentors with exciting new companies to leverage the wealth of knowledge available in our state’s larger accelerator network, all while supporting our startup economy.

The Life Science Network also provides unique access to industry specific assets, networking opportunities with Life Science Tennessee’s members and partners and opportunities to participate in Life Science Tennessee and Launch Tennessee programming.

The Life Science Network uses a video conference service to engage and connect mentors and entrepreneurs across the State of Tennessee and beyond. Of course, in- person meetings are encouraged when possible.

Below is a graphic showing our stage-gate mentoring process.


PRE-INTAKE. The application and pre-acceptance interview process is streamlined for the entrepreneur and mentors. Limited mentoring led by the program director happens in this phase focused on key steps to help prepare the company to enter the program.

INTAKE & EVALUATION. The entrepreneur gains immediate feedback from a panel of seasoned life science mentors on the general business plan and strategy. In this phase, the company is evaluated for readiness to enter the program completely or remain in a “pre- intake” phase. If accepted into the program, an EIR (Entrepreneur in Residence) and a team of mentors are assigned to the company.

MARKETING. The entrepreneur is mentored in preparation to present their pitch to a panel of industry marketing experts that focuses on the company’s strategy and market analysis.

FINANCE. The entrepreneur is mentored in preparation to present their pitch to a panel of industry financial experts that focuses on the company’s economics.

FINAL COACHING. The complete business model and pitch are refined in light of all feedback received.

FINAL PANEL AND PROGRAM GRADUATION. A formal presentation is given to a panel of mentors, including other strategic partners, customers, investors and industry experts.

After completing the program, startups have an investable pitch, a rock-solid business model and a plan to develop and scale their company. These tools will position Tennessee’s life science entrepreneurs to raise capital, seek funding from SBIR and grow their technologies.

Learn more about what it takes to be a Mentor here.

For more information on the Life Science Network, click here.

Jim Monsor

Jim leads the Life Science TN Mentor program. He has more than 33 years of device, diagnostic, drug, biologics and combination product experience. He is currently CEO of Relay Life Science. Most recently he served as COO for BioMimetic Therapeutics for 12 years, leading growth from four to 100 employees through multiple regulatory approvals. He has broad experience in operations, supply chain management, early stage R&D, product development, tech transfer, quality system, product approvals, regulatory, IT and facilities management for bulk drug and finished products. His experience spans early stage research through all phases of development product launch, and routine commercial operations.