On May 18th, East Bay EDA hosted the first Meet the Innovators event at Wareham Development’s EmeryStation Research Campus, drawing a diverse group of attendees. This series aims to showcase pioneering organizations in the region while celebrating the vibrant entrepreneurial community and its illustrious history of innovation. The event’s spotlight was on the flourishing life sciences and biotech industries in the East Bay.

The event offered attendees an opportunity to hear from esteemed business leaders and past recipients of the East Bay Innovation Awards. These distinguished speakers shared invaluable insights into the latest cutting-edge technologies and advancements within their respective industries. The panel included Mike Blank, General Manager, Catalent Pharma Solutions; Elizabeth Garner, Senior Director of T Cell Therapeutics, Caribou Biosciences; Alexander Steiner, Vice President – Business Development, Prellis Biologics and Courtney Carr Heuer, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Scientific Adventures for Girls.

East Bay EDA’s Executive Director, Stephen Baiter; Emeryville Mayor, John Bauters, and Alameda County Supervisor for District 5, Keith Carson greeted guests and introduced the panel of talented speakers.

East Bay EDA Chair and Alameda County Supervisor for District 5, Keith Carson, delivered an impassioned address, emphasizing the pivotal role played by Wareham Development in the community. He commended the company for its philanthropic endeavors and innovative spirit, recognizing the positive impact it has had on the local community. Carson specifically highlighted Wareham’s commitment to providing opportunities for youth engagement in the field of science, empowering the younger generation to explore their potential. Moreover, Carson shared East Bay EDA’s efforts in fostering economic growth and innovation in the East Bay region, stressing the vital role played by organizations like Wareham Development in driving forward.

During the event, Mayor Bauters emphasized Emeryville’s dynamic nature, stating, “You’re in a city that’s constantly reinventing the future.” He highlighted the remarkable growth in the region, sharing, “In a one-square-mile footprint last year, there was over one billion dollars in venture capital investment in Emeryville.” He also said, “There are currently permitted for construction, in the construction pipeline, over two million square feet of new lab and research space to do frontier and cutting-edge technology work in life sciences.” Emeryville’s commitment to fostering innovation and providing state-of-the-art facilities underscores its position as a hub for groundbreaking.

Mike Blank of Catalent Pharma Solutions highlighted the importance of being prepared for change and embracing innovation. He emphasized the challenge of implementing change and encouraged individuals to be adaptable and ready to pivot. Blank metaphorically described the need to be grounded in current endeavors while remaining open to new possibilities. Overall, his remarks emphasized the significance of preparedness, adaptability, and balancing stability with exploration in the pursuit of innovation.

Thank you to all who joined us! We hope you will join us on June 20th for Meet the Innovators in San Ramon!