The Life Science Mentor Network

The Life Science Mentor 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.

Since 2015, the mentor network 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 Mentor Network also provides unique access to industry specific assets, networking opportunities with BioTN’s members and partners and opportunities to participate in BioTN and Launch Tennessee programming.

The BioTN 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.

For more information on BioTN’s Mentor Network partner, clichere.

Steven King

Steven leads the Life Science Mentor Network program. With more than 30 years of experience across the healthcare industry, King has a thorough understanding of the early stages companies must navigate including ideation, business formation, strategy, fund raising, regulatory and commercialization. King’s prior experience as a senior executive leader for Insight Health Corporation, Eli Lilly & Company and Cardinal Health, as well as his previous work in six start-up companies, has uniquely positioned him to guide early-stage companies towards operational success. King previously served as the President, Chief Executive Officer and Board Director of Restore Medical Solutions, a venture-financed manufacturer of sterile processing technology based in Memphis, TN.