Mark Fischer-Colbrie, CEO and President, and Rich Ellson, CTO and a Co-Founder of Labcyte Inc., have been named National EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2013 Life Sciences Finalists. The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award is the country’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The award encourages entrepreneurial activity and recognizes leaders and visionaries who demonstrate innovation, financial success and personal commitment as they create and build world-class businesses.
Mark and Rich were honored at the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards gala, the culminating event of the EY Strategic Growth Forum ® in Palm Springs, California. The Strategic Growth Forum is the nation’s premier gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges and from more than 250 regional award recipients.
In June 2013, Mark and Rich were named Northern California EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2013 Life Sciences Winners. This regional award designation qualified Labcyte to participate in the National Entrepreneur Of The Year program where they competed against Regional Life Sciences Award Recipients from across the country, and subsequently became one of three contenders within the National Life Sciences award category.
Labcyte has revolutionized life science with the Echo ® liquid handler, using acoustic energy to dispense liquids with unmatched precision and without physical contact. These innovations have enabled scientists to enhance personalized medicine programs, streamline DNA/RNA diagnostic testing, optimize drug discovery pipelines and accelerate life science research. Labcyte customers have published in peer-reviewed journals and received patents that clearly demonstrate discoveries and results that would have been impossible with traditional liquid-handling approaches.
“By using our systems, researchers have discovered new therapeutics, determined how to select the best treatment for cancer patients on an individual basis and generated better information for diagnostics. This technology has been adopted by all of the top pharmaceutical firms and is in use around the globe,” said Mark Fischer-Colbrie. “What Rich and the technical team have invented will ultimately be used in every phase of the life sciences.” Mark became CEO and president of Labcyte in September 2008 following working with the company in business development. He has a background in growing companies in the areas of diagnostics, medical devices, therapeutics and high technology. He currently sits on both the board of directors of JDRF International, which is focused on finding a cure for type 1 diabetes, and on the board of the Analytical Life Science and Diagnostics Association.
“Moving from discovery in a garage to a world-wide presence is part of the classic Silicon Valley success story,” said Rich Ellson. “Even more compelling is what the team has accomplished. The ability to control liquids with precision and accuracy down to the billionth of a liter is fundamental to advances in medicine, from drug discovery to diagnostics and customized treatments. Acoustic liquid handling is becoming the backbone for high-throughput, automated investigations as it miniaturizes experiments while reducing costs.” Rich is a co-founder of Labcyte and began the product development in 2000. He has been chief technical officer since the inception of the company. His background in fluid dynamics and the life sciences helped to generate many of the 53 US patents in the Labcyte portfolio, reflecting the promise for the technology.
“Ernst & Young has honored outstanding entrepreneurs like this year’s winners for the past 27 years,” said Ernie Cortes, Ernst & Young LLP Entrepreneur Of The Year Northern California Program Director. “These business leaders have accomplished so much and contributed a tremendous amount to the community. They give us hope for what is in the future.” National Entrepreneur Of The Year 2013 Overall Award winner Hamid Moghadam of Prologis was named the National EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2013 Overall Award winner.