Fostering interactions among industry, investors, government, and academia

AbbVie Golden Ticket

AbbVie is accepting submissions for its inaugural AbbVie-LabCentral Golden Ticket competition now through April 12, 2021!
As a gold sponsor of LabCentral, AbbVie will award two early-stage companies to take up residence in LabCentral's Kendall Square facilities. Each AbbVie-LabCentral Golden Ticket includes up to one year of bench space for one scientist and the benefits of LabCentral's shared infrastructure and services.
Please see below for application details and FAQs:


Application Requirements

Early-stage life science companies and biotech startups that are pursuing:

  • Therapeutics (any modality, in therapeutic areas listed below that are relevant to AbbVie) and
  • Life-science therapeutic platform technologies (e.g. Gene therapy, novel cell therapy, gene editing or novel drug discovery platform technologies) are invited to participate.

  • Diagnostics, Devices, Research Tools, and Healthcare Services/IT are excluded.
  • Companies must have their principal place of business in New England Area (MA, CT, RI, ME, NH, VT).
  • Companies must not have a major partnership with another large biopharmaceutical company; however, applicants that are current or prior recipients of Golden Ticket awards from other pharmaceutical companies are eligible to apply.

Companies must also meet LabCentral’s Golden Ticket criteria:

  • Total equity funding raised must be less than $7.5M USD before the Golden Ticket is issued to them 
  • Companies must not have trailing 12-month revenues in excess of $3M USD
  • Companies must be in the life sciences and have an impact on human health 
  • Companies must be finnancially and scientifically ready to move into LabCentral within two months of receiving the ticket

How to Apply

Please send your application to by 11:59pm EST April 12, 2021.

Applicant may only submit one entry

Please include the following in your application email:

  • Name of company
  • Primary contact at company
  • Therapeutic area
  • One sentence summarizing the scientific basis of the program/technology/asset
  • Funding to date: please include total funding received to date as well as the funder(s) and funding amount(s)
  • Non-confidential slide deck:

Applicants must provide a non-confidential slide deck of no more than ten slides that emphasize:

  • Your company’s mission
  • Management team & expertise
  • The science behind the technology or asset
  • The prioritized and potentially applicable indications
  • Differentiation point: What makes your technology different from the competitors?
  • Relevant IP and publications that include data supporting your science
  • Mitigation of Risk: What are the potential pitfalls and key challenges
  • Anticipated benefits of securing an AbbVie – LabCentral Golden Ticket. Anticipated move in date to LabCentral & company roadmap and upcoming key milestones (including financing)
  •  Roadmap and growth plan for the timeframe of the Golden Ticket award

Judging Criteria and Judges

The Judges for the contest are AbbVie employees who are qualified experts in their fields, including in the fields of scientific and/or medical research and business. Applications will be judged using the following criteria:

  • Fit of the research in the fields of oncology, immunology, neuroscience or ophthalmology; including novel target identification, drug delivery, discovery technology platforms, and translational research and development.
  • Quality of the scientific data, research plan and/or technology platform
  • Potential for successful achievement of research milestones and the development of the programs
  • Need for the research in the applicable field - is this research/program/technology addressing a critical need in the field?
  • Readiness to move into the space within two months of being selected for the award.  


  • Deadline to submit application: April 12th, 2021 at 11:59pm EDT
  • Announcement of top 6-8 applications to move forward to formal pitch: April 26th, 2021
  • Office hours for pitch guidance will be provided by the selection committee, the date and times of office hours TBD
  • Final pitch and selection dates TBD


What is a Golden Ticket?

Golden Tickets are vouchers representing use privileges for LabCentral that a Sponsor can award to a startup company they would like to support.

The value of a Golden Ticket prepays the cost of one (1) 6ft bench and the residency of the scientist who works at that bench for one (1) year. The value of a 6ft bench may be applied to another space that is available at the time of their desired start. The Golden Ticket winner must pay the difference between the larger space and the value of the 6ft bench covered by their Golden Ticket. If there are no 6ft or 7.5ft benches available, the value of the golden ticket will be extended while the company remains on the waitlist for a bench.

Lab space at LabCentral is allocated based on availability. Holders of Golden Tickets will be listed ahead of other companies waiting to get a spot at LabCentral.

The two winners will receive priority admission or renewal for one year’s use of a lab bench and core facilities at LabCentral in Cambridge, as well as opportunities to engage with AbbVie scientific and business executives.

How do I know if I am eligible for a Golden Ticket?

Golden Tickets may be awarded to either startup companies that are interested in joining the LabCentral community or current Resident Companies.

To be eligible to participate to have the opportunity to receive the Award, the Applicant  must: (1) be an entity formed under the laws of the United States; (2) not have raised more than $7.5 million United States dollars in capital or have trailing twelve month revenue of more than $3 million United States dollars as of the time of Application and the closing date for the Contest; (3) submit a complete Application; (4) represent and  warrant that the Applicant has read and agrees to abide by all requirements of these Rules; (5) not be affiliated with or employed by AbbVie or LabCentral including as an employee, contractor, officer or director of AbbVie or LabCentral and including as an immediate family member of AbbVie or LabCentral (including parents, spouses, children, siblings or any individual residing in the household of a AbbVie, officer or director (whether or not related)); and (6) not be an academic institution such as a college, university or school.

Diagnostics, Devices, Research Tools, and Healthcare-Services & IT are excluded.

When will I be able to use my Golden Ticket?

The top 6-8 proposals will be announced in early May and semi-finalists will be invited for an in-person presentation at LabCentral in early June.

Companies must be financially and scientifically ready to move into LabCentral within two months of receiving the ticket.

Where can I find more details on AbbVie’s areas of focus for external innovation?

Please refer to our CSO brochure:

I have additional questions who should I contact?

Please email