Press Releases

Life Sciences Startup Founders and Leaders Featured at 2023 Tri-Valley Life Sciences Summit

Oct 20, 2023



Yolanda Fintschenko




Life Sciences Startup Founders and Leaders Featured at 2023 Tri-Valley Life Sciences Summit


PLEASANTON, CA – October 20, 2023 – On Wednesday, October 18, the 2023 Tri-Valley Life Sciences Summit offered attendees a behind-the-scenes look at what went into preparing Apton Biosystems for its recent acquisition by PacBio and the needs of life sciences sectors emerging in the Tri-Valley.


Hosted by Unchained Labs and presented by Tri-Valley Ventures, Mirador Capital Partners, and Metcon, attendees were treated to a hosted reception, tours of Unchained Labs, and Unchained Labs t-shirts and totes before and after the Summit’s hour-long program. Tim Harkness, founder and chief executive officer of Unchained Labs, opened the Summit with a warm welcome for the almost 200-person crowd to the company’s “forever home” at their new location at 4747 Willow Road in Pleasanton.


Event emcee, Yolanda Fintschenko, PhD, executive director of i-GATE Innovation Hub, the economic development nonprofit running the Startup Tri-Valley initiative, explained, “The 2023 Tri-Valley Life Sciences Summit celebrates the Tri-Valley life sciences community by bringing founders, funders, and ecosystem members into the same room, creating the opportunity for constructive collisions that build our community.”


The keynote event, a fireside chat with John Hanna, formerly chief executive officer of Apton Biosystems and currently vice president of corporate development at PacBio, moderated by Harkness, gave the audience insight into preparing a company for successful merger and acquisition. The conversation revealed key points such as a reasonable time frame to prepare for acquisition, the critical components that made Apton Biosystems attractive to acquire, and the contrast in communicating technology performance to a prospective acquisition partner versus an investor.

The emerging sectors panel discussion, moderated by Genoa Ventures principal, Landon Merrill, featured panelists Ted Tarasow, PhD,  chief technical officer of Inscripta, a synthetic biology (synbio) tools company in Pleasanton; Sam Rad, PhD, co-founder and chief operating officer of LifeFoundry, Inc., also a synbio company, moving to Pleasanton; and John Stattler, founder and chief executive officer of AgeisBio, a longevity therapeutics company located at Daybreak Labs, the Tri-Valley’s biotech and hard tech incubator located in Livermore.   Panelists revealed that the region’s talent pool and quality of life were the strongest draws.



 About Our Presenting Host, Presenting Sponsors, and Organizer:


Unchained Labs

Here’s the deal. We’re all about helping biologics and gene therapy researchers break free from tools that just don’t cut it. Unleashing problem-tackling products that make a huge difference in the real science they do every day. That’s our mantra, our promise and we own it. We’re located in Pleasanton, CA and can be found online at

 Presenting Sponsors

About Tri-Valley Ventures

Tri-Valley Ventures is the Tri-Valley’s first and only regionally focused Venture Capital firm. Our mission is to generate value for our investors and our community by providing funding and resources to local, early-stage entrepreneurs. TVV seeks to invest in companies in the SaaS, Life Sciences, and Deep Tech verticals. To learn more, visit

 Mirador Capital Partners 

Mirador Capital Partners is an investment management firm with a 30-year history of advising individuals, families, institutions and businesses with innovative wealth management solutions. For more information, visit

About Metcon

Metcon is the right partner in building your creative, functional and flexible spaces. We specialize in providing pre-construction services and partnering in building your success. Corporate Office, Life Science, Industrial Spaces, Retail and Building Repositioning is our strength. For more information, visit


About Startup Tri-Valley

Startup Tri-Valley is an initiative to grow and strengthen our region by helping more startups succeed. We do this by connecting founders and innovators to a tightly networked ecosystem of resources built specifically for science-based startups. The initiative is sponsored by the Tri-Valley cities of Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, and the Town of Danville and i-GATE Innovation Hub partners Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Laboratories. To learn more, visit

About i-GATE Innovation Hub

i-GATE Innovation Hub is a non-profit organization focused on increasing economic prosperity through entrepreneurship in the Tri-Valley. i-GATE provides startup incubation resources through Daybreaks Labs and connects the regional innovation ecosystem through the Startup Tri-Valley initiative.  To learn more, visit

For a complete list of the organizing committee, event partners, affiliates, and sponsors, visit



IMAGE CAPTION:  Tim Harkness, Founder andCEOof Unchained Labs, the event’s host, opens the 2023 Tri-Valley Life Sciences Summit with a warm and witty welcome.

IMAGE CAPTION:  John Hanna, senior vice president of corporate development for PacBio, in conversation with fireside chat moderator Tim Harkness, founder and chief executive officer of Unchained Labs, discusses the steps Hanna took while serving as chief executive officer of Apton Biosystems when he led the company to acquisition by PacBio.

IMAGE CAPTION:  Landon Merrill, Principal at Genoa Ventures, moderates a panel discussion with panelists Ted Tarasow, chief technology officer at Inscripta, Sam Rad, co-founder and chief operating officer at Life Foundry, and John Stattler, chief executive officer and founder of AgeisBio.  


High-resolution images are available upon request.