About  Us

Lab Rats to Unicorns – Demystifying the Science of Creating Great Companies

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Lab Rats to Unicorns is a podcast that aims to demystify the process of creating a great company in life sciences. Under the guidance of our host, John Flavin, you will hear personal stories of creation, be able to understand how great companies are created, and get insights into the many ways that you as an individual can engage in the creation of tomorrow’s life science companies.

From the lab rat, signifying the process of invention and discovery, to the unicorn, signifying market success, there are a thousand players and ways in which people can contribute to the creation of great companies.



(chief ratcorn)

john flavin

John is a proven leader with a track record of bringing valuable corporate, academic, and civic enterprises from concept to reality, including Advanced Life Sciences, Chicago Innovation Mentors, MATTER, and the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago. John is Founder and CEO at Portal Innovations, Co-Founder and Chairman of Pyxis Oncology, Executive Chairman of ClostraBio, and Board member at Grove Biopharma. Over the course of his career, John has successfully raised more than $345 million of private and philanthropic capital to fund the development of transformative organizations.


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There is no better place to build a life sciences company than in Chicago. Leading the expansion and growth in life sciences is World Business Chicago, the city’s economic development agency. Connect with World Business Chicago today and discover how the city’s network of life sciences companies, global universities and research institutions, diverse pipeline of talent, venture capital, and cutting edge lab and office space—will fuel your startup or company’s success.