JLABS US Tour Experience by “World Without Disease”
Pitch Contest Award Winners
“Creating a Future Where Disease is a Thing of the Past”

In February 2020, four awardees of the "World Without Disease"
pitch contest were invited to tour Johnson & Johnson Innovation
– JLABS sites in the United States.

JLABS is a specialized network of life sciences incubation facilities. In these sites and laboratories, innovators work and collaborate to provide solutions that aim to help people live healthier lives. Established in 2012 in San Diego, today there are 13 JLABS worldwide. JLABS was established to nurture and discover early stage companies and entrepreneurs. Pharmaceuticals, medical devices, consumer and digital health are its main areas of interest, and JLABS provides access to research equipment, educational programs and operational resources.

【Faclities Visited】

JLABS @ SSF, San Francisco

The San Francisco Bay Area is a global research hub - home to biotech companies, leading academic and medical institutions, top tech companies, world-class scientists and leading venture investors. JLABS @ SSF offers a combination of specialized shared and private lab and office space, with a 30,000-square-foot facility that can accommodate 30 to 40 companies. It offers value-added services such as operational support, education programs, and active resource and investor hubs.

Innovation Activation Manager gives a personal introduction to the facility

Overlooking San Francisco Bay

Visiting the nearby Janssen Pharma R&D Center to hear about and discuss infectious disease work

Visiting the nearby J&J Innovation Center and meeting employees

At MBC BioLabs, one of the largest life science incubators

Visiting the nearby J&J Innovation Center and meeting employees

At MBC BioLabs, one of the largest life science incubators

JLABS @ San Diego

Johnson & Johnson launched JLABS @ San Diego in 2012 as JLABS' first base. It is in the heart of the Torrey Pines Mesa, with more than 50 resident companies. Since its launch more than 140 start-ups have begun their journey here. Enjoying an incredible climate, San Diego is the origin of many biotech companies. With state-of-the-art laboratories, it is home to leading organizations and companies in genomics, precision medicine, and the microbiome.

A huge and open facility. A dream location for researchers and biotech start-ups

Sharing the “World Without Disease” pitch contest

In San Diego our team visited the Janssen R&D Center next to JLABS. In addition to learning more about the facility, our visitors presented their awarded “World Without Diseases” ideas to Janssen employees and JLABS residents. Afterwards the audience shared their impressions and thoughts on the presentation, and gave our awardees advice on how to potentially realize their ideas.
All four participants were inspired by the passion of the people who work at JLABS and Janssen. They were excited to experience first-hand the very moment when ideas meet reality.

Presenting World Without Disease winning ideas in English

Much larger than expected audience

JLABS resident enthusiastically giving advice after the session

A productive discussion followed

JLABS resident enthusiastically giving advice after the session

A productive discussion followed

JLABS @ LabCentral, Boston

LabCentral is a non-profit organization designed in Boston as a one-stop shop for innovators. In addition to a state-of-the-art lab space, life sciences start-ups are given the infrastructure and support to help them develop their business.
As a founding sponsor of LabCentral, Johnson & Johnson Innovation selects innovators focused on key global unmet medical needs and provides services to support them.

Boston is a renowned on the east coast for researchers. The ‘brains’ of the world are gathered here, in a very well-organized environment for start-ups

Steven Rosen presented on LabCentral’s own "World Without Diseases" project

Boston is a renowned on the east coast for researchers. The ‘brains’ of the world are gathered here, in a very well-organized environment for start-ups

Steven Rosen presented on LabCentral’s own "World Without Diseases" project


JLABS @ NYC is a 30,000-square-foot facility in the heart of SoHo in lower Manhattan. This incubation facility is equipped to maximize the use of cutting-edge science and technology to help lay the foundations for innovative early- stage start-ups.
Currently, more than 35 resident companies are members of the JLABS @ NYC family. These are biotechnology, medical devices, diagnostic, and consumer healthcare solution start-ups. JLABS @ NYC aims to provide the unique resources and support needed to accelerate their potential innovation.

Awardees travel east of NYC to tour the Johnson & Johnson Powerhouse Museum in New Jersey
Deeply impressed by Johnson & Johnson's consistent mission, long history, large scale, and advances as a social enterprise

Participants - In Their Own Words

Asaki Homma

It was a luxury just to visit four cities in the United States, but the opportunity to see the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centers and JLABS in each city and receive direct explanations by the local staff was priceless. I not only understood the philosophy and business contents of the Johnson & Johnson group extensively, but I found it fascinating to get a glimpse of the unique characteristics of each laboratory.
I’m yet to be assigned to an academic lab at my university, but the experience I gained over two weeks has prepared me to start my own ‘research life’. Seeing that women play active roles in a wide variety of ways in every city, was a great reference for me to think about my future journey as a “woman with a science background” – known as “Rikejyo” in Japan. Of course, in my spare time outside of the organized program, I enjoyed sightseeing in each city!
These two weeks have been an incredibly valuable and meaningful part of my college life. Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the "World Without Disease" pitch contest and all the extras that came along with it.

Saneaki Kawai

For me, these two weeks have been a time to seriously face my future. I had no clear dream, only a vague wish to "make everyone happy." At first this idea of making everyone happy was also a burden of mine.
Things are different now. With my own eyes, I was able to learn about the history of Johnson & Johnson and the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and their lasting impact on the world, as well as see people who are trying to bring innovation to society in the near future.
It all starts the same with a “feeling for others”. One of the discoveries I gained through this opportunity was the chance to change myself, which was something that I had continually been worried about. I believe now that I must continue to search for and implement ways to embody my ideas. This may lead to starting a business, or it may be a completely different path. Whatever the result, I have a strong will to make my own future and will do my best for the sake of people and society.
Here I’m sharing more of an expression of determination rather than an impression of the trip, but I felt all these things through this wonderful opportunity, so I wanted to convey them honestly. Once again, thank you very much for this amazing opportunity!

Chandra Louis

On this tour I glimpsed the frontlines of the bio-venture world. I was surprised to learn that Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS does not acquire shares in its resident bio-venture companies, nor does Johnson & Johnson – JLABS requests preferential negotiation rights.
Meeting with a lot of passionate people became a turning point for me. I met people from Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS , Janssen, Johnson & Johnson, and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS resident companies who are working hard day and night to realize their dreams.
In San Diego we had a chance to present our ideas. After the presentation, audience members gave us a lot of practical advice. There was no voice or criticism that questioned the feasibility of our ideas. It was surprising and I was touched to have positive and constructive feedback on how we should bring our ideas to life. Everyone I encountered throughout this tour talked to me as an equal and gave me energy and hope for the future.

During this trip there were three important lessons:
1. Have passion, keep looking and do not stop until you have tried everything.
2. Keep speaking, approach the right person, keep looking for the key person.
3. Nothing is impossible, and we are our only barriers

Hwang Kyun Won

The total travel distance for these two weeks was 25,000km. By traveling more than half the earth’s circumference you will realize the horizons of a broader experience and the depth of deeper thinking.
San Francisco, San Diego, Boston, New York all taught me about the unique aspects of the United States of America.
I think of the staff and people involved in start-ups I met at Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS in the four cities. They were creative, passionate, daring, and open-minded. Regardless of age, gender, race, origin, riches or poverty, etc., anyone who has passion and ability will be recognized as a friend or companion.
We are just amateurs, but they listened to our words, gave us advice and answered questions sincerely. I realized the importance of embracing such diversity and having an open mind.
I would like to thank Johnson & Johnson and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS for giving me another valuable experience, and I’d also thank Miyata-san who accompanied me on my trip to San Francisco. I would also like to thank my friends Chandra, Asaki and Sane, who have made these two weeks of my life enjoyable. I look forward to meeting you again.