The Bay Area’s New Gold Rush

May 1, 2019

Can you believe that it was 170 years ago that the 1849 Gold Rush brought over 300,000 people to California in search of, well, improving their fortunes? Fast forward to present day, and there is a new type of “gold” rush in the Bay Area; however, this time, the gold is disguised as world class pharmaceuticals and medical devices, and they are working hard to improve the fortunes of others, namely, patients!

Just like there was groundbreaking technology developed during those gold mining years, we are witnessing some truly amazing ideas become reality in the quest to serve the clinical space. Those 300,000 gold miners have now transitioned into over 300,000 Life Sciences jobs according to the California Life Sciences Association. Everywhere you go, there are cranes and construction sites. Many, many of those are in the life sciences space, and you can feel the excitement of what’s to come. Over the last 10 years, life sciences employment has grown in the Bay Area about 54%, which is the most of any life sciences market.

Often in the shadows of Silicon Valley’s technology success, the Bay Area is a leading market in the development of world class medical technology and therapies. It’s also home to amazing universities and hospital & research institutions, which is key to fostering a sophisticated commercial community in the life sciences space.

The Bay Area is also often compared to the biotech hub of Boston/Cambridge, MA. They have many similarities like traffic and expensive real estate, but one thing that you can leave behind in Boston is your snow shovel. It’s a wonderful area of the world with a first-class city, but within a 30-minute drive, one can be deep in the wilderness. Someone truly can have the best of both worlds!

The average annual salary for a Bay Area life sciences employee is over $164,000. While housing is a concern, the employers are doing their best to pay their teams well. Once you get to the region, you will be living in the area that raised the most venture capital for life sciences globally last year! And while the industry continues to churn along, the local digital health sector is really scooping up a lot of the digital health funding globally with over $3.5 billion in venture capital raised in 2018 alone (double that in 2017)! “There’s gold in them digital health hills!” The intersection of life sciences and technology is upon us, and you will see more collaboration and overlap with those Silicon Valley neighbors for years to come. Take that, Boston!

We live in a world of supply and demand, and, currently, the demand is outpacing the supply of talented life sciences workers in the region. However, that is the case in much of the country, so organizations are becoming more aggressive in their recruiting approach. These firms are partnering with GForce Life Sciences due to its national pool of talent, as well as its ability to blend speed, experience and targeted search and delivery into one model. They look to GForce for retained executive level search, interim leadership, subject matter expert consultants, and teams to help grow their companies into leaders in their vertical. It’s a model that has worked very well.

If you got into your business to focus on the clinical aspects and not the talent aspects, consider a conversation with GForce Life Sciences so you can focus on what you do best and keep that gold rush going!