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SAN DIEGO — Paul Mola tried his best to keep cool. But inside, he was reeling.

On a mid-February afternoon, he spoke to a room of students and San Diego life science leaders about his journey as a Black entrepreneur and founder of a local biotech company. As the CEO of Roswell Biotechnologies, “I truly try to have a team that is empowered, where they feel supported,” he told the audience.


None of them knew that two days later he’d lay off nearly half his company after failing to raise enough money.

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