The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) is California’s Stem Cell funding agency . Since its inception in 2004, CIRM has deployed $2.7B to advance development of stem-cell based regenerative medicine therapies for patients with unmet medical needs. This perspective highlights 3 elements of CIRM’s funding model that have enabled California academic researchers and companies to de-risk development of novel regenerative medicine therapies and attract biopharma industry support. To date, CIRM has funded over 1000 projects including 64 regenerative medicine clinical trials; over half the clinical trial projects have secured biopharma industry support. Overall, CIRM funding has enabled the launch of 44 companies and CIRM-funded projects have drawn in a cumulative $9B in industry investments.