What are some of the leading life science incubators?
There are approximately 1,250 business incubators in the United States, including about 120 with some life science focus, according to the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA). These programs vary greatly in their structure and services.
Often associated with universities or medical centers, life science incubators frequently offer affordable office space attached to shared wet lab facilities. Others focus on accelerating companies' progress by offering intensive coaching, networking and support services. Some programs include seed funding up to $250,000 at a stage when few others are willing to invest.
In exchange for this early support, incubators often take an equity stake in the company. The NBIA recommends that entrepreneurs screen incubator programs based on their track record, graduation policy and staff qualifications.
5 Leading Life Science Incubators
Blueprint Health (New York City) Billed as "the largest network of mentors with healthcare expertise of any accelerator and co-working space," Blueprint Health pairs entrepreneurs with their peers and venture capitalists to foster introductions and advice. It offers an intensive three-month accelerator program to help entrepreneurs find customers and capital. Blueprint Health, which has 12,000 square feet, helps more than 100 healthcare companies each year.
Healthbox (Boston, Chicago, and London) With locations in three major innovation hubs, Healthbox works to empower healthcare entrepreneurs and expose the industry to innovative solutions. The incubator works to identify high-potential healthcare technology startups and help them stimulate early-stage innovation. Through collaboration, Healthbox provides a platform for the industry to engage with innovators and learn from the entrepreneurial community.
MU Life Science Business Incubator at Monsanto Place (Columbia, Mo.) This university-based incubator is open to ventures formed by Missouri faculty, staff or students, as well as entrepreneurs recruited to accelerate the development of a high-tech industry cluster in the region. Prospective tenant companies are evaluated based on their business plan and relationship with the University of Missouri. Business plans should include anticipated economic impacts for the region (new jobs, wealth creation, investment attracted).
QB3 (San Francisco, Calif.) Founded in 2000, the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences links more than 220 laboratories at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, and UCSF to support high-level basic research and training. Through commercialization, QB3 converts university research into products and services that can benefit society. It launched the first incubator at the University of California, the QB3 Garage, in 2006, and a similar effort at Berkeley in 2010.
Rock Health (San Francisco, Calif.) Founded by Energizing Health: San Francisco event architect Halle Tecco, Rock Health offers early-stage health startups funding and support. The incubator provides capital, access to a digital health community, access to partners (such as GE, Genentech, and the Mayo Clinic), office space, and more.
FAQs are a weekly feature on eMed for current and aspiring healthcare entrepreneurs.