Growing Space for Innovation
Starting a company is exciting, engrossing, and expensive. A new facility on Tufts’ Health Sciences campus aims to provide life science entrepreneurs with the technology and resources they need to accelerate development of their companies while fostering the entrepreneurial spirit at the university.
Tufts Launchpad | BioLabs is a full-service biotech facility supporting high-potential, early-stage biomedical startup ventures, including those from Tufts faculty, students, and alumni. BioLabs, a scientist-entrepreneur and investor-founded network of shared lab workspaces, is managing operations. Nineteen companies have already moved in.
The facility’s grand opening celebration on May 22 featured remarks from Tufts President Anthony P. Monaco, BioLabs CEO Johannes Fruehauf, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Boston City Councilor Ed Flynn, and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash.
“I’m proud to help celebrate this great new facility . . . in the heart of downtown Boston,” said Walsh. “Already this facility is creating opportunities in our communities. We have nineteen companies—that’s eighty jobs that didn’t exist here six months ago. It’s going to continue to grow and continue to create opportunities and we’re excited about that.”
Located at 75 Kneeland St., the 15,000-square-foot facility features fifty ready-to-use lab benches, private lab suites for companies with up to ten scientists, private and co-working offices, and event space. It is outfitted with state-of-the art equipment and provides resident companies with access to Tufts’ core facilities and services on a cost-effective, fee-for-service basis. Some of these services include sequencing, peptide synthesis, and confocal microscopy, as well as facilities for preclinical research.
Some of the first resident companies in the facility are developing a new immunotherapy against neurodegenerative diseases, personalized wound dressings, and pepducin-based therapeutics for the treatment of severe fibrotic diseases.
“Tufts researchers are pursuing solutions to problems in every discipline. At the same time, entrepreneurs combine a vision to develop new products with the drive to push past challenges in order to be successful,” said Simin Nikbin Meydani, vice provost for research at Tufts. “A space where early-stage innovators can focus on exploration rather than expenses and utilize the depth of knowledge and resources available at our world-class research university will help them accelerate the introduction of innovations that will positively impact the life sciences.”
In addition to the workspace, resident companies have access to educational programming and networking events ranging from seminars to social hours to workshops; Massachusetts Biotechnology Council benefits; and opportunities to connect with service sponsors and investors when it is time for companies to move into their own, larger offices.
“Innovation and entrepreneurship are areas of increasing importance in higher education,” said Meydani. “Tufts Launchpad | BioLabs leverages and extends Tufts’ commitment to collaboration, the life sciences, and innovation and welcomes science entrepreneurs into the Tufts ecosystem, and vice versa.”
“On behalf of myself and City Councilman Ed Flynn, who’s here with us, we’re excited about being here, because this makes a difference, there’s no question in my mind,” said Walsh. “I want to thank Tufts for contributing to our innovation economy, and for creating opportunities for all people in our neighborhoods.”
Lisa LaPoint can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.