Partners in Advancing Bioscience
These organizations address important elements in St. Louis’ robust ecosystem supporting entrepreneurship and industry. All collaborate with BioSTL and benefit from its collective efforts.
BioGenerator is a privately funded, not-for-profit organization created to help build successful, sustainable biosciences companies located in St. Louis. A memorandum of understanding between the BioGenerator and Washington University, and a BioGenerator employee embedded at the university have increased the flow of technologies into the commercialization pipeline. In 2010, the BioGenerator was awarded one of six $1 million grants nationally by the U.S. Department of Commerce for its innovative approach to transforming university discoveries into new companies.
The BioGenerator assists emerging companies in many ways, including these:
- Seed Money: In recent years, the BioGenerator has invested more than $5 million in more than 40 companies and leveraged $140 million in additional private investment to nurture the new ventures in their first steps toward commercialization.
- Accelerator Labs: The Accelerator Labs, 5,400 square feet of pre-incubator wet lab and office space at the Cortex One building, are available to early-stage BioGenerator client companies. Shared equipment allows researchers and entrepreneurs to establish laboratory operations and to initiate proof-of-concept studies without having to raise the capital required to purchase most equipment and rent laboratory space.
- Spark Fund: The pre-seed Spark Fund is available for early business and technology ideas that are not mature enough to qualify for seed funding. Spark Fund investments up to $50,000 are used to achieve business and technical milestones that will position the company to receive follow-on funding, or become self-sustaining.
Bio Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park
BRDG Park is a research park anchored by the Danforth Plant Science Center, which helps bioscience companies bridge research, resources and relationships to achieve commercial success. In addition to providing world-class wet laboratories and office space, BRDG Park’s location on the Danforth Center’s campus facilitates access to the intellectual capital of top scientists, as well as to greenhouses, growth chambers, microscopy and proteomics facilities and other vital resources. Located in suburban St. Louis County, BRDG Park is being developed by Wexford Science+Technology LLC.
Center for Emerging Technologies (CET)
CET, a nationally recognized bioscience incubator founded in 1998, has 92,000 square feet of specialized facilities with a range of conference rooms, high broadband connectivity and shared services, office and research equipment. CET’s staff assists companies with direct services and connection to resources to develop their technology, grow their business and obtain funding from angel and venture capital, federal grants, corporate contracts and other sources.
- Incubator companies: Most of CET’s 45 companies have been in medical technologies: therapeutics, diagnostics, instruments and devices. Companies have been developing next generation technologies to address unmet needs regarding cancer, cardiovascular health, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, ophthalmology and pharmaceutical manufacturing. Co-location with nonmedical technologies has resulted in a cross-fertilization of biosciences with engineering, nanomaterial and IT expertise.
- Entrepreneur training: Among its multiple programs in building entrepreneurial skills, in 2011, CET launched the Bio Entrepreneur Development (BED) Program for first-time bioscience entrepreneurs. The program includes a 10-week course delivered by experts and successful entrepreneurs; coaching from the director, a former entrepreneur; mentoring by bioscience and entrepreneurship leaders; a “bullpen” at CET for individuals to use to get their companies started; and funds to pay for consulting services.
The Helix Center, located near the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and Bio-Research and Development Growth (BRDG) Park, is a small business incubator that supports the growth of start-up companies in the plant and other biosciences by providing affordable office and laboratory space and access to expertise.
ITE at UMSL is a university incubator supporting innovation for community as well as university technologies. With professional office and high-quality laboratory space, ITE offers the ideal environment for chemistry, life science, nanotechnology and IT companies. Amenities include access to university faculty and shared equipment, use of well apportioned common areas, shared office and laboratory equipment, an on-site co-location data center and a great location near I-170 and I-70, which provides easy access to major highways.
Center of Research, Technology & Entrepreneurial Exchange (Cortex)
Cortex is a 240-acre urban bioscience district founded in 2002 by Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis University, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, BJC HealthCare and the Missouri Botanical Garden, which collectively conduct more than $600 million of bioscience research annually. To date, 340,000 square feet of lab and office has been developed and more than $110 million has been invested in the district. The district's first multi-tenant building, Cortex One, is anchored by Stereotaxis, a public company and graduate of CET, which develops and markets magnetic-guided surgical equipment for interventional cardiology. The first single-tenant building is occupied by Solae, a joint venture between DuPont and Bunge to develop and produce soy food additives. A second development phase will soon be launched, including several additional multi-tenant facilities and a plan for streetscape and infrastructure improvements.