Known as the birthplace of the biotech industry, the San Francisco Bay Area is home to many firsts: the first biotechnology company, the first biotech public offering, the first biotech drug to be approved by the FDA, and the list goes on.
One of the three major U.S. life sciences hubs, the Bay Area biotech cluster includes almost 1000 companies, employs 125,000 people both directly and indirectly, and generates $29 billion in revenue.
The Bay Area is also an excellent place to launch a biotech venture. Along with a vibrant culture of life sciences professionals and organizations, many resources are available to budding biotech entrepreneurs in the region. In this, the third in our series of articles on helpful resources, we review six of these resources, from member-driven organizations to incubators.
Here they are, in no particular order:
BayBio is a member-driven organization representing companies from all areas of the life sciences in the San Francisco Bay Area. With over 450 members, BayBio supports the industry through education, public policy advocacy, a group purchasing program, and programs for biotech entrepreneurs.
The BayBio Fellows All-Star Team (FAST) is an eight-week program in which life sciences entrepreneurs are matched with industry experts who mentor them in areas such as clinical development, the regulatory environment and business development. Participants are then invited to a Final Fellow Pitch Showcase where they present their company to a wide audience that includes potential investors.
BayBio also hosts a variety of events ranging from a series of pub night networking events to entrepreneur and investor roundtables.
Created in 2000 by the University of California, QB3, or the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, maintains research facilities at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz and UC San Francisco. The organization leads educational initiatives, directs collaborative research and provides training in quantitative biosciences, which combine the techniques of physics, chemistry and computer sciences.
QB3 offers numerous resources to biotech startups including incubators, the Startup In A Box program which trains entrepreneurs to form companies from the ground up, and the QB3-BayBio Accelerator, an alliance with BayBio that gives participants access to the BayBio group purchasing program as well as discounted conferences and networking opportunities.
QB3 recently opened its fifth incubator in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood in partnership with Janssen Labs. The QB3@953 incubator provides lab space to up to 35 companies, with access to offices, conference rooms, freezers, microscopes and other lab facilities.
Bay Area Life Science Network
The Bay Area Life Science Network is one of six local networking groups founded by life sciences marketing firm Chempetitive Group. The network provides an open forum without any promotional agenda to “executives, scientists, entrepreneurs, investors and media across biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical technology, diagnostics and research communities.”
Janssen Labs opened its first flagship incubator in San Diego in 2012, and has now expanded to San Francisco. In collaboration with the recently launched QB3 incubator (above), Janssen Labs will host up to ten biotech startups in a section of the QB3@953 lab space.
Participating companies gain access to lab space and equipment, with services provided free of charge on a no-strings-attached basis.
San Jose BioCube
Formerly known as the San Jose BioCenter, the BioCube provides office and lab space as well as business support to life sciences, nanotech and cleantech startups. Participating companies have access to individual as well as shared labs, including a cell culture room, virus room, bacteria room and cold room.
Founded by biotech company MandalMed, Inc. in 2004, Bioscience Laboratories is a 5,000 square foot facility located in the South Beach neighborhood of San Francisco. Bioscience Laboratories provides shared lab space, lab equipment and management resources to early stage life sciences companies.