Innosphere Ventures breaks ground on additional laboratory facility to support local bioscience innovation
State-of-the-art bioscience building to be future home to bio-entrepreneurs growing science-based startups
Innosphere Ventures, the Colorado-based incubator and commercialization program that accelerates business success of science and technology-based startup companies, has announced plans to begin construction on a 7,500 square foot laboratory facility that will be located directly west of Innosphere’s current building in North Fort Collins. Groundbreaking for Innosphere’s bioscience facility takes place in September, 2021 and is scheduled to be complete in March, 2022.
Innosphere’s newest bioscience building aims to be an affordable option for bioentrepreneurs in Northern Colorado. The facility will offer shared equipment, as well as business education programming specific to the needs and challenges of science-based companies.
Inside the new bioscience building will be ten private wet laboratory spaces that will be the future home to startup companies operating at a biosafety level 1 and 2. As a wet laboratory, the facility will accommodate life science activities that include tissue culture, cell and molecular biology, and experiments that involve liquid substances, as opposed to a “dry lab” that typically only focuses on computer-assisted experiments.
“We’ve seen first-hand the growing need for more laboratory space in Colorado. We’re excited to build this needed resource for bioscience and advanced material companies who need affordable space to carry out their R&D work and commercialization efforts,” said Mike Freeman, Innosphere CEO. “Innosphere’s new bioscience building will boost entrepreneurship and innovation in the biotechnology sector and help to position Northern Colorado as a hub for biotechnology economic development.”
Innosphere is a part of a bioscience cluster initiative, called the NoCoBio Cluster, that has been collaborating to make Northern Colorado a biotechnology center of excellence in the United States. “Northern Colorado is well-positioned to be a leading region in this sector, as it already has a major research university, innovative health systems, entrepreneurial support infrastructure, government support for cluster development, and a talented workforce within the bioscience and life science sectors,” said Freeman.
Innosphere’s bioscience building project received initial funding in 2018 from the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado, a nonprofit foundation committed to making Northern Colorado the best place to live, work, and raise a family for generations to come.
Innosphere utilized the New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC Program) to help finance the building, a program that incentivizes community development and economic growth which was also used in the financing package of Innosphere’s first building. “Innosphere was lucky to have exceptional New Market Tax Credit partners who are all dedicated to supporting the state’s economy,” said Aziza Syed, Innosphere Real Estate Director.
“Helping us through the financing process was the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA), our CHFA participating lender of Wells Fargo, and a community development focused bank, Native American Bank. They’re vital partners that understand how this project will support the creation of high-paying jobs and retain growing bioscience businesses in our region.”
While Innosphere currently offers wet lab spaces on the first floor of their current building, they continually maintain a waitlist of startup companies who are seeking these types of specialized facilities. Other existing laboratories in the region are also fully occupied with leasing waitlists, such as the Research Innovation Center (RIC) which is located at the Infectious Disease Research Center (IDRC) at Colorado State University.
“Moving an invention from the lab to the marketplace and forming a successful company can be daunting, so we also offer industry-specific programming and resources to entrepreneurs as they commercialize their technologies and bring ideas to life,” said Syed. “We’re excited to be a part of the solution in giving companies in science-based industries the opportunity to start a business and grow it right here in Colorado.”
The new building at 308 East Vine Drive will be located directly next to Innosphere’s 3-story LEED Platinum building that has been offering office and biosafety level 1 laboratories to startups since 2011. The land has been owned by Innosphere ever since 2009, the year that the non-profit organization originally purchased the land for their existing building at 320 East Vine Drive.
Innosphere Ventures construction team includes Dohn Construction as the general contractor, The CPI Group as the development manager, and DNA Architecture +Design as the architect.
Companies with inquiries on leasing or interested in submitting a letter of intent (LOI) for a laboratory space at Innosphere’s bioscience facility can contact Aziza Syed, Real Estate and Facility Director, at [email protected] or (970) 221-1301.
About Innosphere Ventures
Tech. Science. Accelerated.
Innosphere Ventures is a Colorado-based incubator that grows the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by accelerating the business success of science and technology-based startups with a customized commercialization program, a variety of incubation programs, a venture capital fund, and specialized laboratory facilities. Innosphere has been supporting startups for 23 years and is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Learn more at innosphereventures.org.