Innosphere gets seed money from Community Foundation to build startup laboratory wet space

Thursday April 26, 2018 0 comments Tags: Fort Collins, Innosphere, Community Foundation of Northern Colorado, Mike Freeman, Ben Walker, Ray Caraway

FORT COLLINS -- Innosphere, a leading Colorado technology incubator, announced the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado will support Innosphere’s effort to grow the bioscience industry in Northern Colorado by providing $100,000 in seed funding to support the construction of approximately 8,000 sq/ft of additional leasable wet lab space for startup and scaleup companies.Innosphere_logo_USE

Currently, there is a lack of available lab space for bioentrepreneurs in Northern Colorado, making it difficult for the area to support the growing bioscience industry that creates high-paying jobs.

“The industry can’t continue to grow without this needed infrastructure,” said Mike Freeman, Innosphere CEO. “We’re excited to have the Community Foundation moving this project forward into the final planning and design phase.”

The land is already fully entitled and owned by Innosphere. Location of the new lab space will be just west of Innosphere’s current headquarter facility at 320 E. Vine Dr. in Fort Collins.

Innosphere said it is actively fundraising for this bioscience lab expansion project from corporate partners, foundations and grants.

“The wet lab expansion project is a collaboration among Innosphere’s key partners in Northern Colorado,” said Ben Walker, program director for Innosphere and executive director of the Northern Colorado Bioscience Cluster (NoCoBio).

“The NoCoBio Cluster has recently seen at least six companies looking for lab space, and we don’t have anywhere to put them as there is a severe shortage of lab space in Northern Colorado.”

For the last 10 years, Walker said partners of the NoCoBio Cluster have put a tremendous amount of effort into growing bioscience business, and they have seen first-hand the limiting factor of available lab space.

“This lab expansion will not only grow bioscience business, but will also attract more bioscience companies who are looking for incubation support services to significantly scale their companies,” said Walker.

Innosphere’s current lab space has been 100% leased since the building opened in 2010.

“We see this as a way to promote both economic vitality and philanthropy,” said Ray Caraway, Community Foundation president and CEO.

“Our Catalyst Fund and Fort Collins Community Fund Committee are pleased to provide Innosphere with seed funding for its capital project.”

Last year, Innosphere supported 16 bioscience companies that employed 53 full-time positions with an annual average wage of $82,000. The average annual wage of their collective 31 part-time employees was $26,000.

“For every job created in Colorado’s bioscience industry, four direct and indirect jobs are created,” said Freeman.