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Two early stage bioscience startup companies have located to the newly established Wake Forest University Babcock Demon Incubator (BDI) Wet Lab in the Piedmont Triad Research Park—Creative Bioreactor Design Inc. (CBDI) and Salzburg Therapeutics Inc.
Both companies are inception stage companies requiring specific resources to develop their technology. CBDI is developing the scientific equipment needed to grow tissue and organs in the regenerative medicine market. Salzburg Therapeutics is developing nanomedicine therapeutics for prostate cancer. The new Incubator wet lab space is now available to qualified applicants and located in the Piedmont Triad Community Research Center at PTRP. The BDI Wet Lab is designed to support emerging inception stage startups to help validate scientific technologies within a low-cost, fully equipped multi-user wet-lab space. As the project matures, the new capability will be able enable the BDI to support six bioscience or nanotechnology startup ventures annually. According to Tom Clarkson, Director of BDI, "Inception stage companies need a full range of support to take them from concept to first funding. The role of BDI is not only to provide lab space, but to provide a range of business and planning services to help them succeed." "We believe a strategic location in PTRP will be an added value to these companies," Clarkson said. The overall goal of the project is to satisfy the regional need for biotechnology/bioscience/nano specific early stage new venture incubation capabilities. A key objective would be to enable new ventures to use grant or private equity funding to demonstrate adequate scientific validity.
"The new incubator capability will provide the facilities needed for young bioscience companies with an idea to utilize SBIR/STTR grant funding or business loans available from the NC Biotechnology Center to move their idea from concept to commercial viability," said Gwyn Riddick, Regional Director of the NC Biotechnology Center.
As a company advances its technology, the potential to harness angel investments will greatly improve.
"The new low cost wet lab capabilities now provided by the BDI are essential to companies needing to reach proof of concept which is a requirement before an investor group will consider making the first investment" said Troy Knauss, Fund Manager of the Piedmont Angel Network.
Building upon the success of the Wet Lab LaunchPad™, which is housed in the Richard H. Dean Biomedical Research Building, BDI will provide for a pipeline of companies who would become potential LaunchPad candidates for their next stage of development.
"With the incubator facilities in the Research Park, we can support companies before they have received their initial investments and help them grow to become tenants of the larger Wet Lab Launch Pad and later expand into other space in the research park," Bill Dean, PTRP Director said. This expansion project seeks to identify and recruit six new bio- and nano- technology companies that will further the new technology economy at a regional and local level.
"We continue to see an increase in bioscience and nanotechnology activity including such initiatives as nanomedicine and regenerative medicine," said Peggy Low, Senior Vice President of Technology at the Winston Salem Chamber of Commerce. There needs to be a place where companies based on these technologies can get their start," Low said.
Companies and entrepreneurs interested in BDI will be selected to use the space based on the commercial viability of the idea, the potential for high growth, and the likelihood of success of the venture.
About Babcock Demon Incubator
The Babcock Demon Incubator (BDI) operates under the Wake Forest University Babcock School of Management’s Angell Center for Entrepreneurship. The BDI's mission is to increase the number and quality of growth-oriented early stage ventures in the Triad, support intellectual property commercialization activities at Wake Forest, foster experiential entrepreneurial education, and contribute to the growth of entrepreneurship in the local community.
About Piedmont Triad Research Park (www.ptrp.com)
The Piedmont Triad Research Park (PTRP) is a place where innovation lives. Located in Winston-Salem’s downtown business district and centered in the North Carolina Technology Corridor, PTRP expansion plans, led by Wake Forest University Health Sciences, are underway to revitalize its 230 acres over the next 20-30 years. Currently, the PTRP community encompasses six buildings providing over 554,000 sq. ft. of wet lab, office, meeting and residential space. PTRP is home to 42 technology tenants who collectively employ over 850 university and corporate personnel from around the globe.
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