The StartX-QB3 Labs

The StartX-QB3 Labs

The new 2,000 square foot lab at StartX headquarters in Palo Alto, CA has 20 bench seats and will house a mix of StartX Med participants and tenants not affiliated with the accelerator program.

Photo courtesy of StartX

StartX-QB3 Labs, continued

StartX-QB3 Labs, continued

The lab is small but has standard equipment including four ventilation hoods, PCR machines, an autoclave, and a 3-D printer.

Photo courtesy of StartX

Joshua Robinson and Andrew Lee

Joshua Robinson and Andrew Lee

Robinson (left), director of R&D of the lab's first tenant, Nirmidas Biotech, talks to StartX Med founder Lee.

Photo courtesy of StartX

Nirmidas Biotech

Nirmidas Biotech

Nirmidas director of R&D Joshua Robinson (left) and CEO Meijie Tang at the company's two-seat workspace in the lab.

Photo by Alex Lash

Nirmidas gold slides

Nirmidas gold slides

Nirmidas's Joshua Robinson shows one of Nirmidas's microarray slides, coated with gold nano-film, side by side with a normal glass slide.

Photo by Alex Lash

Ten-Minute Bike Ride

Ten-Minute Bike Ride

Nirmidas Biotech moved from the QB3@953 incubator in San Francisco to StartX, which is a ten-minute bike ride from its scientific founder's Stanford lab in the Keck Science Building.

Inside StartX HQ

Inside StartX HQ

Next to the lab, the StartX headquarters has the typical Silicon Valley startup touches, including a kitchen full of Indian take-out and dry-erase markers for leaving clever graffiti.

Photo by Alex Lash

Dogs allowed (but not in the lab)

Dogs allowed (but not in the lab)

Toby the long haired dachsund hangs out at StartX headquarters.

Photo by Alex Lash

The Palo Alto, CA-based nonprofit tech accelerator StartX has already grown a biomedical arm, called StartX Med. Now it’s adding laboratory space to its new headquarters in a joint effort with Bay Area incubator network and seed funder QB3.

The new wet lab, dubbed StartX-QB3 Labs, is officially open this week and adds to the growing swath of Bay Area biomedical real estate that caters to tiny startups in need of cheap, flexible research space.

The new facility is relatively small at just 2,000 square feet. (Compare that to QB3′s “953″ incubator in San Francisco, with 23,700 square feet.) But it’s got standard equipment, including ventilator hoods, PCR machines, a light microscope, an autoclave to sterilize tools, and refrigeration for biological samples, plus a hardware prototype room with a 3-D printer.

The 20 bench spaces are theoretically enough to house 20 one-person startups. More likely, a few StartX Med participants will occupy the lab at any one time, with the rest of the benches filled by rent-paying scientist-entrepreneurs not affiliated with the StartX accelerator program.

“In all cases, we hope to accelerate the development of medical, engineering, chemistry, and hardware companies so that they can demonstrate proof of concept and reach their Series A,” says StartX Med founder Andrew Lee, a Stanford University MD/PhD candidate whose academic career is on hiatus as he runs the accelerator offshoot as well as his own biotech startup, Stem Cell Theranostics.

Another highly touted Bay Area accelerator, Y Combinator, has also embraced biotech, showcasing its first class at last week’s Demo Day. But Y Combinator doesn’t have physical lab space to offer its life science participants. (Another difference: StartX, unlike Y Combinator, does not take an equity stake in its participant companies.)

To get a leg up on the lab front, StartX has joined forces with San Francisco-based QB3 (officially the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences). Originally a product of the University of California’s three Bay Area campuses, the group has become a local life science innovation promoter, renting lab space, offering classes and mentorship, and overseeing a small venture fund.

QB3 will operate the new lab, a small irony in the lore of Bay Area rivalries, with the University of California and Stanford at odds, athletically and culturally, for more than a century.

The StartX program was founded in 2009 by Stanford students and offers tech participants three-month sessions that culminate in a showcase. StartX Med sessions run for six months. (Here’s our slide show from last year’s StartX Demo Day; the next one is September 16 to showcase its 33 summer session companies, 15 of which are StartX Med.)

But StartX didn’t have formal ties to Stanford until last year, when the school and affiliated hospital pledged $3.6 million over three years to the nonprofit, bringing its total funding … Next Page »

Alex Lash is Xconomy's National Biotech Editor. He is based in San Francisco.

Single Page Currently on Page: 1 2
  • Erick Gar

    How can I get samples of my Mitochondria cells quanity and quality of the Mitochondria CELL’S THANKS Erick Garcia Capricornsystems