A Decade of Resident Applications

June 19, 2024 | By Johannes Fruehauf, MD, PhD

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When LabCentral first opened lab space for early-stage life sciences companies in 2013, we had many applicants who were in the early stages of building their companies and researching their science. There were first-time founders who launched their ventures with gusto but still had huge learnings ahead of them in their entrepreneurial journeys. LabCentral was there to learn and grow alongside these entrepreneurs, figuring out how to best support them and foster success.

We opened our doors, offering beautiful lab space and a supportive community for startup founders in the heart of Kendall square, and were thrilled to see how many innovators chose to start and build their companies with us. Word spread quickly among founders and that this was the best place to build startup companies, and the appeal of our new model soon created higher-than-expected demand to get into LabCentral.

Starting a biotech company in “small pharma” then was enormously challenging; founders had to navigate an industry not well suited for them, starting with real estate companies expecting long lease terms and “credit worthy” tenants, to pharma companies more interested in internally developed ideas than partnered assets. During the last decade, a lot happened, and overall structural conditions have significantly improved for founders. No other places like LabCentral offer fractional access to lab functionality that allow small, seed-funded companies access to state-of-the-art equipment and lab infrastructure to quickly test novel ideas on a small budget.

Over these many years, the extended biotech industry has embraced this idea of “paying the knowledge forward” and applicants to LabCentral are exceptionally well prepared as they embark on their entrepreneurial journeys. They have been lifted by the collective learnings, programs and lessons from others in the industry and generations of founders before. There are startup training programs, mentor networks, networking groups, and a well-traveled track to help get your biotech company through these early stages on to continued success.

The result is that over the last decade plus, the quality of our applicants and also graduates has increased dramatically. Where the typical applicants in our early days already had a lot going for them, today’s entrepreneurs are benefitting from the cumulative learnings developed by those who’ve come before them and that we are able to make available to them through our space and also through structured programs.

There’s no escaping the fact that the life sciences industry has been buffeted by the headwinds from the current funding climate, but what’s noteworthy is that LabCentral’s applicant quality continues to raise the bar for biotech. With our rigorous review process at the outset, expert programming for both founders and scientists, unparalleled access to the broader pharma and life sciences communities, and pathways to expand into larger spaces as their companies grow, LabCentral continues to be the premiere choice for early-stage founders building companies that improve human health.