Biotech incubator opens at Yale’s West Campus

Monday, April 25, 2022

BioLabs, a Cambridge-based company that specializes in managing incubator communities for life-science startups, has opened a new site at Yale’s West Campus. The move is BioLabs’ first step towards the establishment of a permanent home at 101 College Street in New Haven.

Opening incubator space at West Campus is expected to expand the launch of new ventures as the New Haven region emerges as an international hub for bioscience, pharmaceutical, and health technology companies.

 Gary Olsem, VP of Operations, and Mary Ann Melnick, Operations Director, BioLabsAs an anchor tenant at 101 College Street, Yale is supporting Biolabs to accelerate New Haven-based startup companies’ growth and success, a key component of the city’s Downtown Crossing economic development plan.

“We are delighted to welcome BioLabs to Yale’s West Campus to help bring about innovative connections among faculty experts, entrepreneurs, investors, and community members,” said Michael Crair, Vice Provost for Research with responsibility for the West Campus.

“Home to many health-science institutes, cores, and the Yale School of Nursing, West Campus has established itself as an intersectional space for research and technology and is an ideal fit for BioLabs to begin its collaborative venture with Yale’s students, faculty and staff,” he said.

BioLabs will occupy 11,000 square feet of existing lab and office space at Building 520, adjacent to the West Campus Conference Center. The labs have ample room to accommodate startups and are configured for biotechnology research, including integrated areas for cell culture, microscopy, and a freezer farm alongside extensive bench space with shared equipment.

Established in 2009, BioLabs is a membership-based network of shared innovation centers located in the nation’s key biotech innovation clusters designed exclusively for high-potential, early-stage life science companies. It offers co-working environments that pair premium, fully equipped and supported lab space with unparalleled access to capital and industry partners. 

“Yale’s West Campus offers us the kind of first-class laboratories to support local biotech startups in advance of our move to 101 College Street,” said Eric Linsley, co-Founder at BioLabs.

“I am grateful for the support of our partners at Yale for this opportunity to kickstart the great potential we at BioLabs have experienced in New York, Philadelphia, North Carolina, and other geographies. We are excited and honored to house locally-based biotech startups right next to Yale’s state-of-art research facilities at West Campus,” he said.

Yale West Campus is home to around 1500 faculty, students and staff at the Yale School of Nursing, seven research institutes, and numerous partners from across Yale. The institutes organize research laboratories of over 40 faculty members connecting 20 different schools and departments at Yale to focus on emerging research challenges in health science, energy science, and cultural heritage preservation.

Developed by Winstanley Enterprises, construction of the 525,000-square-foot, multi-tenant 101 College Street building began in June 2021. The building’s ground floor will be an active civic space that opens onto an exterior public plaza. Arvinas, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company with roots at the university, also agreed to lease three floors. Global pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which acquired Alexion in 2021, recently announced plans to expand its New Haven footprint in the building as well.

“BioLabs expansion on West Campus will help more early-stage startups take root and continue to grow the New Haven biotech ecosystem,” said Josh Geballe, Managing Director of Yale Ventures. “We are grateful that BioLabs is already contributing back to the community by donating a ‘golden ticket’ for a free one year subscription to a lab bench to be awarded at the upcoming Yale Innnovation Summit May 17-18.”

Since 2000, more than 75 startups born of Yale research have taken root in New Haven. Those companies employ hundreds of people and are developing cancer therapies, antibiotics, quantum computing and green technologies, and other products that serve society.