WuXi is partnering with QB3 on its new incubator in San Francisco. The 24,000-square foot biosciences incubator is the latest expansion of the highly-successful QB3 program, which supports entrepreneurs with cutting-edge science. We sat down with Associate Director of QB3 and General Manager of QB3 Partners, Douglas Crawford, to talk about the partnership and expansion.
QUESTION: Can you provide some background on QB3 and what you do?
CRAWFORD: QB3 was set up in 2000 to foster the development of innovative startups. We do this in a variety of ways, but I’d single out two as being particularly important. Firstly, our industry partners help QB3 startups identify technical risks, which is a big challenge for young companies. And secondly, we help finance research through our venture fund, Mission Bay Capital. We’re really pleased to have WuXi’s support in both these areas.
QUESTION: How does the new expansion help you further this mission?
CRAWFORD: It gives us more space! We already have two facilities near the UCSF Mission Bay campus, and another two in Berkeley, but to support more great science we need another site. At 24,000-square foot the new incubator, QB3@953, is our biggest yet. When we’re at capacity we expect to house up to 30 startups. Ultimately, that means we’re supporting a lot more innovative work than we could before.
QUESTION: How has your experience with earlier incubators shaped QB3@953?
CRAWFORD: We’ve become even more focused on helping startups make the most of every dollar. So, entrepreneurs can start by renting just one bench, and then pay for space in super-freezers or use of centrifuges as and when they need to. It’s about flexibility, really. And we try to leverage collective scale to lower costs and simplify logistics too. Lab gloves are dispensed centrally, for example. Anything that frees up great researchers to focus on doing innovative science is a good thing.