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NYCEDC Announces Partnerships To Create Harlem Biospace, Part Of City's Network of Incubators Designed To Foster Innovation And Create Jobs

Press Release


New Life Sciences Incubator in Harlem Will Offer Affordable Shared Wet-Lab Space, Specialized Laboratory Equipment and Mentorship

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced a partnership that will lead to the creation of Harlem Biospace, a new life sciences incubator which will provide affordable wet-lab and microbench facilities, specialized laboratory equipment, mentorship and business support to early-stage life sciences companies.  Designed to help create a thriving biotech community for turning revolutionary ideas into products that will solve important health problems, the initiative will provide up to 20 startup biotech companies with the tools and resources they need to grow in New York City.  NYCEDC is launching this initiative in partnership with Sam Sia, PhD, an entrepreneur and faculty member at Columbia University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and Founder of Harlem Biospace.

“Harlem Biospace will fill a critical void that currently exists within New York City’s biotech sector, providing small and early stage companies with the tools they need to grow and solve important health issues,” said NYCEDC Executive Director Kyle Kimball.  “With increased access to equipment and mentorship, this incubator will allow these early stage life sciences companies to prosper and help make New York City a leading center for biotech innovation.”

Harlem Biospace, which will be located at 423 W. 127th Street in Harlem, will further the City’s efforts to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation across a variety of sectors.  The 2,300 square foot space will provide 20 companies with ergonomic work desks, wet-lab benches, and access to shared laboratory resources including a cell-culture hood, incubators, a centrifuge, an autoclave, a chemical fume hood, microscopy, freezers and all utilities, wifi and printing.  NYCEDC provided approximately $626,000 in financial support to offset capital improvements, equipment, operations and programming.  The space is expected to open this fall.

“I am thrilled to be working with NYCEDC on this new biotech incubator concept, located right in Manhattan,” Sia said.  “As a faculty entrepreneur, I am aware of the incredible amount of bioscience research taking place in New York City, but have also experienced the challenges of turning these ideas into products without leaving the city.  My hope is that Harlem Biospace will facilitate current bioscience researchers as well as the next generation of young entrepreneurs to pursue biotechnologies to improve patients' health.”

“The Harlem Biospace will be the newest addition in the revitalization of the Harlem community,” said District 7 Council Member Robert Jackson.  “This incubator will provide start-ups and small businesses the opportunity to cultivate their ideas into reality.  I applaud this project for boosting community partnerships, creating jobs and strengthening the economic development of the neighborhood.”

As a life sciences researcher and entrepreneur, Dr. Sia brings extensive leadership and industry experience to this project.  Dr. Sia previously founded Claros Diagnostics, a venture capital-backed company which was acquired by Opko Health in 2011.

Growing New York City’s commercial life sciences industry is a central goal in NYCEDC’s efforts to diversify the economy, spur entrepreneurship and promote high-growth industries in which the City has competitive advantages.  New York City is home to an increasingly robust life sciences sector, which includes world-class academic medical centers, research foundations, pharmaceutical companies, venture capital firms and clinical care centers.  Harlem Biospace will foster unique R&D and new venture collaborations across New York City’s academic and commercial life sciences stakeholders.    

Through the City’s growing network of 14 business incubators either currently open or forthcoming, it provides small businesses with low-cost space (more than 130,000 square feet to date) as well as training and networking opportunities to hundreds of start-ups and small businesses.  This network of incubators includes the Harlem Venture Space, which Mayor Bloomberg and NYCEDC announced in March, which is scheduled to open on 118th Street in Harlem this summer.  Over 600 startup businesses and 1,000 employees are currently located at the City-sponsored incubators, and these companies have raised more than $100 million in venture funding.  Some of these tenants have already graduated from the use of incubators, opening their doors in market-rate spaces and continuing to expand and create jobs.    

Harlem Biospace represents the latest phase in the ongoing renaissance of the Harlem area.  In February, the first details were announced of a landmark project to transform an underutilized area in the heart of Harlem into the Urban League Empowerment Center, a hub for arts, culture, retail and community use.  The Urban League Empowerment Center will transform a currently underutilized 42,000-square-foot swath of property, located on 125th Street between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard, into the Urban League Empowerment Center.  Once complete, this center will include New York State’s first-ever civil rights museum, as well as the new national headquarters for the National Urban League, a state-of-the-art conference center, and space dedicated to housing, retail and public parking.  At nearly half a million square feet once fully developed, the Urban League Empowerment Center will be Harlem’s largest mixed-use development, and will continue to advance the reactivation of 125th Street Corridor.  These projects are key pieces of Harlem’s ongoing resurgence, providing neighborhood and cultural amenities, and creating jobs and economic activity in the area.

Entrepreneurs interested in obtaining space at the Harlem Biospace incubator should visit www.harlembiospace.com.

About NYCEDC

New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

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