The Delaware Technology Park is expanding its state clout with the opening of a new 10,000-square-foot lab space on the University of Delaware’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus with hopes of attracting science startups with entrepreneurial zeal.
The 50-person wet lab will be built in the STAR Campus’ “Phase II” building. Mike Bowman, president of Delaware Technology Park, said the new space will be an extension of what he has been doing at Delaware Technology Park since 1998: growing businesses from scratch.
“Their whole purpose is the beginning, not the end of the journey,” Bowman said of the companies he hopes to attract.
Likely clients are life-science startups in need of wet lab space, Bowman said. He also sees early-stage companies from Europe and California coming to Delaware in hopes of making ground in a new marketplace.
Bowman envisions clients coming to the new space due to its proximity to major cities and highways as well as it adjacency to the University of Delaware. Companies being located next to a university means access to large technological assets and a large pool of smart people, Bowman said.
While Delle Donne Associates — developer of the building — is providing the shell, Delaware Technology Park will fill it with the necessary equipment, made possible by a $3 million state loan from the Delaware Economic Development Office.
The smaller companies will be granted short-term leases, giving them the lab space and just enough time to grow.
“It’s going to be bite sized,” Bowman said of the lab. “Just enough space for them to do what they want to do.”
Tracy Shickel, who is marketing the park, said supporting young companies is essential to building innovation.
“This is the aim — it’s nurturing small companies that have promise,” Shickel said.
Though Delaware Technology Park and the new lab share the same mission, the incubator stands as a difference. Shickel said this was an identified need in Delaware.
“If you put 10 to 12 entrepreneurs together in an incubation space, the hope is that they can grow and share,” Shickel said.
The anticipated open date for the lab is late 2015.
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