'Not quite a coworking space': The BioDome is officially open - Technical.ly Delaware

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Oct. 12, 2018 10:33 am

‘Not quite a coworking space’: The BioDome is officially open

The grand opening of the workspace opens up a dialogue on the future of Delaware and its science community.
The Delaware Bio BioDome.

The Delaware Bio BioDome.

(Photo by Holly Quinn)

Delaware Bio’s new meeting space, the BioDome, located right off of Concord Pike on the AstraZeneca campus, isn’t dome-shaped — and it isn’t quite a coworking space, either (our bad).

“This is not your traditional coworking space,” said Helen Stimson, president and CEO of DelawareBio, at the ribbon cutting. “This is a member clubhouse open to all DelawareBio members, who can come and work with us up to 10 times a month for up to four hours every month. You might wonder, ‘OK, why?’ There are a lot of small companies in the community that have no place to meet and end up at Brew Ha Ha in Greenville or someplace — I’ve spent a lot of time there meeting with people. Now we can offer them professional spaces to meet with clients, and it makes a difference to their businesses.”

So far, the BioDome has hosted meetings, not just for bioscience companies, but also for nonprofits who support the life sciences industry, including Stride, First State Innovation and the Delaware Public-Private Prosperity Partnership.

“We’ve been meeting, in order of magnitude, more people here than when we were in Newark, and it’s mostly because we have the space,” Stimson said.

biodome ribbon cutting

Helen Stimson, CEO of Delaware Bio, does the honors. (Photo by Holly Quinn)

It couldn’t have been done, she said, without Ernest Delle Donne, CEO of the real estate development company Delle Donne & Associates, who was surprised with a recognition award and certificate from the governor. (And yes, if you’re wondering, his daughter is WNBA star Elena Delle Donne of the Washington Mystics.)

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Damian DeStefano, director of the Delaware Division of Small Business, encouraged attendees to take advantage of the state’s Angel Investor Tax Credit that goes into effect in 2019.

“Essentially what it does is provide up to 25 percent of the value of an investment made in a growing company targeted at the industries that this organization represents — bioscience, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, research and development — that we hope spur investment in those growing companies and take them from idea to something that’s making an impact on a national stage,” DeStefano said.

Among the speakers at the ribbon cutting was Gov. John Carney, who was presented with an invitation to speak at the Bio International Convention in Philadelphia June 3–6, 2019, along with the governors of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The event, which draws about 18,000 bioscience professionals annually, is an opportunity for Delaware to take an international stage in areas such as IP and gene editing.

Kurt Foreman came to Delaware six months ago after being hired as permanent CEO for Delaware Prosperity Partnership. “Someone described [Delaware] early in my time here as ‘W\e have a great product, but we seem to whisper about it,'” Foreman said  “So, we’re going to use our outside voices and we’re going to tell our story.”

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