The Pennsylvanian Biotech Center is launching a $50 million dollar investment fund and accelerator for early-stage companies, the nonprofit life sciences incubator announced Wednesday.
Hatch BioFund Management, LLC, the overarching organization for the new initiatives, will be headed by financial services firm Janney Montgomery Scott’s former managing director in healthcare investment banking, Vladimir Walko.
While the fund will primarily fund seed stage and Series A rounds for incubator companies the center is already familiar with, the Hatch BioAccelerator Program will focus on pre-incubator companies for the center to follow from early-stage investment to market. The accelerator will offer young companies seed capital, lab space, business creation services and guidance, and other resources.
“We really focus on collaboration,” PA Biotech Center COO Louis Kassa said. “We can work together, cross-pollinate and from that help [companies] with their success, expediting whatever science they’re trying to achieve.”
The center, which was voted one of the most successful life science centers in the U.S. last year by the International Business Innovation Association, created the fund as a way to generate more revenue for its research while helping local companies. The fund will be available to both current companies working in the center’s incubator, as well as four to five pre-incubation companies in the accelerator program.
Kassa said the new program is available for both the one- to two-person companies the center incubates as well as larger operations.
“One of our ingredients is that we don’t kick companies out, because senior companies help our ecosystem stay strong,” Kassa said.
The COO said the Biotech Center’s location is key to its success: Based in the heart of the “Pharma Belt” — between New Jersey and Philadelphia — the Doylestown campus offers close access to nine local universities and is within 100 miles of 70% of all pharmaceutical companies, according to Kassa. The nonprofit is also adding a new building to the campus for the accelerator, with expected completion in 2020.
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