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Group K Diagnostics starts 2019 in new Center City digs

Fresh off a venture capital raise, the diagnostics startup combined manufacturing, office space and laboratories in a 3,000-square-foot hub in Center City.

Brianna Wronko, Group K Diagnostics founder. (Courtesy photo)

Group K Diagnostics, the diagnostics startup that raised a $2-million Series A in November, is kicking off the New Year from new headquarters in Center City.

Nine full-time employees are now based out of a 3,000-square-feet hub at 10th and Chestnut. There, under a single roof, the company will have combined laboratory, manufacturing and office space. The company also keeps a 10-person team in India.

“Our company’s growth far outpaced what we had anticipated, and a larger facility became a necessity,” said Joe Geromini, the company’s COO. “Our combined lab, manufacturing and office space also gives executive leadership greater accessibility to our departments, promoting a deeper level of collaboration. This cross-collaboration is imperative as each branch of GKD continues to grow.”

In November, the company announced it had raised a $2 million Series A round aimed at scaling up production, commercialization and regulatory processes for its microfluidics-based technology, led by a private holding company.

An office with joint desks

(Courtesy photo)

The move puts an end to a tricky 2018 for the company on the real estate side of things: In May, it faced a massive rent hike amid the University City Science Center’s model shift away from lab management and into the programming and commercialization side. Though it finished out the year in a temporary space, CEO and founder Brianna Wronko said the shift to a new office starting Jan. 1, along with the venture round, signal a transition from startup “to a decent-sized company.”

Local founders cite comparably more affordable and flexible office space as one of the reasons for keeping their companies in town. Real estate prices, per research firm JLL, painted a similar picture in the last quarter of 2018: Founders in Philly’s Central Business District paid an average of $31.64 per square foot of office space, less than half of what founders pay in New York, at an average of $76.33 per square foot.

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