Investment in Forward BIOLABS Paying Off for Bioscience Startups

Investment in Forward BIOLABS Paying Off for Bioscience Startups

MADISON, Wis., Feb. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Forward BIOLABS, a co-working life science lab that helps bioscience startups grow, is celebrating early successes and honoring the companies that support the organization.

While business incubators are not uncommon, Forward BIOLABS boosts support by providing laboratory equipment and staff to manage safety, training, and other lab operations for entrepreneurs to reduce their initial investment expenses.

Currently, 16 startups are utilizing the Forward BIOLABS space, and five have graduated to continue growing their companies in their own spaces.

Forward BIOLABS also thrives on the excitement of these startup companies innovating and experimenting under the same roof. Founding sponsors, platinum sponsors, and 10 additional supporting sponsors committed $4.5 million to make Forward BIOLABS a reality, investment that included equipment, in-kind services, and cash.

“These sponsors are pillars in supporting innovation and entrepreneurship, and the foundation of what makes Forward BIOLABS possible,” said Jessica Martin Eckerly, the organization’s CEO and co-founder. “They recognized a unique opportunity to create a valuable asset for our bioscience startup ecosystem by enabling early-stage companies to operate efficiently while advancing cutting-edge technologies.”

Forward BIOLABS is an important feeder launching emerging growth companies into Wisconsin’s nationally recognized hub for biomanufacturing and expanding technology-based companies. Wisconsin’s collaborative and innovative spirit is achieving major economic and medical impacts, according to the 2020 Wisconsin Biohealth: Industry Landscape and Economic Impact Report. The total state economic impact of the biohealth industry is $28.8 billion and organizations employ more than 46,000 individuals.

“Forward BIOLABS fills a gap in Madison’s startup ecosystem, radically reducing the amount of capital it takes to launch a new life-science company or prove out a new concept,” said Aaron Olver, Forward BIOLABS board president and managing director at University Research Park. “It offers a unique platform in the Midwest.”