One of toughest obstacles for science startups to overcome is the great expense that comes from having to have your own lab. Research institutes and other similar facilities are not generally big fans of renting out space or housing entrepreneurs. But at the same time entrepreneurs working in the science industries often need a lab. With pieces of scientific equipment priced into the hundreds of thousands of dollar range, it’s not viable for most entrepreneurs to create their own lab. West Michigan scientific entrepreneurs now have an alternative.
Kalamazoo, Michigan’s Southwest Michigan Innovation Center unveiled its new core wet lab, complete with centrifuges, nitrogen generators, autoclaves, incubators and mass spectrometers. The new 2,300-square-foot wet lab allows entrepreneurs to rent as little as four to six feet of bench space for several days or weeks to test out new ideas. This allows scientist access to the space and equipment that is necessary for their innovations but without the high price tag.
This type of facility will allow entrepreneurs to stay in West Michigan because they don’t need to seek out groups or companies that will allow them to develop and research their ideas. It will also allow for entrepreneurs to get results faster because they can gather their own results as opposed to shipping their data out to other firms. In addition, this facility is bringing scientific entrepreneurs together which creates collaboration that can lead to more innovations.
One of the toughest transitions for any entrepreneur is the transition that a scientist must make to businessman. It’s difficult to develop a new scientific innovation but to be able to make a profit from that innovation can be even tougher. Finding the individuals and groups that can help scientific entrepreneurs make that transition is crucial. A lab rental facility will bring new scientific entrepreneurs in contact with those that can help.
Source: “Southwest Michigan's new Launch MI Lab gets science startups in the lab for less” by Yvonne Zipp of MLive.com