Helix Center Biotech Incubator Launches New Phase of Region's Biotech Growth
June 26, 2012, St. Louis – The St. Louis region welcomes a key new asset in its efforts to build a strong community of science and IT entrepreneurs and businesses. In rolling out the welcome mat at Helix Center Biotech Incubator, St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley and St. Louis County Economic Council President & CEO Denny Coleman launched a new phase of the region’s biotech growth.
The all-new incubator features affordable, high quality, wet and dry lab space and offices in a completely renovated, two-story building with the most up-to-date systems and technologies. Located at 1100 Corporate Square Drive in St. Louis County (City of Creve Coeur), it is uniquely situated in the heart of an emerging bioscience innovation hub near the Danforth Plant Science Center, BRDG (bridge) Park and Monsanto. It is the fifth business and technology incubator owned and operated by St. Louis County Economic Council, which has been growing new companies in St. Louis County and the region for more than 20 years. More information is available at www.HelixCenter.com.
“There are a lot of smart, talented citizens in St. Louis County and we know many of them want to start companies based on science and technology innovations,” said St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley. “We have been hearing these scientific entrepreneurs want more places with labs and research facilities, so we think Helix Center will be a place where they can locate and collaborate with each other right in the backyard of the Danforth Plant Science Center. The possibilities are endless.”
With more than two decades of experience in small business incubation, St. Louis County is also providing assistance to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses. “The Helix Center offers small business consulting services such as mentoring and business development training seminars, and access to well-funded investment networks such as the $1.5 million Helix Fund, which provides capital for early stage bioscience companies.” said Denny Coleman, President and CEO of the St. Louis County Economic Council.
In addition to Dooley and Coleman, speakers for the grand opening include Elizabeth Noonan, vice president, Bioscience & Technology, Business Development Division, St. Louis County Economic Council; Anne Klein, Director of Energy Sustainability, St. Louis County; and Sam Fiorello, Chief Operating Officer, Danforth Plant Science Center and President, BRDG Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center.
“Client companies at the Helix Center Biotech Incubator will have access to the Danforth Plant Science Center and BRDG Park facilities and programs,” said Sam Fiorello, COO of the Danforth Plant Science Center and President of BRDG Park. “In addition to exceptional opportunities for collaborations, Helix Center client companies can access an affordable workforce of skilled bioscience lab technicians through the St. Louis Community College Center for Plant and Life Science based at BRDG, as well as state-of-the-art greenhouses and specialized equipment available at the Danforth Center.”
Bio-Generator, a privately funded, non-profit that invests in early stage bioscience companies, will have a presence at the Helix Center. In addition to the opportunity to connect with capital, Helix Center clients will be able to take advantage of the expertise of BioGenerator Entrepreneurs-In-Residence and staff, who will use hotelling space on a rotating basis.
Helix Center client companies have a choice of 16 laboratory spaces ranging from 250-573 square feet and 23 offices ranging in size from 200-1,225 square feet with equipment options, including fume hoods and snorkels, hazardous materials storage cabinets, sinks and eye wash stations and select casework.
Shared lab resources include freezers, autoclave and glass washing equipment, as well as ice machine, water purification system and tissue culture room. Designed for maximum flexibility, labs and offices can be customized to maximize floor plans to accommodate unique requirements and companies as they grow. The facilities also include abundant natural light and attractive greenspace views.
Additional amenities include conference rooms for meetings, press conferences and social gatherings, as well as community kitchen, hotelling office, informal gathering areas, and a first floor locker room with showers and bicycle parking. Abundant free parking is available for clients and their guests.
Construction on the Helix Center Biotech Incubator began August 2011. The architecture and engineering team included Christner, Inc., William Tao & Associates, Inc., HERA Laboratory Planners and Lucy Williams. The general contractor was United Construction Ent.Co.
About Helix Center Biotech Incubator
Helix Center Biotech Incubator for early stage companies is uniquely situated at the hub of biotech research, innovation and commerce, anchored by the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and the global headquarters of Monsanto. Offering high-quality, affordable office and laboratory space with generous amenities, Helix Center provides a collaborative environment and access to numerous resources. It is the fifth business and technology incubator owned and operated by St. Louis County Economic Council. More information is available at www.HelixCenter.com.