Carlsbad opens lab space for entrepreneurial scientists

150 150 Cheryl Getuiza

(Photo Credit: City of Carlsbad

The city of Carlsbad, about 30 miles north of San Diego, has rolled out the welcome mat and turned on the “open for business” sign to all life science entrepreneurs with the opening of a new incubator, community laboratory and science education center.

Bio, Tech and Beyond, a 6,000-square-foot facility, will provide lab benches and equipment to innovators in the life sciences field who have ideas for medical breakthroughs and want a space to conduct experiments and turn their ideas into reality.

It’s also expected to play a big role in supporting the growing segment of the city’s economy.

Joseph Jackson, founder of BioCurious and Kevin Lustig, CEO and president of Assay Depot, will lead the efforts.

“The incubator is designed to meet a demand of professional and citizen scientists who are seeking inexpensive lab space and equipment where they can test their ideas,” said Lustig.

“We’ll also have technologists in residence who can consult with people as they test their ideas,” said Jackson.

There are more than 100 life sciences companies in the city, including Isis Pharmaceuticals, Genoptix and Life Technologies. The city’s life sciences cluster holds more than 600 patents and provides 7,000 well-paying jobs.

“An incubator helps the local economy by providing an exciting environment for discovery and entrepreneurship. Encouraging innovation through independent research, science classes for the community and business mentorship will help grow new life sciences companies as well as bring jobs to Carlsbad when those startup companies grow,” said Christina Vincent, the city’s economic development manager.

“Bringing science students and researchers can also help our more established companies in life sciences find new talent in their search for employees. The access to talent and physical space for businesses to start and grow will undoubtedly benefit our local economy.”

The goals of the incubator projects are to:

  • Create new life sciences companies and new jobs
  • Become a national leader in the citizen science movement, strengthening the city’s life sciences cluster
  • Add to the city’s core technology base, creating new products and new patents
  • Serve as a base for regional science education outreach efforts

The city is leasing the building to Bio, Tech and Beyond for a dollar per year for five years.

“The City of Carlsbad supports this project because we want to strengthen our city as a life sciences hub. We have 24 percent of the life sciences jobs in San Diego county and now we are building a network that will deepen our formal life science companies with independent researchers, scientists and entrepreneurs,” said Vincent.

“We can’t hire the next Einstein, or start the next Life Technologies, but as the city, we can let those scientists and entrepreneurs know they are welcome in Carlsbad and the city supports their talent and work.”

The incubator team hopes to launch at least eight startup companies in the first two years, enroll 50 paying members, and offer at least four science courses per year.

Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ted Owens is thrilled about the incubator’s potential. In a statement, he said, “the chamber welcomes any effort that leads to the creation of new jobs that launches new businesses and helps advance technology.”


Cheryl Getuiza

All stories by: Cheryl Getuiza