Community Resources for Entrepreneurs

By Sylvia Norman, Sandhill Crane Diagnostics 

An attendee at a recent networking event asked the startup panel whether it was possible to bootstrap a Life Sciences company. I thought “you bet it is and you’re in one of the best cities to do it.” And that’s how the idea to generate an SDEE listing of startup resources was born. Many of our SDEE members founded their companies using the wealth of entrepreneur resources available here in San Diego. We’ve drawn on their experiences to generate our initial lists. The following is a summary of what we've identified so far.

Lab Space -  Startups need proof-of-concept data to obtain funding via investors, grants or partners, so finding wet lab space is an early priority. Luckily, San Diego has a variety of affordable wet lab incubator spaces to choose from including JLABS, Bio Tech & Beyond, Home Labs (Lab Fellows), BioLabs San Diego, Biotech Incubator of San Diego, La Jolla Cove Research Center and San Diego Science Center (Pacific Beach). Advantages to being part of an incubator are savings on capital equipment, shipping/receiving, facilities management and interacting directly with other Life Science entrepreneurs. Not looking to join an incubator? Less formal shared lab space options are available through companies with extra space available. SDEE posts these opportunities on our social media sites as we learn about them.

Accelerators - Need help with planning or growing your business? Check out local accelerators like Hera LABS, CONNECT Springboard and San Diego SCORE which offer business development mentoring at low or no cost to entrepreneurs. Join our SDEE events and workshops for expert advice on topics to help grow your company.

Equipment & Supplies - Equipment and supplies can take a big chunk out of your budget. Even if working in an incubator with shared equipment, you will likely need additional research equipment and lab supplies. ALT (American Laboratory Trading), Lab Trader and BioSurplus are local vendors who sell used or refurbished equipment at discounted prices. Sustainable Surplus and BioPioneer are great resources for lab supplies. For group discounts on lab purchases and business services, check out California Life Sciences Association (CLSA). Looking for free equipment and supplies? Follow our SDEE social media and eblasts for announcements.

Discounted Services – Need custom lab support? Lab Fellows and Managed Lab Services can help fill those requirements. Our SDEE business directory and consultants directory have an array of resources for low cost custom services tailored to startup needs. Don't forget about local Life Science core facilities when looking for affordable specialty lab services. 

That’s the start of our findings. We’ll be updating our lists as we learn about additional San Diego resources. Do you have a favorite? We’d love to hear about it. Contact Sylvia Norman at [email protected] with your tips.

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