On Tuesday, November 20, Governor Pete Ricketts and project sponsors gathered at Nebraska Innovation Campus to cut the ribbon on the Biotech Connector, Nebraska’s first exclusive bio industry startup incubator.
“Nebraska has emerged as a hub for bio industry companies,” said Governor Ricketts. “Today there are around 16,000 Nebraskans employed in bio careers, producing value-added products like food, vaccines, alternative fuels, and life-saving medical equipment. The Biotech Connector will help us spur further growth in Nebraska’s bio industry, resulting in increased innovation and more great-paying jobs across the state.”
Biotech Connector was developed in partnership between the U.S. Department of Commerce-Economic Development Administration (EDA); the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED); Nebraska Innovation Campus (NIC); Bio Nebraska; Invest Nebraska Corporation (Invest Nebraska); and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL).
The facility features 7,700-square-feet of leasable, well-equipped wet laboratory space; mentorship and IP support; grant writing assistance; and venture capital networking opportunities. All of these resources are housed under one roof and available to high-growth startups seeking to develop and commercialize their innovative products and services.
“The Biotech Connector is the ultimate public-private partnership,” said Angela Belden Martinez, EDA Regional Director. “It brings together research, industry, and government in a unique effort that will keep Nebraska-based technology in the state while spurring wage and job growth in the region. I look forward to seeing the impact the Biotech Connector will have on supporting local entrepreneurs and researchers as they work to accelerate innovation in Nebraska.”
“This incubator complements the array of financial and technical assistance resources available to Nebraska entrepreneurs under the Nebraska Bioscience Innovation Program, the Business Innovation Act, the Angel Investment Act and, other state-led business development initiatives,” said DED Director Dave Rippe. “Through this partnership, we’ve created a more complete ecosystem for promoting the success of Nebraska-based bio industry startups.”
“We’re proud to partner with the Biotech Connector in creating opportunities for research, discovery, and entrepreneurship,” said UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green. “It aligns perfectly with our strengths and mission as the research-intensive land grant university for Nebraska.”
“Creating incubation spaces, programs, and funding for startup companies is critical to Nebraska’s future,” said Dan Duncan, NIC Executive Director. “This first incubator on NIC is a big step in the right direction. Continued support for initiatives like the Biotech Connector will help grow the Nebraska economy.”
“Biotech Connector provides resources that are essential to the success of life sciences entrepreneurs,” said Phil Kozera, Executive Director of Bio Nebraska. “This incubator is a terrific example of the collaboration that makes Nebraska a unique place to live and work. It also highlights the commitment of our partner organizations to growing our state.”
“Invest Nebraska strongly supports the growth of the bioscience industry, which complements our state’s natural strengths in agriculture and food science,” said Dan Hoffman, Invest Nebraska CEO. “The Biotech Connector is poised to accelerate the success of early-stage growth companies that need to conduct research and development in a rapidly growing space.”
For more information on Biotech Connector, visit https://biotechconnector.com/.