We spent 4 years building the successful Incubator that we have today. It has required becoming a part of the ever-growing life science ecosystem in Austin to ensure that we were serving an actual need to the community, as well as to ensure that we would have incubated companies filling the space. It has also required a focused effort towards creating a space that works for all of the companies and their varied needs. It has required learning how to guide students in the Biotech program to become the actual facilities staff that maintains, calibrates, troubleshoots and inventories all of the instrumentation and reagents. Now the Incubator is at capacity with 15 current companies, and while I can’t say that we have checked every box that needs checking, I do feel like we are at a point where we can focus more on what’s next.
What is next? Now it is time for supporting what we have built. The obvious need for a biotech company is the help of trained lab staff, so that was our initial focus. However, now that these companies are here and they are doing what they do best, which is working on the science, we see that there are other areas that they may still need help with that is outside their expertise or the number of available hours in the day. To successfully get a company off the ground they need to have to have compiled a competent team, maintain sound financials, go out and find customers, make sure they are setting up processes that will comply with regulatory agencies, compile their data to present to potential funders, promote and market their business, supervise their employees, travel to conferences, and a gajillion other things. The ACC community is chock full of experts that span all of these areas, and more. There are faculty and students all across the district that I believe would be, not only a great asset to these start-ups, but would benefit greatly by getting involved with these companies.
To facilitate that, we are so excited to launch our new podcast! Every day, we get to hear from scientists telling us about the problems that they are passionate about solving. Some of them join us at the ACC Bioscience Incubator, some will in the future and some are not a great fit for our space. But they all have stories that deserve to be heard. Here we present some of those stories so that everyone in Austin can appreciate the problems being addressed at the ‘Mall’, can jump in and lend their expertise to a cause that resonates with them, and so that they can foster great pride to live in a city that supports efforts like this from their community college.
It’s “Science in the Mall, Y’all”!