Top Accelerators and Incubators for Biotech Startups
Whether you're looking at launching a medical device or even developing new plant-based proteins, these programs should have the solutions you’re looking for. Let's take a look at the top accelerators and incubators that are paving the way for modern biotech innovation.
1. Alchemist Accelerator
Location: San Francisco, California
The Alchemist Accelerator Program is a respected six-month program designed to assist entrepreneurs in achieving their ambitious goals and can be a great opportunity for biotech founders. This program is tailored to accommodate participants in California and Europe but is accessible to founders worldwide. Personalized to meet the unique needs of each company, it offers a variety of elective elements to ensure an optimal experience for all participants.
The program's structure includes group gatherings, individualized mentoring sessions, and social and community events, culminating in Demo Day. During this event, founders present their projects to an exclusive group of global investors. Alchemist founders can also receive optional cash investments, exclusive credits and discounts from trusted partners, and permanent access to a prestigious network of mentors, investors, customers, and alumni.
Alchemist supports companies that generate revenue from any enterprise, regardless of their business model, and has proven invaluable for startups at every stage of development. The primary factor they consider during the application evaluation process is the team, with an emphasis on technical founders.
Location: Palo Alto, California
StartX is an impressive community that brings together over 1800 serial entrepreneurs, industry experts, experienced Stanford professors, and over 700 well-funded growth-stage startups. With a focus on collaboration, StartX aims to help its member companies make a lasting positive impact on the world.
As a participant in StartX, you'll gain access to top Stanford talent, a high-quality entrepreneurial-minded talent pool, and a supportive ecosystem backed by Stanford University and Stanford Health Care. This community also provides an extensive customer network, with many early-stage companies acquiring their first 40–50 paying customers through StartX's network of 700+ companies and 1,300+ founders.
StartX caters to various industry-specific founder and executive communities, such as biotech, edtech, hardware, female founders, international, and more. For more established companies, they provide executive communities centered around marketing, sales, hiring, and scaling engineering. Furthermore, as a StartX member, you'll have access to over $1.2 million in free resources through the StartX partner network, making it an invaluable resource for startups and entrepreneurs alike.
3. BioGenerator Ventures
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
BioGenerator Ventures is a company dedicated to investing in and supporting early-stage life sciences startups. They specialize in creating new companies from innovative concepts and investing in areas such as therapeutics, diagnostics, research tools, and agtech. Their global approach includes actively syndicating deals with venture capital firms and other sources of capital worldwide.
Using an evergreen fund model, BioGenerator Ventures invests in promising early-stage companies, and those that excel across multiple investments may be selected for further funding from follow-on funds managed by BioGenerator. By providing investment funding and giving founders access to BioGenerator Lab's company-building resources, startups can access invaluable support to help them grow.
BioGenerator Ventures attracts top venture capital, private equity, and strategic investors from around the globe by fostering exceptional companies and world-class management teams. Their contributions have been pivotal to the success of companies like Panome Bio, Geneoscopy, CoverCress, and MediBeacon, making BioGenerator Ventures an essential partner for aspiring life sciences and biotech startups.
Location: Hardwick, Massachusetts
LabCentral is a nonprofit organization that offers a fully equipped laboratory and office spaces for promising life sciences and biotech startups. Founded in 2013, it is located in Cambridge and on the Harvard University campus. LabCentral provides valuable administrative support, a skilled laboratory operations team, and domain-specific events and programming to help early-stage companies thrive.
Since its inception, LabCentral has expanded from an initial 28,000 square feet to a massive 225,000 square feet to accommodate the growing demand from startups. They’re dedicated to fostering a sustainable and inclusive biotech ecosystem through its LabCentral Ignite initiative, supporting STEM advancements, workforce training, and next-generation entrepreneurship.
In Fall 2021, they opened an additional 100,000 square feet of shared laboratory and office space. This new facility is designed with a focus on process development and scaling up for bio-manufacturing.
Overall, LabCentral addresses the challenge of expensive laboratory infrastructure by implementing conscious design choices that optimize space usage and promote shared resources, equipment, and infrastructure.
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Xontogeny is a life sciences accelerator that partners with entrepreneurs, scientific founders, and first-time CEOs to drive the successful development of technologies aimed at providing new treatment options for patients with serious diseases. The accelerator offers an experienced team, a vast network of industry consultants and service providers, and seed investment capital across various technologies, such as therapeutics, diagnostics, and devices. Their ultimate goal is to guide each program toward a compelling clinical proof-of-concept study.
Xontogeny emphasizes collaboration and works with intelligent individuals to foster creative solutions that accelerate the advancement of brand-new technologies. Their team has expertise in scientific, business, operations, and investment areas, and by supporting and remaining connected to a broader community of researchers, institutions, pharmaceutical companies, investors, entrepreneurs, and other industry organizations, Xontogeny creates a strong network for success.
They’ve made numerous seed investments and continue to incubate a number of early-stage life sciences companies across a number of therapeutic areas.
Location: Brighton, Massachusetts
Nucleate is a student-led organization that forms the largest global community of bio-innovators. Their missions encompass identifying future bio-entrepreneurs, inspiring scientific trainees with high-potential research, educating and empowering scientists and business students, building connections within the biotech ecosystem, accelerating impactful academic bioventures, and increasing access for historically underserved groups.
One of their key initiatives is Activator, a six-month, equity-free program designed specifically for academic biotech founders. Nucleate's advisors consist of visionary scientists, pioneering investors, and iconic founders who contribute to fostering a unified global bioentrepreneur community with chapters worldwide.
Supported by sponsors who share their free-to-all, open-to-all mission, Nucleate hosts world-class events aimed at cultivating the next generation of biotech leaders. By participating in Nucleate's programs, aspiring bio-entrepreneurs can benefit from a supportive, collaborative, and educational environment that facilitates growth and success in the biotech industry.
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
BioMotiv is an early-stage investment fund that has recently entered into a partnership with Advent Life Sciences, a venture capital firm focused on building innovative life sciences businesses in the UK, Europe, and the USA. This collaboration allows Advent to advise BioMotiv on current and future investments, helping diversify risks through co-investments with Advent and other investors.
BioMotiv's mission is to transform discoveries by physician-scientists and researchers in areas with unmet therapeutic needs into medicines that benefit society. Similarly, Advent has a highly experienced team with a proven track record of entrepreneurial and investment success in turning breakthrough science into approved medicines or medical products.
This partnership between BioMotiv and Advent Life Sciences presents a valuable opportunity for biotech startups to receive expert guidance and support, fostering the development of innovative medical solutions and ultimately contributing to the betterment of society.
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
AlphaLab is a six-month accelerator program that invests up to $100,000 in early-stage software companies, offering founders a customized plan to help refine their product, acquire new customers, and prepare for fundraising. The program is divided into two halves, with the first half laying the groundwork to give founders what they need to achieve their goals and the second half building on that foundation. Companies leave AlphaLab with a clear plan for growth and receive ongoing support in various ways.
Some of the benefits provided by AlphaLab include up to $800,000 in follow-on investment from the Innovation Works seed fund, continued access to office space, invitations to portfolio programming and events, and much more. The AlphaLab team and Innovation Works support resources are available to help founders leverage networks, resources, and programs, refine messaging, build brand strategy, connect with relevant investors, and offer web design and content assistance.
Based in Pittsburgh, AlphaLab is a top accelerator with a strong track record of helping founders achieve success, and they provide all the necessary resources and network access founders need to thrive in their respective industries.
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Petri is a pre-seed biotech accelerator that focuses on helping founders transform their ideas into successful companies. Co-founded by experienced leaders in both the biotech industry and academia, Petri wants to support the next generation of innovators who’ll shape the future of biotechnology. The program is highly personalized, addressing each company's unique needs and challenges.
Participants in the Petri accelerator benefit from comprehensive resources, one-on-one coaching, mentorship, guidance, and feedback, as well as access to a vast network of investors, partners, and customer connections. Petri is co-founded and funded by Pillar VC, a venture firm that leverages one of the world's strongest biotech ecosystems to support founders worldwide.
In addition to the accelerator program, Petri hosts a week-long virtual summit for biotech founders, Ph.Ds, scientists, investors, and leaders, as well as a free virtual event supporting women and under-represented genders in biotech.
10. Apollo Health Ventures
Location: Boston, Massachusetts and Berlin, Germany
Apollo Health Ventures is a venture capital firm focused on investing in innovative healthcare companies that target age-related diseases and aging itself. They believe that biotechnology can lead to a healthier lifespan and reduce healthcare costs, and their goal is to impact human health within the next decade by supporting transformative healthcare companies in making scientific breakthroughs.
To maximize potential, Apollo Health Ventures combines traditional funding with venture building, creating greater and more diverse startup companies in Europe and the US. Their Venture Lab collaborates with scientific experts to transform untapped technologies into groundbreaking companies, and they generate value by identifying best-in-class companies at an early stage.
Benefiting from an extensive industry network, Apollo Health Ventures also partners with leading universities, research institutes, and top investors in the US and Europe – the firm's team aims to change the field of aging in the coming decade. With offices in Berlin and Boston, Apollo Health Ventures is well-positioned to support the growth of transformative healthcare companies.
11. Foresite Labs
Location: San Francisco, California
Foresite Labs is an incubation platform dedicated to launching companies that transform healthcare and address unmet medical needs. They believe that applying data science with scientific rigor can accelerate scientific discovery and the development of new products and services that benefit patients; they aim to dismantle barriers faced by visionary entrepreneurs and their companies in the quest to reinvent healthcare.
With an experienced team of scientists, engineers, and operators, Foresite Labs partners with entrepreneurs to build the next generation of transformational life science and healthcare companies. Their platform focuses on scientific discovery through the aggregation of existing data and the generation of new data, and they work across their portfolio to standardize and harmonize data generation and analysis, creating a rich startup ecosystem.
Foresite Labs has, thus far, incubated several innovative companies that are changing the healthcare space for the better. They’ve also launched a $173 million fund to support these incubated companies while they grow and progress forward.
12. MBC Biolabs
Location: San Francisco, California
MBC BioLabs is a biotech launchpad designed to support growing biotech companies by providing flexible space and state-of-the-art equipment. The facility can accommodate up to 20 scientists and offers a community of like-minded individuals who can offer support and guidance.
In addition to lab space, MBC BioLabs provides partnerships, competitions, and events to help biotech companies succeed. They also offer job opportunities for those interested in the biotech industry. To apply for lab space and jobs, you can visit their website for more information.
If you’d like to learn more about their offerings or just stay updated on the latest news and events, MBC BioLabs also offers a newsletter. Their primary goal is to help biotech companies take root and continue growing, ultimately contributing to the advancements in the biotechnology field.
Location: New York, New York and San Francisco, California
IndieBio, a program of global venture capital firm SOSV, supports innovative ideas by offering multi-stage investment to companies focusing on biology-based solutions. They accept applications for their next cohorts in New York and San Francisco, which begin in late spring every year.
The program welcomes companies from various sectors where biology can help engineer creative solutions, including climate, food, therapeutics, and materials, and IndieBio provides both virtual and in-person networking opportunities, allowing participants to become part of the larger IndieBio community.
SOSV aims to help startups go further and faster by investing in companies that tackle crucial challenges and create exciting new opportunities. To apply to IndieBio, interested parties can submit an online application – if the team finds the idea revolutionary and game-changing, then they’ll reach out for an interview and potentially offer a spot in their next cohort.
Location: Allschwil, Switzerland
BaseLaunch specializes in helping launch and grow ventures in the biotech industry, and they offer direct funding of up to $500,000 and support ventures until they can acquire Series A financing. To date, they’ve supported over 20 ventures, with nine of their portfolio companies raising over $550 million in Series A or equivalent venture financing.
Unlike traditional incubators or accelerators, BaseLaunch doesn’t have a specific program or courses for startup founders to follow; what they do instead is provide access to top-notch scientific avenues, involve relevant consultants and experts to focus on scientific development, and assist in building the team. They also help with IP licensing, company incorporation, and introductions to venture funds while assisting in negotiations.
Ventures that work with BaseLaunch maintain full entrepreneurial freedom and control over their operations. BaseLaunch works to ensure that the startups they work with become deeply embedded in Europe's strong biotech ecosystem, providing access to partners, global biopharma and investors, company and team-building resources, and lab facilities as needed.
15. Berkeley SkyDeck
Location: Berkeley, California
Berkeley SkyDeck is a renowned innovation hub that has been fostering innovation since 2012. With a powerful network of 500,000 Berkeley Alumni, SkyDeck helps startups succeed by connecting them with 480 advisors and mentors who provide guidance on product development, fundraising, and more. Not only that, but SkyDeck has strong relationships with hundreds of businesses that often become early adopters of the startups' technology.
SkyDeck accepts startups from various industries and offers four specialized tracks to provide unique expertise for deeply technical startups. Committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, SkyDeck has established a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) committee to support this mission. Each year, SkyDeck hosts over 250 startups across four programs.
The Berkeley SkyDeck Fund serves as the investment partner for UC Berkeley's SkyDeck Accelerator Program, investing $200,000 into each startup that goes through SkyDeck. The Fund can also participate in later-stage investment rounds with Berkeley founders. In a pioneering public-private partnership, the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund shares one-half of its profits with UC Berkeley.
16. Next Sequence
Location: New York, New York
Next Sequence is an accelerator program that focuses on the intersection of Synthetic Biology (SynBio) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). They help founders build groundbreaking companies by providing capital, valuable resources, and a supportive environment. With more than 800 startups in their portfolio, Next Sequence invests in Cloud infrastructure and AI training, offering over $1 million in value per startup.
The AI x SynBio accelerator program, lasting between 6 and 12 months, helps startups leverage computing technologies to speed up their research and development processes; this combination of advancements in biological sciences and AI technology is driving innovation in various sectors of the economy.
The longevity market, with over 50 companies raising more than $1 billion in venture funding as of 2020, is attracting significant attention from investors, academic institutions, and governments. Synthetic biology can revolutionize industries like agriculture by creating living products based on soil microbes and reinventing fertilizers. There’s no question that biomanufacturing, supported by single-use technologies, has experienced rapid growth, further accelerated during the pandemic.