Mission & Story

It all began in the Garage

OUR MISSION

Our mission is to enable awesome. We want to make it easier for entrepreneurial life scientists to change the world for the better. We believe that if you lower the barriers, more great companies will be formed, funded, and flourish.

Launching a life-science company is hard. You need specialized equipment in carefully regulated laboratories. Traditionally, biotech startups overcome this challenge by spending 6-8 months and a couple of million dollars. When the time and the money run out, the founders look at each other and say, “We’re 6 months older, $2M poorer, and we still haven’t done the first experiment”. This is not an efficient approach. This lack of efficiency greatly reduces the number of important companies that get launched each year.

We’ve created a better way. QB3@953’s laboratories have been built and equipped with one goal in mind: to help startups succeed by vastly accelerating their access to facilities and increasing their capital efficiency.  We want startups doing critical experiments in their first week in the lab, not their first year. Great people with exciting ideas are thus unleashed.

OUR STORY

In 2006, QB3, a research institute and accelerator headquartered at the Mission Bay campus of the University of California, San Francisco, repurposed a utility room into the QB3 Garage, the first technology incubator in the UC system.

“It’ll never work,” their advisory board said. “It’ll be an intensive care unit for sick companies.” But of the first six startups through the Garage, four won Series A venture funding and a fifth was acquired within two years for $25 million. Quality was clearly not an issue. Furthermore, demand was high. Garage founder Doug Crawford received one to four requests a week from entrepreneurs looking to rent bench space.

Over the following years, QB3 shoehorned incubators into several small sites at UCSF and UC Berkeley, and helped private affiliates launch two other spaces. More than 60 companies passed through these sites, creating hundreds of biotech jobs and bringing in over half a billion dollars of funding. When asked what they valued most in an incubator, the founders answered: access to scientific equipment, and being around other entrepreneurs.

Doug kept these answers in mind, and in 2012, jumped on the opportunity to lease and refit a warehouse in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood. He worked with Ryan Guibara of Dewey Land Company to design a new incubator literally from the ground up, implementing everything that QB3 had learned from years of working with early-stage biotech startups.

The result was QB3@953, a full-service incubator offering laboratories, office space, meeting rooms, a la carte access to basics such as fridges, freezers, glasswash and autoclave, a stockroom, and an in-house staffed CRO facility with millions of dollars’ worth of equipment donated by partners GE Healthcare and American Laboratory Trading.

QB3@953 launched in October 2013 with founding partner Johnson and Johnson Innovation, JLABS. Within six months, it was at full occupancy, and profitable within a year. Today, with 40+ resident companies, QB3@953 is the leading biotech incubator in San Francisco. Enabling awesome, one bench at a time.

Address

953 Indiana St.
San Francisco, CA 94107
Tel: (415)-347-8287

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