I had the opportunity for a pre-opening visit to the Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLabs NYC (“JLabs-NYC”) facility at the New York Genome Center. JLabs is an innovative outreach program by Johnson & Johnson to assist growing life sciences companies develop their technologies in a supportive environment.
And there are no strings attached! JLabs-NYC does not require an equity interest in the tenant companies. Even more, it provides access to internal J&J experts and outside experts on topics on which the companies need help. The facility plans to develop opportunities to meet and confer with potential outside investors – venture capitalists, internal J&J VC and business development staff and even J&J competitors.
JLabs-NYC is planning to house 30 companies at its 30,000 square foot facility. Kate Merton, Director, conducted the tour and stressed her desire to stimulate innovation in the life sciences – even in areas that might not be consistent with J&J's commercial interests. Terms for the space will be flexible and can include as much – or as little – as a company needs.
The renderings of the space when finished are consistent with J&J's drive for quality and functionality. I was impressed with the attractiveness of the plans. There will also be high-tech equipment available for use by tenants as well as a great deal of wet lab space for those companies that need it.
Kate mentioned that as of early January, 18 applicants had been accepted for the program when the facility opens in late June 2018. So, my recommendation to life science startups looking for space is to apply now for one of the 12 remaining positions. It's a great opportunity to work with supportive and expert people in an attractive space.