Community Foundation provides seed money for wet labs

FORT COLLINSThe Community Foundation of Northern Colorado will provide $100,000 to Innosphere, Colorado’s technology incubator, to be used as seed funding to build wet lab space for startup and scaleup companies.

The money will support Innosphere’s effort to grow the bioscience industry in Northern Colorado. About 8,000 square feet of lab space for lease is planned.

“The industry can’t continue to grow without this needed infrastructure,” said Mike Freeman, Innosphere CEO. “We’re excited to have the Community Foundation moving this project forward into the final planning and design phase.” Innosphere already owns the land for the labs just west of the incubator’s headquarters at 320 East Vine Drive in Fort Collins. Innosphere is fundraising for the bioscience lab expansion project from corporate partners, foundations and grants.

“The wet lab expansion project is a collaboration among Innosphere’s key partners in Northern Colorado,” said Ben Walker, program director for Innosphere and executive director of the Northern Colorado Bioscience Cluster. “The NoCoBio Cluster has recently seen at least six companies looking for lab space, and we don’t have anywhere to put them as there is a severe shortage of lab space in Northern Colorado.”

For the past 10 years, partners of the NoCoBio Cluster have put a tremendous amount of effort into growing bioscience business, and they have seen first-hand the limiting factor of available lab space. “This lab expansion will not only grow bioscience business, but will also attract more bioscience companies that are looking for incubation support services to significantly scale their companies,” said Walker. Innosphere’s current lab space has been 100 percent leased since the building opened in 2010.

“We see this as a way to promote both economic vitality and philanthropy,” said Ray Caraway, Community Foundation president and CEO. “Our Catalyst Fund and Fort Collins Community Fund Committee are pleased to provide Innosphere with seed funding for its capital project.”

Last year alone, Innosphere supported 16 bioscience companies that employed 53 full-time positions with an annual average wage of $82,000. The average annual wage of their collective 31 part-time employees was $26,000. “For every job created in Colorado’s bioscience industry, four direct and indirect jobs are created,” said Freeman.

Freeman can be reached for more information at or 970- 818-7736 .