Peoria Mayor Welcomes the addition of new Medical Device and Bioscience Incubator

As seen in the Arizona Republic on 11/18/2011

Peoria will soon play host to bioscience startups, with the lofty long-term  goal of becoming a bioscience hub focused on medical devices that would bring  high-paying jobs to the city.

The Peoria City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved a partnership  with BioAccel, a Phoenix non-profit that mentors startups, as well as Plaza  Companies of Peoria, which would host the Peoria Incucelerator. The name comes  from the combination of incubator and accelerator.

The facility, expected to launch in March, would be the first in Arizona to  focus on launching biomedical device startup companies.

Incubators provide a support environment for entrepreneurs who create  products but find it hard to commercialize them. That’s where BioAccel and  Peoria would come in, to help the entrepreneurs bring their products to market.  Metro Phoenix has at least four incubators but none focus on medical devices,  which would be a huge advantage, said BioAccel chief executive MaryAnn  Guerra.

While plans are to start the partnership over a five-year period, the city  would have an opt-out option after three years. Funding is  identified for those three years, at $1.6 million for each year.

The 6,800 square-foot incucelerator, will be housed at 13660 N. 94th Drive in  the Plaza Del Rio campus near Loop 101 and Thunderbird Road. The space will be  built out for five to six companies with shared laboratory space and common  areas, according to a staff report.

The city’s investment  each year will include the cost to lease the space and seed funding if needed  for companies. Plaza Companies will give the city six months of free rent and  pitch in with $426,000 toward building improvements.

“The fact that this proposal includes pipeline funding and seed funding and  space – those are the three elements companies are always looking for,” Guerra  said.

The objective is to launch bioscience companies locally, create jobs and  ultimately a bioscience cluster, said Scott Whyte, Peoria’s economic development  director. Guerra said the city could expect to see up to about 125 jobs in the  first three years, with chances of many more in future years, if the venture  continues.

Read more at the  Arizona Republic on 11/18/2011

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