Creating Partnerships with Founding Sponsors

Thermo Fisher Scientific Joins Momentum Labs as Founding Sponsor of New Biotech Hub in Alachua, Florida

Thermo Fisher Scientific Joins Momentum Labs as Founding Sponsor of New Biotech Hub in Alachua, Florida

by: Kyla Frye|

February 27, 2023

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Articles | Hubs | Creating Partnerships with Founding Sponsors

In January 2022, Kyla Frye joined Momentum Labs to help build out a new Venture Hub as Director of Science & Technology Ecosystems for Concept Companies. The following interview follows the announcement of Momentum Labs acquiring their first founding sponsor, Thermo Fisher Scientific, for their new biotech venture hub in Alachua, Florida.

We operate on a model that sees us partner with venture builders to create a physical space and supporting resources for founders, and to date, we’re working on deals in several states. In Florida, our model includes partnering with the University of Florida’s Sid Martin incubator to support their graduates with a flexible landing spot and lab spaces. We’re really happy to announce our new partnership with Thermo Fisher Scientific, they’re coming in and providing $500,000+ worth of shared instrumentation and services for our founders.

That means that these biotech founders are spending less capital on instrumentation and can leverage their finances in other ways. It’s a great resource for founders to leverage as they are gaining access to the latest and greatest technology from Thermo Fisher.

They’re also providing resources and support to these companies as they go through FDA certifications, clinical trials, and by connecting them to places that do clinical research and manufacturing projects. It’s allowing our founders to leverage Thermo Fisher’s global brand and expertise.

What’s great for Thermo Fisher is that these scaling companies going through the hub can use their equipment and potentially become loyal customers of the Thermo Fisher brand. It’s also an opportunity for them to see innovations that are happening in the workplace, much in the same way as a corporate venture studio wants to stay on the trendline of innovation.

How did partnership this come about?

It’s been over a year in the making, we actually have a Thermo Fisher cell and gene therapy campus here in Florida, so that was how it started. We got connected to their partnerships and innovation team and the conversation just went from there. We discussed what each side was looking for and everything fell into place in a really satisfying way. I felt like it was a really equal give-or-take relationship, it wasn’t one party asking more than the other. 

I think they’re excited about what we’re doing because of how unique it is, there are not a lot of people that come in at that post-incubation stage. We’re meeting companies in the middle of being in an incubator to having an expensive 100,000 to 200,000 square foot lease. Offering that middle ground gives them the room to grow and establish the systems, processes, and the capital needed to then go out into the world on their own.

Momentum Labs provides critical infrastructure and business development resources to support the growth of life sciences in Florida

Abhinav Akhoury, VP, Corporate Accounts, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Finding Corporate Partners 

First and foremost, it has to make sense for your venture hub and your members. What is the end result? It also has to make sense for the partner. We talked about that mutually beneficial relationship and how the value that Thermo is getting is just as critical as the value that we and our members are getting out of it.

My best advice would be, keep the dialogue open, make sure that it makes sense, and just be willing to give first. That’s always been a core value of GAN, and something I learned from Pat many years ago, just give first, and the results always seem to follow.

What’s next for Momentum Labs?

Thermo is our first founding sponsor and we wanted to get that solidified first. I definitely think there’s a lot of room for other partners, not just in the instrumentation equipment side of it, but in the business resource side and funding. There’s definitely a lot of opportunity.

Momentum Labs is still in the construction phase on our first location, but we’re hoping to welcome members at the end of 2023. Once we get the doors open and our members are in there, it’s going to be a great opportunity to start connecting them with capital partners and investors, scientific consultants, business resource specialists, and so on.

We’re going to provide support with accounting, lawyers, and marketing, because the thing is, a lot of these companies are in the rapid growth stage. They’re going from 15 employees to 100. You put in that scale factor and that’s when a lot of companies don’t realize that they have to have better systems and processes. Meeting them at that next stage and providing the next level of specialized resources and support, I feel like that’s really where we’re adding value and what I see for the future, for all of our locations.

There are a lot of different things that we could do and partner with people on. In fact, I would say that’s our biggest goal right now, finding partners that need what we’re offering, that we can come in and add value to both our and their community.

Momentum Labs develops and operates innovative graduate biotech hubs in established and emerging ecosystems across the nation. In partnership with experienced real estate developers, first-class service providers, and innovative ecosystem partners, science entrepreneurs are surrounded with the resources needed to keep the momentum and advance life-changing technology forward.

Momentum Labs’ collaborative communities provide growth-stage life science companies with concierge-level support, tailored programming, world-class shared equipment, premium amenities, facility management, and an opportunity to leverage a nationwide network of resources.


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