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UNC to launch a new life science start-up incubator in bid to keep companies local


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: August 1st, 2018

The University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill is launching a new incubator for life science start-ups.

According to UNC officials, the move is part of an effort to keep university start-ups in the Chapel Hill region. The incubator is planned to offer roughly 33,000 square feet of work space to companies – a major increase over UNC’s current 8,000 square feet.

“In the last eight years, we’ve had 63 companies started by our faculty, and they’re working on serious life science issues. They’ve had $240 million invested in those companies, and only two are still in Chapel Hill,” says Judith Cone, UNC chancellor for innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development. “We think this [incubation space] is a good retention of that value to Chapel Hill.”

Terry Magnuson, vice chancellor of research at UNC, comments, “Our faculty is becoming much more entrepreneurial, and our start-ups are increasing significantly. But we’re not in a great situation, because when they spin off their companies, it separates their company and lab, which opens up a lot of conflict of interest problems. Having this incubation space is very attractive to our faculty and should help us retain and attract more faculty.

The incubator is expected to house between 15 and 20 start-ups at a time, and is slated to launch in 2019.

Source: WCHL & Chapelboro

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