NYC’s Biotech Startup Ecosystem
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January 2016

NYC’s Biotech Startup Ecosystem

Happy New Year! Just before the holidays, we were particularly gratified to be part of the launch of two terrific new bioscience startups that are being founded right here in NYC. Kyras Therapeutics is a new oncology company funded by Versant Ventures based on Dr. Brent Stockwell’s RAS-inhibitor research, and Kallyope is a startup funded by VCs including Lux, Polaris, and the Column Group dedicated to exploring the gut-brain connection, based on research emerging from the Columbia labs of Drs. Charles Zuker, Tom Maniatis, and Richard Axel.

The last few years have been exciting for New York City’s growing biotech scene, with the continued success of the Alexandria Center for Lifescience, the launch of NYC’s Early Stage Lifesciences Fund (partnered with ARCH, Flagship, Eli Lilly, GE, and Celgene), the first investments from the Accelerator Fund (backed by the venture arms of Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, and Harris & Harris), the launch of Harlem Biospace by Columbia’s own Dr. Sam Sia, and much more.

We’ve also seen two existing NYC-based Columbia startups continue their growth: Tara Biosystems (based at Harlem Biospace) announced a $2.25M seed round with NYC-based investors led by Harris & Harris Group , and Epibone (based in the SUNY BioBAT in Brooklyn) raised $4M+ from investors including Peter Thiel, and an additional $1M+ from NIH SBIR Grants. Both companies are based on groundbreaking tissue engineering research from the Columbia lab of Dr. Gordana Vunjak-Novokovic.

I’ll be discussing NYC’s rising startup ecosystem at two upcoming events, both of which will be available via online video thereafter: Hacking NYC panel with Steve Blank, NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer, and Partnership Fund for NYC President Maria Gotsch (sold out, but space still available for Columbia students and Startup Lab members) on January 12; and Biopharma Perspective on Venture Investing and External R&D on February 11 with Roche, J&J, and Novartis Ventures (register here).


Orin Herskowitz
Executive Director, CTV
VP for Intellectual Property & Technology Transfer

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Hacking NYC: Beyond the Rise of the NYC Startup Ecosystem

January 12 | New York Times Building | Steve Blank, NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer, and Partnership Fund for NYC President Maria Gotsch talk NYC entrepreneurship with CTV executive director Orin Herskowitz in a fireside chat.


Career Paths after the Lab

February 4 | Morningside | Hear from some Columbia alums on their career trajectory in a networking & info session geared toward Columbia graduate students and postdocs in the STEM fields.


Biopharma Perspective on Early Venture Investing and R&D

February 11 | Morningside | Join us for a discussion with Marian Nakada (Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC), Shafique Virani (Roche) and Steven Weinstein (Novartis Ventures) on investing and innovation.


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March 3 | Medical Center | Find out how your patent app might hold up under prosecution as Columbia's Chief Patent Counsel leads this interactive session.

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