NYC Builds Bio+ Hosts Sold Out Quarterly Breakfast Highlighting NYC Life Science Market


(L-R): Jonathan Mechanic, Partner and Chairman of the Real Estate Department, Fried Frank
Mitchel W. Simpler, Managing Partner, Jaros, Baum &Bolles
Nancy J Kelley, President and CEO, Nancy J Kelley + Associates
James C. McKenna, President and CEO
Hunter Roberts Construction Group

As a follow-up to the successful Life Science Real Estate Development Symposium earlier this year, NYC Builds Bio+ hosted a sold-out Inaugural Quarterly Breakfast on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at Gensler in New York City.

The vision of NYC Builds Bio+ is to educate and support the efforts of the growing base of life science and real estate professionals, increasing the visibility of commercial life science opportunities in tandem with life science real estate development in NYC in a manner that will foster a large and growing life science cluster.How startups, developers and building owners are putting the City on the map as the next big life science market was the focus of the event.

Nancy J Kelley, President and CEO, Nancy J Kelley + Associates

Fostering the Next Wave of Life Science Companies in New York City

Following steering committee members Nancy J Kelley, President & CEO of Nancy J Kelley + Associates and Mitch Simpler, Managing Partner of Jaros, Baum & Bolles, the spotlight focused on academics behind the cutting-edge biology startups.

William J. Polvino, MD and CEO of Bridge Medicines is attempting to transform New York City’s biotechnology industry. Despite its world-class scientists and institutions, New York City has struggled to secure funding to further translate its research and discovery work into future treatments of patients.

“For every $1.00 of NIH funding, New York has attracted only $0.06 of venture capital,” said Mr. Polvino. “Bridge Medicines enables the advancement of emerging biotechnologies from leading academic and research institutions in New York; an under-penetrated market by financial sponsors.”

(L-R): Nicole McKnight, PhD, Managing Director, BioLabs@ NYULangone
David Rooklin, CEO, Redesign Science
Ashish Agarwal, CEO, Solvuu

David Rooklin, CEO of Redesign Science develops and applies a molecular dynamics-driven platform for in silico drug discovery against emerging drug target classes. The company works in partnership with biotech and pharma to co-develop novel small molecule therapeutics.

Next, Ashish Agarwal, CEO of the startup Solvuu explained how complexity in data and algorithms can be solved through data management, analytics and exploration. Solvuu automatically computes relevant summary statistics and generates rich interactive visualizations that allow users to gain insights into their data immediately. Solvuu’s target industries are microbiome, cancer and agriculture.

Nicole McKnight, PhD and Managing Director of BioLab@NYU Langone provides premier co-working spaces for life science startups. BioLabs creates unique places where individuals can test, develop and grow game-changing ideas. BioLabs has first-hand experience with the pain-points biotech startups face. Their goal is to change how scientific entrepreneurs do business by building an ecosystem that empowers them to develop and innovate.

Carlo Yuvienco, Assistant Vice President, Life Sciences, NYC EDC

“There are many incredibly innovative life science startups in the City that need a place to grow their ideas,” said Ms. McKnight. “BioLabs is not only a space to work within, it also provides entrepreneurs with networking opportunities, cutting-edge technology and funding connections.”

Dan Grushkin, Executive Director of the Biodesign Challenge, an organization that partners university students with leading scientists to envision the future of biotechnology, then introduced Co-Founders of AlgiKnit: Tessa Callaghan, Aleksandra Gosiewski and Aaron Nesser. All three students competed and won national championships in the Biodesign Challenge held at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). AlgiKnit is a biomaterials company integrating science and design into textile production. Addressing the ecological damage caused by the fashion industry, AlgiKnit is creating durable yet rapidly degradable yarns.

Developers Provide Unique Spaces to Test Ideas for Healthcare and Life Sciences

The event also featured a panel of developers and property owners working to convert commercial real estate into spaces that accommodate the life sciences. The moderator, Jim Crispino of Gensler, led the discussion between Scott Metzner of Janus Property Company, and Sandy Reis of Vornado Realty Trust. The panelists highlighted the importance of New York City becoming a leader in the life science industry and the need of physical space for companies to develop.

Carlo Yuvienco, Assistant Vice President of Life Sciences at NYCEDC gave the City’s perspective on this growing market with a focus on tax and financial incentives offered by New York City to life science companies and building owners outfitting life science space.

The Future of NYC Builds Bio+

Nancy J Kelley and Mitch Simpler, alongside Jonathan L. Mechanic, Partner and Chairman of the Real Estate Department of Fried Frank, and James C. McKenna, President and CEO of Hunter Roberts Construction Group discussed the future of NYC Builds Bio+. The committee closed the event by discussing the membership program, the 2019 calendar of events, working groups and future community participation.

The event drew an array of real estate and life science professionals in addition to academics, public officials, architects, contractors, engineers, legal professionals and consultants from related sectors that have a stake in New York’s life science market.

“Identifying and promoting areas in New York City amenable to life science development, increasing knowledge and awareness of trends in life sciences and encouraging interest in and knowledge about the benefits of retrofitting existing office real estate into life science space is incredibly important to NYC Builds Bio+. We look forward to expanding this initiative within the five boroughs and beyond,” said Ms. Kelley.

About NYC Builds Bio+

Launched in 2018, NYC Builds Bio+ connects commercial life science opportunities to New York City’s real estate development community through events, research, reports and educational programs. A membership-driven organization, NYC Builds Bio+ is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing New York City’s real estate and life science communities together, serving as the go-to place to find information about and assistance with growing, building and locating life science companies in New York City.

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