The pathway for most biotech companies starts with an idea, grows with a business plan, and then, unfortunately, stalls when trying to access wet lab space. Finding affordable, commercially-available wet-lab space is impossible for most biotech entrepreneurs until now. In addition, for life science start-ups, having flexible lab space is important. With the rise of wet lab co-working facilities, startups finally have a place to launch and grow their companies.
However, not all wet lab facilities are created equal. Knowing what to look for and where to find the best wet lab facilities and resources available can take a lot of leg work. We’ve gone ahead and done that for you, identifying the best wet lab facilities in Southern California for you to keep the momentum going and accelerate your growth.
Wet lab co-working facilities provide essential tools for startups such as laboratory infrastructure for technology development, industry experts and mentors, and access to funding. There are many different types of co-working wet-lab facilities: local organizations that support citizen scientists, incubators that provide space for lease, fee-based services, and accelerators that provide cohort-based investment funding, business development, and industry connections in exchange for equity.
Traditionally, biotech startups have been located in Boston and San Francisco. However, new biotech startup locations are starting to emerge as more regions and cities are able to provide the resources, like wet labs, in demand by biotech innovators. In addition to North Carolina, Southern California is emerging as a leader in biotech innovation. In fact, in 2022, Southern California boasted nearly half a million biotech jobs and over $400 billion in total biotech business output. In response, Southern California including Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, and surrounding areas now offers biotech innovators a large array of wet lab facilities to fit the needs of their biotech start-ups.
🔬 Related: Lab Space for Biotech Startups
Below you’ll find an unranked list of Southern California wet lab spaces and coworking facilities, listed alphabetically and organized by geographical location. The information presented is gathered from websites and other publicly available materials that are subject to change frequently. The listing is to provide general information; it does not constitute a complete listing of wet-lab facilities nor does it represent a comprehensive description of amenities and services.
See map below of all the wet lab incubators that provide flexible lab space in Southern California.
🔬 Related: What is a Wet Lab Incubator?
BioLabs San Diego provides early stage life science companies scalable wet-lab and office space, shared resources including equipment, EH&S services, on-site scientific and event support, consortium purchasing, capital connections, and mentoring seminars.
Bio, Tech, and Beyond (BTNB)'s mission to make it easy to start a science company. This is accomplished in their 6,000 sq ft facility of economically- priced lab space and life science equipment. Centered in the second largest life science center (San Diego), BTNB with the support of the City of Carlsbad, supports innovators developing their technology with no intellectual property claims.
JLABS San Diego housed within Janssen Research & Development Center in La Jolla is the flagship JLABS site with currently 55 incubating companies and over 68 graduated companies. Amenities include state-of-the-art laboratory equipment, instrumentation training, educational programs, operational support, discounted CRO services, and access to JLABS events and workshops.
Located in Vista, CA, North County Biotech Incubator offers fully furnished private labs from 400-1800ft2. Their labs include a selection of equipment for the tenant company’s private use. They also are able to source additional equipment quickly, provide support staff, and repair equipment on site.
Primarily a lab equipment provider, Prodigy Scientific has recently opened lab space for startups. Located in the Sorrento Valley area of San Diego, companies can apply for as little as one lab bench. They also offer shared and private offices.
🔬 Read More: Wet Lab Incubator Equipment
MRB Incubator, UCR is a 3,000 sq ft wet lab incubator to support up to 15 companies with life science, agriculture, biotech, and medical technologies. Residents will have access to UCR resources including vivaria, imaging and sequencing core facilities, as well as UCR SBIR Resource Center to assist with submissions for commercialization proposals for non-dilutive funding.
University Lab Partners, centrally located at UCI Research Park is a state-of-the-art 17,105 sq ft facility providing shared and private wet lab and office space to life science and medical device entrepreneurs. Co-located with UCI Beall Applied Innovation and the SBDC Tech, ULP offers startup companies laboratory and fabrication equipment, capital and mentoring opportunities, and peer-to-peer interactions in an active and growing biotech community.
Murrieta Genomics Located within the Murrieta Innovation Center, Murrieta Genomics is unique in that it focuses solely on genomics companies. It also offers bench space at zero cost, focusing instead on investing in those startups that “graduate” from the incubator.
BioLabs at The Lundquist Institute located at The Lundquist Institute in Torrance, offers 18,000 sq. ft of state-of-the-art laboratory and office space, as well as laboratory equipment and consumables. Companies have access to The Lundquist Institute’s core services and resources including large and small animal vivarium and the genomic core facility.
Center for Training, Technology & Incubation at Cal Poly Pomona (CTTi) accommodates small to midsize companies with 500-7,000 sq ft of laboratory space within their 51,600 sq ft facility. Co-located in Cal Poly Innovation Center, companies can leverage Cal Poly faculty, students, and resources to grow their company.
HATCHlabs located within the LA Bioscience Corridor is a multi-tenant lab and office space for life science companies. With over 22,000 sq ft of converted warehouse space, emerging bioscience and tech companies have access to lab suites ranging from 1,500 – 20,000 sq ft.
LA BioSpace Incubator at Rongxiang Xu Bioscience Innovation Center at Cal State LA. The 20,000 sq ft incubator will provide bioscience start-ups access to low cost lab space, industry mentors and support services to grow and thrive in the biotech sector.
Lab Launch's two locations, Monrovia and Chatsworth, provide over 13,000 sq ft of laboratory and office space with business administration and consulting services. Companies benefit from Lab Launch’s partnerships including CLSA, BenchSci, and Korvalabs.
Magnify at CNSI, located at the UCLA Court of Science, provides startup companies the infrastructure, facilities, and support to develop their technologies. UCLA-affiliated startups are preferred but Magnify supports life science companies' need for short term wet-lab and office space. CNSI- California NANOSystems Institute supports UCLA-affiliated startup companies with access to centralized purchasing, seminars, conference rooms, and core facilities including imaging, clean room, high throughput screening, and electron microscopy.
Since 2004, Pasadena Bio Collaborative Incubator (PBC) has provided wet lab and office space, a wide range of shared use equipment, pay-for-use services, and memberships to multiple discounted purchasing programs. Companies have access to interns, pre-apprentices, and lab assistants through Pasadena Bio Training, a program created to foster technical skills and industry experience needed for employment in the biotech sector.
Primarily an educational facility in Monrovia, CA, Oak Crest Institute of Science opened incubator space for startup biotech and medical device companies in 2019. The equipment they use to do the institute’s own research projects and to train students contributes to the space’s wide array of instruments.
🔬 Learn More: What is Life Like at a Wet Lab Incubator?
Ventura BioCenter strives to promote education, business, and fellowship in Ventura County through their wet lab space. Many of their startups also provide technical services, including analytical services, peptide synthesis, and consulting.
The rate comparison is intended as a guide and may not reflect current lab pricing or offerings as they change frequently. While gathering data, one important thing to note is that each wet lab facility ranged widely in business offerings (such as size of space of private labs) and amenities (concierge services, campus-like offerings like gym access). Solely making a decision based on lab pricing should be avoided as the cost of space is only one of the MANY factors that life science start-ups should consider when looking for the best wet lab incubator in Southern California to fit their needs.
As Orange County’s Premier non-profit wet lab incubator, University Lab Partners is invested in seeing that biotech innovators have access to the tools, resources, and facilities they need to see their business goals to fruition. In effort to facilitate that, we regularly offer courses and professional development in both wet lab techniques and start-up challenges.
Be sure to check out our upcoming events and check out our impact on Orange County’s biotech startup sector in our yearly report.
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