In early March, Portal Innovations will formally open the first lab in its premier life sciences-focused venture development engine in Chicago’s Fulton Market neighborhood, where it will provide the crafted capital that early-stage companies need in order to succeed. The launch comes one year earlier than planned, a direct response to increased life sciences investment opportunities and demand by scientists and entrepreneurs for seed capital, specialized lab space, and management expertise in the region.
Portal is partnering with Trammell Crow Company, one of the largest commercial real estate developers in the United States, to catalyze the lifesciences ecosystem at the Fulton Labs Campus in the newly opened Fulton Labs at West End and Fulton Labs at Aberdeen opening in early 2022. Portal Innovation’s phase 1 lab launch will include 11,000 square feet of wet and dry lab and office space at Fulton Labs at West End. Portal’s second location will include 35,000 square feet of wet and dry lab and office space at Fulton Labs at Aberdeen beginning in the first quarter of 2022.
“Portal Innovations is catalyzing and leveraging a dynamic Midwest life sciences ecosystem to create a portfolio of successful companies developing breakthrough products to help patients,” said John Flavin, chief executive officer and founder of Portal Innovations. “We are excited to launch our space at Fulton Labs, the nucleus of the region where the best life sciences companies will have an opportunity to start and thrive as they grow.”
The market need and opportunity for start-up lab incubation has been gaining momentum for some time. US healthcare venture fundraising soared in 2020, totaling $17B, a 57% increase over 2019’s record, according to Silicon Valley Bank.
“The Portal team has already made a tremendous impact on our company in a short time as demonstrated by our seed round extension and insights from its drug development team and expert network,” said Cathryn Nagler., Ph.D., president of ClostraBio, a Portal Innovations portfolio company. “Having access to the amazing Fulton Labs infrastructure our region badly needs, one year earlier than expected, will further accelerate our anticipated development timeline.”
Portal’s unique venture assembly and investment platform will bridge the gap between scientific ideation and entrepreneurial realization for the life sciences, medtech and bioinformatics companies it carefully selects. The venture development platform will deliver seed capital, management expertise, access to a massive network of life sciences experts and investors along with best-in-class lab and office space to high-potential start-ups.
“The Midwest is home to world-class universities, leading global healthcare companies, and an unsurpassed pool of diverse talent. A shortage of seed capital and quality infrastructure to tie it all together have been needed to make it a world-class life sciences cluster,” said Raju Prasad Ph.D., senior biotechnology equity research analyst at William Blair. “Portal’s best-in-class lab facilities and venture development platform will help fuel innovation and keep Illinois’ best and brightest entrepreneurs and scientists right here and also attract talent from outside of the region.”