The recently announced Forward BIOLABS will serve as a landing place for startups, many of which will come out of UW-Madison research.


That’s according to co-founder Jessica Martin Eckerly. She says the nonprofit’s goal is to establish a fully equipped life sciences laboratory for early-stage companies, making it easier for them to bring their ideas to life.

“There’s a ton of interest, a ton of positivity… It’s exciting,” she said.

The creation of Forward BIOLABS was announced in early September, as part of the greater Forward BIO Initiative which includes the Forward BIO Institute at UW-Madison. The Forward BIO Initiative is supported by a $750,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

Startups working out of the laboratory will pay a membership fee, and Eckerly is continuing ongoing fundraising efforts to cover early operating costs.

“We can’t build half a lab,” Eckerly said. “We have to have it all there, so members have what they need to get going.”

For now, a handful of startups are working out of a small pilot lab at URP, which is “fully equipped, maintained and supported,” Eckerly says. Gregor Diagnostics moved into the space in early September, and she says two or three more will be moving in over the next few months. Read the full story here.