New York City Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen said it best: “It’s about creating what I call a ‘New York gestalt’ around life sciences.” Showing that New York biotech can rise above its problems, become greater than the sum of its currently disparate parts, and create a brand that ranks up there with Wall Street, the theater, or Silicon Alley.
Glen, addressing the throng of attendees at Xconomy’s New York Life Sciences 2021 last week, was referring to an ambitious plan by New York City government called “LifeSci NYC.” The goal, via a series of targeted investments, tax incentives, and startup and entrepreneurial support mechanisms, is to finally break the shackles that have held New York biotech back and re-brand the city as a life sciences center. Its wealth of academic institutions, financial power and diverse population notwithstanding, New York’s life sciences scene is dwarfed by the biotech beehives in Boston and San Francisco. Though it is consistently near the top every year in NIH funding, New York is far behind those hubs in VC investments for life science companies.
As Versant Ventures partner Carlo Rizzuto pointed out, there may have been more venture-backed biotech startups formed in the last 18 months in New York than the rest of the city’s history combined—but there is much work to be done. New York is at a tipping point, he said, and there are “a lot of things that could send us the wrong way.”Read Complete Article