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New York's biotech community is a 'freshly stocked pond' for VCs

The New York Stem Cell Foundation's $22 million, 40,000-square-foot headquarters on West 54th Street, which opened last month, represents founder and CEO Susan L. Solomon's grand effort to turn the Far West Side into the city's newest biotech hub. She hopes the facility, built with the utilities needed to conduct biological experiments, will attract biotech startups. Since its launch in 2005, the nonprofit has become a pillar of the life sciences community through its research on stem cells, which can replace diseased or missing cells, and can be used to test new drugs for safety and effectiveness, among other applications.

Was it difficult to find a new headquarters in New York City?

It was really hard. We needed engineering space, space for all the robots we designed and wet lab space [with the ventilation and plumbing necessary to conduct experiments on biological matter]. 

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