Governor Cuomo announces SOSV’s IndieBio expanding to New York City

*Chinaccelerator is proud to announce that our sister accelerator IndieBio has expanded to New York City supported by the government. Below is the blog published by our parent fund SOSV.


SOSV is excited to announce the expansion of IndieBio, its flagship biotech accelerator program, to New York City. IndieBio’s mission is to solve the world’s biggest challenges by using biology as a technology. IndieBio gives scientists total support, from lab space to access to top mentors and partners in order to drive legendary companies across human and planetary health.

SOSV is one of the world’s most active investors with over $400M of venture capital funds under management, and through IndieBio it has invested in 94+ companies that hold a combined valuation of $600M to date in addition to helping create entirely new movements and industries. From cellular agriculture to regenerative medicine, IndieBio has disrupted industry after industry with companies like Memphis MeatsPrellisSynthex and more.

“New York State saw what we had done for startups in life sciences in the San Francisco Bay area,” said Arvind Gupta, SOSV Partner and founder of IndieBio. “They wanted us to replicate the creation of a startup ecosystem for life sciences companies in New York City, and given the unique resources New York City presents, we seized the opportunity. We’re excited for this big step forward for human health and planetary health.”

While the most famous metropolitan areas for startups in the life sciences area in the United States are Boston, San Francisco, and San Diego, most people don’t realize that the largest concentration of life science expertise and labor force is in the New York/New Jersey area. According to Nature, The New York MSA has more life science talent than all these three major areas, combined. “What is missing is an effective and organized ecosystem to galvanize this talent into leading edge companies,” said Gupta.

What’s more, the New York startup community is relatively untapped. Despite having similar levels of NIH funding in New York City as both Boston and San Francisco, the amount of VC funding for NY biotech is less than 5% that of Boston or San Francisco. Powerhouse universities such as Columbia, NYU, Mount Sinai, and Rockefeller are right in the city; as well as nearby universities such as Yale, Princeton, and Rutgers. The opportunity to enable the scientists in New York State is waiting for those who see it.

SOSV will be breaking ground on a new 20,000 square foot flagship NYC office in the next few months. The office will contain the new IndieBio facility and wetlab; the Food-X accelerator; and have additional space to host events for the startup community in New York City.

The wet lab space is estimated to be about double the size of the existing facility in San Francisco to accommodate a longer cohort cycle of a year for therapeutic companies.

The IndieBio New York program will be deploying about $70M over the next five years, and it is expected that the SOSV syndicate of investors investing alongside SOSV’s IndieBio will bring about another $350M in investments to the New York City life sciences startup community in the years to come.

IndieBio SF and IndieBio NY are both going to be run at the same level of quality, the same level of selectivity, and same deal terms. Those wishing to apply to IndieBio may do so for either program or both. IndieBio will continue to be one team helping scientists become the leaders of legendary companies worldwide.

See the original press release below. For press inquiries, please contact

Governor Cuomo Announces Leading Life Science Accelerator IndieBio to Open in New York City

Accelerator Will Fuel Growth by Boosting State’s Ability to Capture and Retain NY-Bred Life Science Innovation

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that IndieBio, the world’s leading bio-accelerator, is expected to open in New York City in 2019. IndieBio will provide life science start-ups with the tools, resources, network and expertise needed to commercialize their discoveries. IndieBio, a highly experienced and well-regarded accelerator run by SOSV, one of the world’s most active venture capital firms, was chosen by Empire State Development following a competitive Request for Proposals to serve the needs of early-stage life science companies and boost New York’s ability to capture and retain New York-bred life science innovation.

“New York is proud to be on the forefront of science and technology, creating jobs, driving economic growth and spurring cutting edge research and development,” Governor Cuomo said. “By welcoming IndieBio to New York, we are taking a major step forward to ensure that this state remains a global leader for the rapidly growing life science industry.”

New York is committed to catalyzing the growth of a world-class life sciences hub in the Empire State that harnesses and commercializes New York’s vast academic resources and research into new economic growth and good-paying jobs across skill and experience levels. New York State will invest up to $25 million over five years through the Life Sciences Initiative to support IndieBio’s work connecting science entrepreneurs with the tools and resources needed to move their discoveries out of the lab and into the marketplace. By equipping early-stage entrepreneurs with top-tier educational curriculum and entrepreneurial training, access to a global network of mentors, laboratory space, and help in securing funding sources, the Bio-Accelerator will create an environment to encourage retention and growth of start-ups and talent.

IndieBio Brings a Proven Track Record

IndieBio has accelerated more than 90 companies in its home base of San Francisco and built a network of more than 100 expert mentors. Since its founding approximately three years ago, companies accelerated in its programs have raised more than $100M in VC funding and created more than 400 jobs. New York will benefit from the vast experience of IndieBio in accelerating life science start-up companies, attracting funding and encouraging regional economic development

IndieBio will work with at least 20 early-stage, growth-driven companies each year to de-risk their core technology and build a viable business model. Each company in the program will receive an investment of up to $2M from SOSV, the VC firm that runs IndieBio. SOSV plans to invest over $70 million into the companies coming through IndieBio in New York City, presenting an unprecedented opportunity for early stage startups in life sciences in New York. The Partnership Fund for New York City has also committed to invest $10,000,000 cumulatively to incentivize companies participating in the Program to locate in New York State upon graduating.

Benefits for the State

IndieBio will enable New York to more effectively compete with states that are actively poaching top life science research talent from New York. By providing New York’s research talent with entrepreneurial skills, an enhanced understanding of what it takes to develop a commercially viable product, and access to key resources, IndieBio will invigorate economic growth. New York State is a life science research powerhouse, boasting seven of the top 50 biomedical research institutions in the nation, as well as a leader in NIH funding, with $2.3B in NIH grants in 2017. This robust research pipeline has the potential to be converted into commercially viable technologies to positively affect human health.

IndieBio will:

  • Facilitate the conversion of intellectual property and research output into viable commercial research candidates;
  • Create new companies through the growth of entrepreneurial talent and access to funding; and
  • Attract companies from across the globe to plant roots in New York State.

“There is a huge amount of talent that is untapped potential in New York,” said Arvind Gupta, SOSV Partner and IndieBio Managing Director. “Really the challenge will be galvanizing that ecosystem and having it believe there is a new way of starting bio-tech companies that can be lower cost, faster to market.”

“Our goal is to help move cutting-edge life sciences research out of the lab and into the marketplace, where potentially life-saving breakthroughs can create jobs, spur investment, and advance human health,” said ESD President, CEO, and Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “IndieBio will support these efforts by giving new life sciences start-ups the tools and resources they need to turn their discoveries into commercially-viable treatments and therapies that address real medical needs — while generating jobs and growing our economy.”

Partnership for New York City President and CEO Kathryn Wylde said, “Governor Cuomo’s commitment to building a world class life science industry cluster in New York, announced only 18 months ago, was the catalyst for a groundswell of activity on the part of our major medical research institutions, investors, developers and scientists. We are tracking to surpass Boston and Silicon Valley as the U.S. global hub of one of the world’s fastest growing industries.”

New York State’s $620 Million Life Science Initiative

In the FY 2018 budget, New York State enacted a $620 million initiative to spur the growth of a world-class life science research cluster in New York, as well as expand the state’s ability to commercialize this research and grow the economy.

This multi-faceted initiative includes $100 million to expand the Excelsior Jobs Program Tax Credit to the life sciences industry, $100 million for a life sciences research and development refundable tax credit program, and $320 million in other forms of investment. This includes state capital grants to support the development of wet-lab and innovation space, operating support and investment capital for early stage life science companies that leverages an additional match of at least $100 million from the private sector.

The Life Science sector encompasses the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, biomedical technologies, life systems technologies, and includes organizations and institutions that devote the majority of their efforts to the various stages of research, development, technology transfer and commercialization. Every day, firms in this sector are developing new medical and pharmaceutical breakthroughs that have the potential to save lives, whether through new therapies or the early detection of diseases like autism and cancer. These firms are also making significant advancements in the realms of agriculture and environmental biotechnologies, helping create a cleaner and more sustainable future.

By strengthening incentives, investing in the facilities, and improving access to talent and expertise, New York will significantly increase its share of industry-funded research and development, support the commercialization of existing academic research, and usher in the next generation of advanced technologies. Beyond the advancements in science, this initiative will position New York as a magnet for emerging manufacturing- based enterprises, bolstering regional economies and creating thousands of jobs.

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