BioSTL gets grant to help small businesses

Oct 16, 2015

BioSTL has grabbed a $500,000 grant from the Small Business Administration.

It was one of just three Regional Innovation Cluster Initiative grants the SBA is giving out nationally and is meant to spur small business growth.

"It’s a real coup for the region and for the collaborative network we’ve built over the years to grow our bioscience cluster and grow our region’s economy through it," said BioSTL’s program director Ben Johnson.

BioSTL cultivates regional bioscience innovation and businesses. Its subsidiary, BioGenerator, provides support to entrepreneurs.

Johnson said as part of this grant the organization will partner with several other groups, including:

  • Cortex – to support the Square One entrepreneur training program and TechShop.
  • Family and Workforce Centers for American (MET Center) – to link their lab technician training program with entrepreneurial training.
  • ITEN – to support an Entrepreneur in Residence focused on health-care IT.
  • St. Louis Makes – to help host Product Camp and to support biomanufacturing businesses.
  • Venture Café – to help link small businesses with large corporations through showcasing opportunities and networking.

The SBA could extend the grant by another four years for an additional $2 million.

Follow Maria on Twitter: @radioaltman