Philadelphia has demonstrated once again that in addition to being a great city to launch a company, it’s a great place for companies to grow. Optofluidics, Inc. has chosen to expand in Philadelphia after graduating from the University City Science Center’s Port business incubator.
The nanotech startup will remain at the Science Center, occupying 1,650 square feet of dedicated office and lab space at 3711 Market Street. Optofluidics’ new facility will allow the company to grow and add staff and equipment, say President Robert Hart and CEO Bernardo Cordovez.
Optofluidics, which licensed its technology from Cornell University, is developing a NanoTweezer system that enables the capture and analysis of proteins, viruses and inorganic nanoparticles at the flip of a switch. Since launching at the Science Center in 2011, Optofluidics has more than doubled in size, growing from one employee to four full-time employees, a part-time administrative support person and three interns.
When it came time to expand, the Science Center was a logical choice. Not only was the Science Center’s location a key factor in Optofluidics’ decision, but “we wanted to be close to the Science Center in general. We’ve gotten a huge amount of benefit from being here.” Hart explains. “The Science Center plugged us into a terrific entrepreneurial ecosystem” says Cordovez. “This is where we met our investors and key mentors, plus the facilities are really top notch.”
“Over the past 50 years of incubating companies we’ve learned that offering office and lab space alone is not enough. Optofluidics demonstrates the value of the intangibles that the Science Center offers,” says Science Center President & CEO Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA. “Watching a company like Optofluidics thrive and grow is rewarding. Playing a role in their success is invaluable.”
Optofluidics has received funding from BioAdvance, the National Science Foundation, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and Ben Franklin Technology Partners. In 2012 Optofluidics was named Life Sciences Startup Company of the Year by the Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies.