Hatch Biofund seeks sponsors for ground-floor of innovation

Stacy Wescoe//February 27, 2020

Hatch Biofund seeks sponsors for ground-floor of innovation

Stacy Wescoe//February 27, 2020

Sponsors are being sought for startup biotech clients at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center, which is located in Doylestown. PHOTO/SUBMITTED –

Hatch Biofund Management LLC is seeking sponsors that will service the early stage biotech companies at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center in Doylestown.

Vlad Walko, CEO, said the aim of the new sponsorship program is to provide its clients with easy access to the services they need, while giving biotech service providers exclusive access to these burgeoning ventures.

“The real intent of having the sponsor program is to provide as many of the support services as possible,” Walko said

Those services could be in areas ranging from legal services to lab testing and pharmaceutical packaging.

Those companies, or individuals, who become sponsors – at a cost of $50,000 per sponsorship – will be given space in the center’s King of Prussia facility as well as regular access to programing at the Doylestown facility.

While startup clients won’t be required to use the sponsors’ services, they will be the preferred providers recommended by Hatch and will be better situated to build relationships with the startups.

He said other biotech incubators have sponsorship programs, but this is the first one he is aware of to provide exclusivity to sponsors.

“What is the benefit of being one of five? This adds value to the sponsorship,” he said.

Besides access, there will also be educational and networking programing offered to sponsors, that will help them find ways to work together and with clients and PABC stakeholders to bolster their relationships and their clients’ innovations.

“It’s kind of an experiment that hasn’t been done before,” Walko said. “The onus is on us to make it an attractive deal to the sponsors.”

The development of the sponsorship program has already begun.

“We already have our first group of sponsors signed up, including companies such as Citibank, West Pharmaceutical Services, Wilson Sonsini, Alcami, Zero to Five and others. We expect our village to be full later this year, given the significant value a sponsor can get out of the program,” said Hatch COO Lou Kassa.

Walko said many companies are interested in the Hatch sponsorship program because it gives them an introduction into the region’s growing biopharma industry.

Wilson Sonsini, for example, is a prominent West Coast life science law firm.

“This is a huge West Coast law firm that will now have a presence in this area,” he said.

Graham Reynolds, West Pharma Services vice president is one of the early sponsors in the program.

“West is pleased to be a sponsor of this exciting venture; we see it as an opportunity to expand our contacts to early-stage Biotech companies, help them on their journey, and provide integrated solutions for drug containment and delivery,” he said. “It’s also an opportunity for us to learn how to serve these breakthrough technologies, and to be part of improving the lives of patients.”

There are also between 12 and 15 companies in talks with Hatch to become sponsors.

Walko said much of the interest comes from companies interested in getting in on the ground floor of the next big thing in biotech.

“They’re going to be witnessing the birth of new industries,” he said.