Pudget Sound Business Journal article

Ingite Northwest offers office and lab space adjacent to the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campus. The building will soon transform to Sp3nw, a life sciences startup incubator where regional entrepreneurs will have access to expertise from WSU faculty.

Washington State University on Thursday debuted Spinout Space in Spokane, or Sp3nw, a life sciences incubator for launching startups.

Sp3nw was launched to fuel research for biotech, pharma, diagnostics and medical device companies, and connect regional entrepreneurs with expertise from WSU faculty. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation donated a $250,000 grant to the incubator as a part of its official launch, which will go towards funding staffing and operational costs.

“There is a long unmet need in the state of Washington for an entity like Sp3nw to identify, support, incubate and accelerate early-stage life science and health care companies,” Glenn Prestwich, WSU president’s distinguished professor and director of Sp3nw, said in a press release.

Sp3nw was first pitched to the WSU board of regents around 2.5 years ago, and has been in development for the past 18 months, said Kim Papich, director of communications and public affairs at WSU Spokane. The incubator currently has 14 startups in its portfolio, and has secured a total of $1.5 million in funding. The incubator helps with securing funding for startups, business planning and events.

Though the incubator first looks to the WSU postdoctoral researchers for innovations, Sp3nw can connect entrepreneurs to researchers and innovators at the university to help in collaboration between their products, said Papich.

“We’re different in that our model isn’t that we are recruiting for the everyday entrepreneur out in the community,” said Papich.

Sp3nw also gives life sciences entrepreneurs access to more than 30 affiliated consultants, investor groups and service providers, and a mentor network of more than 20 experienced entrepreneurs offering assistance in grant submissions, operational and intellectual property support, and legal and marketing services.

Sp3nw also offers entrepreneurs access to Ignite NW, the office and lab space adjacent to the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campus that will soon be rebranded as Sp3nw. Satellite sites for the incubator will open on other WSU campuses in Pullman, Vancouver, Tri-Cities and Everett.

Sp3nw also will work with Boise State University, University of Montana, University of Idaho, and North Idaho College to broaden its impact.

“We’re breathing life into these innovations and hoping that they will turn into products and companies that benefit communities, and get life-saving products to market faster,” Papich said.

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