How Lab Incubators Will Save the World! – Or Maybe Just Your Start-Up

Wednesday, March 27 2013
8:00 am – 10:00 am

Location: MassBio, 300 Technology Square, 8th Floor, Cambridge, MA

Massachusetts is “Start-up Central.” But, early stage companies know all too well that finding small lab spaces can be daunting. Can lab incubators be the cavalry riding to the rescue? This forum will discuss what an incubator is, what they offer beyond just space, where they are, and how they can assist new companies surmount a range of issues. The discussion will also consider if incubators need to play a greater role than ever. If you are a “pre-start-up”, with a need for lab space on the horizon, or a virtual getting ready for the lab, this discussion is a MUST.

Panel Discussion:


  • Martha C. Farmer, PhD, President & CEO, North Shore InnoVentures (Currently running a lab incubator)

Incubators: The Finance and Accounting Perspective

  • Dan Davis, Director, Life Sciences & Technology, Accounting Management Solutions (Start-up advisor perspective on working with early stage company needs)

Creating and Operating World Class Life Science Incubators

  • Kevin O’Sullivan, President & CEO, Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (Currently running a lab incubator)

Managing the Comings and Goings of Entrepreneurs is a Labor (of Love)

  • Bill Brah, Assistant Vice Provost for Research & Executive Director, UMass Boston (Currently running a lab incubator)

The Incubator Inventory: Matching Start Ups with Landlords

  • Don Domoretsky, Vice President, Leasing, Jones Lang LaSalle (The broker perspective on the marketplace, inventory, small users, and their unique needs)


Welcome & Overview:

Peter Abair, Director of Economic Development & Global Affairs, MassBio


Speaker Bios

Bill Brah, Assistant Vice Provost for Research & Executive Director, UMass Boston

William is the founder and executive director of the Venture Development Center at UMass Boston. It's the one incubator in Boston where technology and life science founders (no matter what university they attended) find what they need to successfully launch their businesses. He raised $7.8 million to design, build and launch the Venture Development Center. The Center achieved two Series A financings ($25.7 million) in 2012.  In addition, it raised $10 million for the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy’s joint venture with Dana Farber.  Before the Venture Development Center, while at the UMass President's Office, William was part of the economic development team that helped to grow UMass into a $75 million tech transfer powerhouse, passing MIT and Harvard in licensing income. He began his career at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington, D.C. William earned a master's degree in business administration and oceanography from the Mays School of Business at Texas A&M University. 

Dan Davis, Director, Life Sciences & Technology, Accounting Management Solutions

Dan Davis is an executive with extensive strategic, business development, and financial management experience. Dan has been instrumental in helping a number of technology and life sciences companies develop and implement strategic plans, raise funding, structure key partnerships, and achieve successful exits for investors.

Specifically, he has led sales efforts to successfully enter new vertical market segments, negotiated agreements with strategic partners in the United States and abroad, managed private placements, mergers, and an initial public offering that raised $42 million.

Prior to joining AMS, Dan was CEO of a venture-backed enterprise software company with a best practice, change management solution. He has also been the vice president of business development and CFO at several venture-backed companies, including Biopure Corporation, where he led its IPO.

Dan earned his bachelor’s degree from Brown University and an MBA in finance from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Don Domoretsky, Vice President, Leasing, Jones Lang LaSalle

As Leasing Vice President, Mr. Domoretsky leads the regional Life Science practice consulting on a spectrum of real estate solutions for biopharmaceutical and life science companies. He has fostered key relationships with both startup and global organizations, aligning real estate strategies with scientific business objectives. Mr. Domoretsky’s experience offers expertise in leasing, transaction management, lab selection, strategic planning, operations, construction and project development. Mr. Domoretsky expanded his role in the Cambridge and Boston markets where he previously directed one of Jones Lang LaSalle’s premier biopharmaceutical accounts.  His responsibilities included management of real estate operations for over two million square feet of state-of-the-art research and development facilities, integrating laboratory services, and construction and facility operations into single source solutions. Prior to joining Jones Lang LaSalle in 2008, Mr. Domoretsky spent several years in asset management for a Massachusetts based developer. He holds a B.S. from Bentley University, Waltham, MA

Martha C. Farmer, PhD, President and CEO, North Shore InnoVentures

North Shore InnoVentures is a non-profit business incubator with well-equipped laboratories for life sciences and cleantech start-ups in Beverly, MA.  Since opening the labs in 2011 the organization has graduated seven companies.  The 23 current portfolio and graduated companies have collectively raised $27 million in equity financing, $24 million in non-dilutive financing and employ 108 people.

Prior to founding NSIV Martha had a consulting practice in medical ethics and drug development, specifically for embryonic stem cell research, compassionate use protocols and clinical trial design.  Formerly with Baxter Healthcare’s Hemoglobin Therapeutics Division for eleven years, she transitioned from managing the research laboratory to directing product development, marketing and communications and business development as the Division grew from three to 130, a breadth of experience valuable in the startup world.  Subsequently she co-founded the radiopharmaceutical start-up, BetaGamma LLC, serving as Vice President of Marketing.  She has a BS in zoology and PhD in physiology and pharmacology from Duke University, postdoctoral training in biophysics from Johns Hopkins University and in Medical Ethics from Harvard.  She is an author on more than 30 publications and three patents.

Kevin O’Sullivan, President & CEO, Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives

Kevin is the President and CEO of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives, a private economic development organization that promotes the growth and expansion of the Biotechnology, Medical Device and Bioinformatics industry. MBI operates four life science business incubator facilities in Worcester - located at Gateway Park, Union St and Barber Avenue, home to twenty companies with approximately 100 employees, providing cost effective laboratory space and high quality business development services. He previously served as Vice President and Director of Marketing in a combined public/private partnership position with the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and the City of Worcester where he instituted a comprehensive business and industry development and recruitment plan and was also charged with the opening of the new Convention Center at the DCU Center.

From 1986 to 1994 he was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. While serving in the Legislature, he chaired the Committee on Redistricting, was Vice Chair of Ethics, and sat on the Ways and Means Committee. In the Legislature, he championed the Biomedical industry and was a co- sponsor in enacting the Emerging Technology Fund, Investment Tax Credit, and Tax Increment Financing legislation. He was also the Co-Founder and Chair of the Central Mass Legislative Caucus.

He served on the Worcester Business Development Corporation and was part of the development team which created the highly successful one million square foot Massachusetts Biotechnology Research Park. Kevin is the former Chair of the City of Worcester’s License Commission and is a member of the Reliant Medical Group Board of Trustees. Kevin, who lives in Worcester with his wife Linda and their two children, Kylle and Trevor, is also active in many civic and community activities, serving as the volunteer Chair of the 2012 Central Mass United Way Fundraising Campaign.

Peter Abair, Director of Economic Development & Global Affairs, MassBio

Prior to joining MassBio, he served the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in several different economic development functions including Director of the Massachusetts Department of Economic Development, Massachusetts Office of Business Development, and Associate Director of the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. He has served in the administrations of four governors and began his career on the Washington, D.C. staff of one of the great advocates of the National Institutes of Health, the late Congressman Silvio O. Conte.  He is a member of the MetroNorth Regional Employment Board and a past Trustee of the Berkshire Community College. Peter holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and International Relations from Boston University and a Masters in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  A native of Pittsfield, MA, he now resides with his family in Sudbury.

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