BioCity to take hand in helping its start-ups find funding

Fraser Black wants to help start-ups sharpen focus
Fraser Black wants to help start-ups sharpen focus
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BIOCITY Scotland, the incubator centre for life sciences firms created in the former Merck drugs factory at Newhouse, Lanarkshire, has unveiled plans to help start-up companies raise funding from business angels and private equity investors.

Managing director Fraser Black said his organisation is
developing relationships with investors on behalf of the early-stage companies based at his site.

Black said: “Some of these start-up companies are often so busy focusing on their science that they don’t have the time to go out and meet investors, so we want to help them form those contacts.

“We will help companies to get in touch with people like Scottish Enterprise and local councils, as well as business angels and other early-stage investors.”

Black said there was often a lack of knowledge about the different types of funding available.

Black added that BioCity Scotland – which is a joint venture between Roslin Biocentre in Midlothian and BioCity Nottingham – will also use this year to form closer links with Scotland’s universities.

News of the funding and universities push came as figures revealed that BioCity Scotland is on the verge of being 30 per cent full after a year in operation.

American drugs giant Merck closed its site next to the M8 motorway in 2010 with the loss of 250 jobs following its £30 billion takeover of Schering-Plough.

While Edinburgh has several “bio-incubators” – including at Roslin and the new Edinburgh BioQuarter development at Little France – such space is in short supply in Glasgow.

The Newhouse factory dates to 1948 and is best known for developing some of the UK’s first contraceptive pills in the 1960s under Dutch firm
Organon.