“If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.” Frank Sinatra may have sung that line before dawn of the biotech industry, but it applies to New York City’s long running aspirations to become a top life sciences hub. It’s harder to build a successful life sciences company in New York City than in established hubs like Boston or San Francisco. The challenges—finding management talent, attracting funds, navigating a tough real estate market for affordable lab, office space, and housing—are well documented.
But that hasn’t stopped people from going for it. Galvanized by local venture investors and a concerted government push, new startups are emerging that are committed to the Big Apple and aim to redefine the perception of New York biotech. Some homegrown companies have even become nationally known names, drawing the interest—and mega-dollars—of Big Pharma. Who are these companies, and how are they doing it? And what can others in the community learn from their stories?