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New WSU Business Incubator Aims To Spur Life Sciences Companies

Courtesy of WSU/Spinout Space in Spokane

Washington State University is creating a business incubator that aims to help start-up life sciences companies. The project is getting a boost from a $250,000 grant from Bank of America.

WSU Professor Glenn Prestwich wants to help the university’s health sciences researchers develop their ideas and perhaps turn them into new inventions or moneymaking opportunities.

“We’re targeting early detection of autism. Using pupillary responses you can detect at a very young age, before you see behavioral effects, you can detect autism in kids that are as young as 12-to-18 months. We were improving the area of safer and more personalized medicines for treating cancer," Prestwich said.

He says he’s helping faculty and community members to create companies in a variety of areas, medical devices, pharmaceutics, biotech.

Prestwich has called the incubator Spinout Space in Spokane, or SP-3-NW.

“This is my geek moment," he said. "It turns out that S-P-3 is the molecular structure for carbon atoms when they form organic molecules and, basically, it’s the basis for all life. My phrase is ‘From the farmer’s market to the pharmacy, SP-3-NW is giving life to science.”

Prestwich says the money from Bank of America helps the incubator to get off to a solid start.

The university is renovating space in a building on the WSU Spokane campus that has formerly served as a business incubator. Prestwich says while the organization is based in Spokane, it will also help university faculty on its other campuses around the state, in Pullman, the Tri-Cities, Vancouver and Everett. He says it also has cooperative agreements with several universities in Idaho and Montana to expand places where W-S-U technologies might be deployed.