Urban Partnerships Community Development Corporation


Houston, TX

Project Name

BioWell Start Accelerator Program

Award Amount

Federal Share: $741,925
Local Match: $745,800

This EDA investment will support the BioWell Start Accelerator Program which aims to support a vibrant bioeconomy by accelerating the commercialization and scaling of bio-industrial startups through access to a unique combination of pilot bioproduction infrastructure. Startups at BioWell, a nonprofit synthetic biology accelerator, will gain access to a robust ecosystem, expertise and mentorship, and financial resources essential for successfully commercializing their bio-industrial innovations. This project will enable tailored support to select early-stage bio-industrial startups to successfully guide them through the critical stage known as the Valley of Death, when early technologies begin to be translated for commercial applications, but the startup lacks access to the funding required to carry them through the valley. The accelerator also provides business support as well as face-to-face engagement with large corporations who partner with the startups to guide their technology development and understand their market/customer needs. Moreover, one of BioWell’s founders – First Bight Venture – offers its network that facilitates the creation of long-term mutually beneficial relationships among founders, startups, corporations, government, and others. By offering tailored support and resources, BioWell aims to bring a thriving bio-industrial sector into the region that can bridge economic disparities and foster inclusive growth.