Entrepreneur Briefs

When Biospan—a biotech firm that is studying the severe muscle disease myasthenia gravis—opened for business last year, it employed a new financial instrument that is growing in popularity among science startups: venture leasing. A report issued last month by Venture Economics, a consulting firm in Needham, Mass., finds that venture leasing in the U.S. has accounted for more than $300 million in deals from 1986 through 1988. Biotechnology firms especially have shown interest in this

The Scientist Staff
Jun 11, 1989

When Biospan—a biotech firm that is studying the severe muscle disease myasthenia gravis—opened for business last year, it employed a new financial instrument that is growing in popularity among science startups: venture leasing. A report issued last month by Venture Economics, a consulting firm in Needham, Mass., finds that venture leasing in the U.S. has accounted for more than $300 million in deals from 1986 through 1988. Biotechnology firms especially have shown interest in this type of financing. Lloyd Mintz, a project manager at Venture Economics, says that although not a single biotech startup made a venture leasing deal in 1986, last year biotechs leased $8 million in equipment. To get itself started, Mountain View, Calif based Biospan leased $600,000 worth of state-of-the-art lab equipment, everything from beakers to centrifuges to a DNA synthesizer. In exchange for the equipment, Comdisco, a Chicago venture leasing company, received warrants worth 12% of...

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