Wish You Were Here

Eight Ingredients to Build a Life Sciences Hub

1) A Rainmaker: When Kalamazoo was in danger of losing its top scientific talent in 2003, Bill Johnston (pictured at left) and the other board members of Southwest Michigan First had the foresight and, just as importantly, the money to do something about it. Johnston estimates that since 1999, his economic development group has poured $62 million, most of it private capital, into attracting business to Kalamazoo. Lacking this, a region can also look to major corporations to fill this role. The Philadelphia metropolitan area, for example, has benefited from the money Merck & Co. has spent to build infrastructure there.

2) Venture Capital Money: In a world where every region wants to be part of the Next Big Thing, money talks. "Cash is king for these small startup companies," says Ron Kitchens,...

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