Sep 21, 2015


QB3 always knew their entrepreneurs were amazing and so did ALT, as a proud sponsor of the facility. Now we have data to prove it!

In late spring and early summer, QB3 sent a survey to 411 companies in the QB3 network, asking how they performed in 2014. They included in the survey every startup that participated in a QB3 program, rented incubator space from them, or received investment from their seed-stage fund Mission Bay Capital since 2006, when the QB3 Garage@UCSF opened its doors.

QB3 then integrated the responses with information from the public domain provided by colleagues at the University of California Office of the President. Because the survey was voluntary, their results, while impressive, represent a lower limit. The actual impact of the QB3 network is likely even greater than it appears.

A magnet for funding

In 2014 the network brought in $600 million from a wide variety of sources. $127 million of government funding included $25 million from the vital SBIR grants, which have long fueled many of our startups. Private sources contributed a whopping $472 million to the entrepreneurs, a majority of which ($363 million) came from venture capital. Clearly it pays to have a well-polished pitch!

Generating revenue

QB3’s network generated $161 million in revenue in 2014. This number is impressive because QB3’s economic programs themselves are so young (e.g. QB3 Startup in a Box began in 2013); they work with companies in the zero-to-thirty mph stage; and life science generally has such a long development phase. This revenue may also reflect the hybrid CRO/development model that some startups are adopting to enable sustainability. Clearly, their entrepreneurs are providing services and products that the market demands.

Creating two jobs per startup every year

QB3 obtained hiring information for 91 of their companies, which created 181 jobs in 2014, a rate of two jobs per startup per year on average. Startups in the QB3 network employed 1728 people overall. Taken collectively, this is the equivalent of a substantial midsize biotech company. As they grow, many maturing companies are hiring & diversifying their workforces to become more efficient. This strength in numbers can only be an asset when it comes to building powerful purchasing blocks or lobbying for support.

Read about the details of this study on QB3’s website.