Governor Patrick’s “dazzled” by startups at Venture Development Center

Deval and Richard j

Companies headquartered at the Venture Development Center, an incubator for technology and life science, where many Boston-area entrepreneurs are getting their ideas off the ground, played host this afternoon to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Patrick and his Cabinet secretaries—including Greg Bialicki, Patrick’s Secretary of Housing and Economic Development—spent about 60 minutes in a roundtable discussion with company leaders at 1:00 p.m., then circulated among the companies contributing to the startup scene at the award-winning VDC facility on the UMass campus in Boston.

Patrick met executives from four companies in the center, one of them so new that they don’t even have a website:

4s3 Bioscience—develops a proprietary antibody technology that allows for targeted and active intracellular delivery of therapeutics to skeletal muscle

Sustainability Guild Intl—produces research that enables organizations to benchmark themselves against their cross-sector peers

Novophage—provides biological solutions for industrial infrastructure problems

Symmetric Computing—one of the sixteen MassChallenge winners this year, makes affordable shared-memory supercomputers

The companies have raised over $10 million in financing so far.

Patrick also visited the operations of Anthurium Solutions—a software firm developing a work execution and collaboration solution for diabetes, matching patients and nurses virtually based on their cultural affinities and interests, and Pressure BioSciences— which makes instruments for taking samples of proteins, DNA, RNA and small molecules for biological research.

It was a very interactive session, and Patrick had plenty of questions, often asking how soon each company would be bringing their products to market, whether they were using suppliers in Massachusetts, etc.

Patrick asked Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki to put Symmetric Computing in touch with the director of the Green High Performance Computing Center under construction in Holyoke.

“It’s going to be the fastest computing system east of the Mississippi,” Patrick said. “There’s a real opportunity for (Symmetric Computing’s) technology in that project.”

During the tour, the company executives took the opportunity to pointed out the Venture Development Center’s role in providing top-tier facilities, advice and connections for local technology and life science startups. With Patrick nodding in agreement, Micah Rosenbloom (CEO, Novophage) explained that a web startup can locate anywhere, but the technical startups which Massachusetts is know for need specialized facilities and equipment, which the VDC uniquely delivers.

Patrick said he thinks startups at the VDC are “some of our most promising emerging technology and life sciences companies.” “I’m dazzled,” he said, by their work.

The visit was part of the Governor’s “Cabinet on the Road” session. The governor’s office issued a press release during Patrick’s visit. They also posted photos of Patrick’s visit.

The Venture Development Center is Boston’s leading startup incubator for technology and life science companies.

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