A Darwinian reality faces Boston area startup life science companies: There’s more space to grow into than to emerge from. Even sublease lab space has dried to a trickle after steady interest chewed up the best sites, according to Richards Barry Joyce & Partners.

Its not uncommon to hear from a startup spending three months from Worcester to Boston hunting for small, reasonably priced, ready-equipped laboratory space. The Venture Development Center has one 400 square foot wet laboratory left.

Why isn’t Boston friendlier to startups? While the region actively works to recruit and retain new medium and large biotech companies, it must also invest in new company creation and catalyze further growth.

We think San Francisco, ahead of Boston in the number of public biotech companies (73 to 59), has got it right. At QB3 Garage, an incubator associated with the University of California, startups can rent micro amounts of laboratory space. This 3-year-old program already has helped four biotech startups close Series A financing.

The Venture Development Center is Boston’s startup incubator that gets you to the point where you’ve built something impressive enough to acquire customers and raise money on a larger scale.