Catalyzing BioFab Startups

Building and Connecting the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Business Support to Move Innovations to Market
The BioFab Startup Lab, launched through a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, offers newly-formed and nearly-formed companies an opportunity to translate biofabrication research toward commercialization. The goal of the Startup Lab is to accelerate time-to-market of regenerative medicine therapies and enabling biomanufacturing technologies.

Download the Startup Lab Application Below!

Business Support to Move Innovations to Market

What's in it for you?

As a partner company in the BioFab Startup Lab, we will support you with:
  • Suite of back-office support (bookkeeping, legal, HR, website development, marketing, etc.)
  • SBIR/STTR coaching through UNHInnovation’s U.S. Small Business Administration initiative called FOSTER
  • Market entry planning and reimbursement strategy
  • Regulatory support is provided through next major milestone
  • Access to the rich technical and scientific knowledge base in regenerative medicine and biomanufacturing technology of ARMI/BioFabUSA
  • Access to co-working space / office in Manchester, NH, a federal HUB zone
  • Priority access to office and lab space at our partner, the UNH-M Biotechnology Innovation Center (additional fee)
  • Team and board development
  • Pitch training and coaching
  • Service providers to work for you
  • Preferential access to marketing and promotional opportunities at conferences and with potential partners
  • Featured at BioFab Investment Summit showcase
  • Individual connections with investor network
  • Discounted access to ARMI | BioFabUSA fee-for-services

Powered by DRIVEN Accelerator Hub

Rather than start from scratch, the BioFab Startup Lab sought a partner upon which to build the program’s foundation. The DRIVEN Accelerator Hub by Celdara Medical, was competitively selected for their experience and the outcomes from their NIH-funded program.


On September 12, 2022, the Biden administration issued the Executive Order on Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation for a Sustainable, Safe, and Secure American Bioeconomy. The Executive Order is important to regulated entities in this space because it may result in streamlining the existing Coordinated Framework for Biotechnology and thus ease the path to market for a range of innovative products using synthetic biology or genome editing.

The $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge is part of the EDA’s American Rescue Plan programs that aims to boost economic recovery from the pandemic and rebuild American communities.

The EDA Challenge provides transformational investments to develop and strengthen regional industry clusters, all while embracing equitable economic growth, creating good-paying jobs, and enhancing U.S. global competitiveness. As a result of the Executive Order, the NextGen Resiliency Council was established.

The NextGen Resiliency Council is a non-profit that will act as a central point for collecting metrics, communicating about the Coalition’s vision and progress, and by including community members both on the Board and as part of an Equity Advisory Council, ensuring all parties are aligned with the collective strategy for inclusive growth of the biofabrication cluster. The Council will also explore additional ways for members to collaborate and seek additional funding for related projects, especially those identified through this process but not included in the build-back better proposals.

The Southern New Hampshire BioFabrication Cluster proposal, led by the City of Manchester, was selected from over 500 applicants and 60 finalists to be awarded a Phase 2 Build Back Better Grant. Coalition partners include the City of Manchester, the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute, the University of New Hampshire, Southern New Hampshire University and Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission. The total award is $56,542,521, bringing $43,999,995 in federal funding from the Economic Development Administration [EDA] to the area with $12,542,521 in matching funds provided by coalition and industry partners.

How does it work?

  1. Call for nominations (self-nominations accepted)
  2. General acceptance criteria include:
    • Promising platform, either cell/tissue/organ-based therapy or enabling technologies
    • Coachable team
    • The ability of the program to provide assistance
    • Proof of ability to progress milestones
    • Strategic alignment
  3. Letter of acceptance is sent
  4. Kick-off Meeting
    • Meet your dedicated team assigned to support your progress
    • Review your custom plan/strategy developed upon acceptance into the program
    • Discuss and begin to build specific milestones based on a 3-5 year plan (revised quarterly)
    • Review how to access the resources allocated based on your plan (graphic design, finance, accounting, HR)
    • Schedule regular meetings and check-ins with the team, mutual accountability

Julie Lenzer

Chief Innovation Officer

A serial entrepreneur and ecosystem builder, Julie Lenzer is currently the Chief Innovation Officer for the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI). Her role is to bring together the ecosystem and resources for supporting startups within the BioFabUSA membership, which includes companies developing both cell, tissue, and organ-based therapies and those innovating around manufacturing and supply chain enabling technologies.

Previously, she was the Chief Innovation Officer at the University of Maryland overseeing innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem building across the campus, including technology transfer and community-based support for small businesses.

Prior to joining the university, Julie was appointed to lead the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) within the U.S. Department of Commerce where she oversaw the creation of the current Build to Scale program. She is a founding board member of the Center for American Entrepreneurship and an active angel investor.

Michael Orrico

Managing Director

Michael Orrico is an experienced executive with an exceptional combination of business acumen, product management, R&D, and engineering skills in biotech and consulting industries. He has led R&D and Manufacturing at tissue engineering and regenerative medicine companies for over 25 years including the Cryobiology Lab at MIT, AxoGen, and Aastrom Biosciences (now Vericel). Michael has developed and implemented strategies for commercializing medical technologies for J&J, Stryker and three start-ups including recruiting talent, establishing governance and implementing business planning to accelerate product launches. He received an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School in New York and has an M.S. in biomedical and mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.


BioFab Startup Lab Bootcamp | May 23, 2024

BioFab Investment Summit | October 16, 2024

Contact ARMI BioFab Startup Lab to apply:

BioFabUSA, a program of ARMI, is a public-private partnership with more than 170 members, including companies, academic institutions and not-for profit organizations.




Learn more about work underway to build the biofabrication ecosystem and accelerate the science of regenerative medicine.