As you ride the elevator to the third floor of the American Industrial Center (AIC) at 3rd Street in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood, the smell of sweetly spiced bread permeates the otherwise industrial air. Once filled with warehousing and manufacturing companies, the sprawling AIC—often referred to as a skyscraper on its side—is now home to everything from world famous chocolatiers to design museums and tech startups and, as of October 2023, SOSV’s IndieBio.
IndieBio, SOSV’s startup development program working with deep tech founders in planetary and human health, has set up shop on the third floor, sandwiched between bakeries and several innovative food brands (Wildtype, Black Sheep Foods). And it feels right at home—and not just because the north side of AIC was IndieBio’s first ever office space back in 2015. As the New York Times put it, “…the [AIC] complex has emerged as a hub of collaborative entrepreneurship and a breeding ground for new companies, notably ones in food and technology.”
The new, spacious SF HQ includes 9000 sq ft of production space, including 3300 sq feet of BSL 1 & 2 labs, a 2500 sq ft chemistry lab, and a 2,000 sq ft food lab; plenty of collaborative office space (60 desks and 18 conference rooms & phone booths); and an event/gathering area. In fact, the entire space facilitates an excellent event experience, which we put to the test for our recent Batch 14 Demo Day. And, for the first time, IndieBio SF founders will have access to a chem lab, food lab, and a clean room. There’s also a full bar and two kitchens.
“IndieBio was the first VC in the world to build a full wet lab directly in our offices. But we’ve grown far beyond biotech and we encourage startups in every market to reach out. We now have a full chem lab, food lab, and prototyping production room—so we will invest in companies no matter which domain of science their technology is anchored in.
SOSV GP and IndieBio SF Managing Director Po Bronson
The facilities are split into two large areas across the hall from each other. One side of windows looks out over the glistening San Francisco Bay; the other frames the city’s Potrero Hill neighborhood. The space is well connected to San Francisco’s heartlines: it’s perched near the 22nd St. Caltrain stop, and the T Third Street line, with stops mere minutes away, runs every ten minutes, 24 hours a day. UCSF sits just four blocks away.
While many great companies and technologies were born in the labs at Jessie Street, we’re excited for the opportunities at the new 3rd St. offices, nestled in a neighborhood buzzing with entrepreneurial spirit. There’s more space (both lab- and office-wise) to host new cohorts and alumni alike, and better lab capabilities and machinery (ICP-OES, GC-TOF, etc.).
It’s a very enterprising and industrial community. Beyond tons of venture-backed startups, there are also full-fledged, successfully operating companies all around us. Everyday our founders build their companies alongside other entrepreneurs who are busy serving customers and delivering products. There’s a buzz of commerce infusing the air here, and we love it. Here in San Francisco, we make things.Pae Wu, SOSV GP and IndieBio CTO
A quick refresher on SOSV’s IndieBio program: the journey begins with $525,000 and our intense 4-6 month program to help founders refine their product as well as develop go-to-market and fundraising strategies. But we continue to work and grow alongside our companies, investing meaningfully in every round—80% of our capital is deployed post-program.
Over 200 companies have been born and built with IndieBio so far. They have raised more than $2.3 billion and have an aggregate valuation of $8.3 billion.
Are you next?
We’re always on the lookout for the next generation of founders with the potential to transform the future of human and planetary health—apply here.