Co-founder of 10x Genomics, Serge Saxonov, in one of the company’s labs. The company, which moved to Pleasanton in 2015, now has a valuation of $1.3 billion.
Accelerated Growth in Life Sciences
The Tri-Valley region is home to emerging companies across many different industries, but one of the sectors currently experiencing rapid growth is life sciences. In fact, there are 120 life sciences companies based in the region today. And, according to Mirador Capital Partners’ recently published report, over 30% of capital raised since 2016 has been for life sciences companies.
What’s behind such significant growth? Lauren Moone, Executive Vice President of Mirador Capital Partners, explains that businesses are finding the area especially attractive because of “a unique access to talent, technology and real estate.” That talent comes from three sources: people living in San Francisco or Silicon Valley who enjoy the easier “reverse commute” to the Tri-Valley, local talent in the Tri-Val-ley, which Moone says is “the region with the highest percentage of post-graduate degrees in the Bay Area,” and the talent in the Central Valley, which features more skilled labourers that are essential for advanced manufacturing companies.
On the technology front, Moone notes that organizations in the region benefit from the presence of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories. “They’re putting a lot of effort into commercial partnerships by actively trying to get technologies that are developed in the labs out to companies,” she says.
Finally, commercial real estate in the Tri-Valley is far more affordable than it is in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. According to Mirador’s report, the average commercial rent in the Tri-Valley was $2.66 per square foot, while the average in San Francisco was $7.66.
All of these factors come into play when attracting life sciences companies to the region.
Mirador’s report also revealed that 90% of venture capital raised in the Tri-Valley life sciences space since 2017 has been focused specifically in the device space. Moone remarks that “the life sciences companies here have innovative technology that’s appealing to the world’s leading players. It’s attracting them and they’re getting acquired.” She also highlights the fact that organizations in this sector benefit “because the companies are able to have lab space, manufacturing space and corporate office space in one location. That’s something that you can’t necessarily get just anywhere.”
Moone believes that growth in life sciences will accelerate in the Tri-Valley: “The Bay Area will always be an expensive place to be, but it’s also going to be where so much innovation happens. Companies will want to be located in geographic proximity to that, and the Tri-Valley has this advantage of more affordable real estate and access to talent.”
“Companies are able to have lab space, manufacturing space and corporate office space in one location.”
Executive Vice President