Our Story

Harlem Biospace is a community of biotech innovators and scientifically-minded citizens who will build a frictionless model for turning revolutionary biotech ideas into products that solve real health problems. There is no industry sector more in need of innovation than health and biotech. But unlike software, biotech research needs wet-lab space and expensive equipment. Can we reduce the barrier for turning biotech ideas into products? Can we inspire the next generation of talented scientists to work on health technologies?

We think there is room for a new model to address these challenges. That begins with our space in NYC, where inventors can share an environment, equipment, and ideas with one another. The incubator is located in a traditional industrial area in Harlem now undergoing a dramatic transformation. NYC has nine major academic medical centers, with the second highest level of federal National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding of all cities in the the country. NYC also has one of the nation’s largest investor communities. Our vision is take early-stage ideas from local research universities and innovators, and help turn them into viable companies — right here in NYC.


Harlem Biospace is founded by Samuel Sia, Ph.D. and Christine Kovich, in collaboration with, and with financial support from, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).

samSam Sia (Co-Founder) – Sam is a faculty member in biomedical engineering at Columbia University. His lab focuses on using microfluidics to improve patient health. His lab’s work has been supported by the NIH, NSF, USAID/Gates Foundation/World Bank/Governments of Norway and Canada, Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, American Heart Association, and World Health Organization. He has been named one of the world’s top young innovators by MIT Technology Review, and is an inducted fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He is founder of Claros Diagnostics, a venture capital-backed company which was acquired by Opko Health in 2011. His lab has invented a large number of new technologies currently covered by patents filed by Columbia University. As a scientist and an inventor, Sam can’t think of a better city than New York City to start a company. Contact: ss@harlembiospace.com

christineChristine Kovich (Co-Founder) – Christine has spent 14 years in the payments industry, most recently creating partnerships with start-ups that are disrupting the financial services industry. Prior to that, she worked on the development and deployment of an industry leading contactless payment solution from pilot to commercial roll-out.  She has an International MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University which eventually brought her to NYC as Russia specialist. She looks forward to creating an environment where biotech start-ups can thrive in the city she loves. Perched on her fold-up bike, Christine can be seen biking to meetings on one of NYC’s many bike paths. Contact:ck@harlembiospace.com

Morgan Shattuck imageMorgan Shattuck (Events Director) – Morgan is a second-year student at Columbia Business School. Prior to business school she worked as an organic chemist at a contract manufacturing company doing process development and scale up for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Last summer she interned at Genentech in Pharma Procurement, within the Strategy Realization and Operations group. Morgan is the co-president of Columbia Business School’s Healthcare Industry Association. When not at school, Morgan enjoys practicing yoga and sampling the NYC food scene. Contact:ms@harlembiospace.com

OwensHeadshot 1 cropped-resizedMatt Owens (Advisor and Founding Executive Director Emeritus) – Matt was an early team member of the NYC-based global education start-up General Assembly and helped spearhead GA’s first programs in NYC and Los Angeles. Before this, he worked as a strategy consultant with Stax, Inc. in Boston and as an analyst for SF-based start-up Gratio Capital. Matt has also worked with the founding teams of several science based ventures including Agile Sciences and Innova Dynamics. He is a graduate of the Management and Technology and Integrated Product Design (MSE) programs at the University of Pennsylvania. In Philadelphia, Matt served on the board of Philly Startup Leaders and as an Engagement Manager for the cleantech practice of Wharton’s Small Business Development Center. He is an avid runner and when not at Harlem Biospace he can likely be found running through the city. Contact: m@harlembiospace.com


NYEDCNYCEDC – New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities. Visit the website and blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.


Advisory Board

The advisory board of Harlem Biospace — composed of the region’s leading professionals in life-science investment, industry, and technology licensing — will guide our activities in the future, and participate in the selection of members into the incubator space.


Philippe Chambon, MD PhD – Managing Director, New Leaf Venture Partners

Philippe Chambon is a Managing Director and founder of New Leaf Venture Partners, a spin-off from The Sprout Group. He invests broadly in healthcare technology companies, and he currently sits on the boards of Karos Pharmaceuticals, VaxInnate Corporation, Truveris, Inc., Principia Biopharma and Treato Pharma. Past representative investments include Auxilium Pharmaceuticals (AUXL), Cephalon, ePocrates (EPOC, acquired by athenahealth), NxStage Medical (NXTM), Phase Forward (PFWD, acquired by Oracle) and Spotfire (acquired by Tibco).

Previously, Philippe served as Manager in the Healthcare Practice of The Boston Consulting Group and as Director of New Product Management for Sandoz Pharmaceutical. Philippe did graduate research in molecular immunology at The Pasteur Institute and earned a MD, Ph.D. from the University of Paris along with an MBA from Columbia University in New York.

Albert Hwang, MD, MBA – Investment Banker

Albert is is an investment banker with 15 years of experience in capital raising and M&A advisory. His clients include large and small cap biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Prior to a career in investment banking, Albert was trained as a physician, specializing in orthopedic surgery.

Chau Khuong, MPH – Partner, Private Equity Team, OrbiMed

Chau joined OrbiMed Advisors in 2003 and is a Partner on the Private Equity team. Mr. Khuong previously was responsible for operations and business development at the start-up Veritas Medicine, Inc. and has conducted research at the Yale School of Medicine and at Massachusetts General Hospital. At OrbiMed, Mr. Khuong played an active role in investments in Arius Research, Inc. (acquired by Roche in 2008), Peninsula Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (acquired by Johnson & Johnson, Inc., in 2005), Cerexa, Inc. (acquired by Forest Laboratories, Inc., in 2007), Adiana, Inc. (acquired by Cytyc Corporation in 2007), Avanir (NASDAQ: AVNR), and Biodel, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIOD).

He currently serves as Director or Observer on the Corporate Boards at Rempex, Cerapedics, Glaukos, Intercept Pharma (NASDAQ: ICPT), Sonendo, and Pieris AG. Chau holds a BS in molecular biology with concentration in biotechnology and an MPH with concentration in infectious diseases, both from Yale University.

Lance Ladic, Ph.D. – Director, Strategic Innovation, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics

Dr. Ladic’s primary responsibility is scouting, evaluating and leading collaborative innovation projects related to emerging technologies. Dr. Ladic participates in several external activities, such as ISO TC 229 (Nanotechnology) as well as serving on University Industrial Advisory Boards for Bioengineering. Prior to joining Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, he worked for both Siemens Corporate Technology and GE Healthcare. His interests and expertise are diverse and include in vitro diagnostics, in vivo imaging, advanced informatics/IT and mobile health technologies. Dr. Ladic has a B.Sc. in genetics/cell biology and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in neurophysiology and computer science, both from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

Ron Newbold, PhD – Vice President, Strategic Research Partnerships within External R&D Innovation, Pfizer

Ron is Vice President, Strategic Research Partnerships within External R&D Innovation (ERDI) at Pfizer. Ron and his group support established Worldwide Research & Development (WRD) alliances with numerous universities and biotechnology companies. Ron has significant experience archestrating partnerships within the Life Sciences field from his previous work in large Pharma as well as entrepreneurial experience from work with 3 early-stage biotech companies.

After receiving his PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Rochester and a postdoctoral fellowship with Nobel Laureate E.J. Corey at Harvard University, he joined Merck where he founded and led their Strategic Research Initiatives licensing team from 1996-2004. Ron earned an MBA from Columbia Business School in 2003. Following 14 years with Merck, Ron led business development for Sentigen Biosciences (founded by 2004 Nobel Laureate Richard Axel of Columbia University); Celldex Therapeutics (an Abingworth company); and Auspex Pharmaceuticals, where he served as Chief Business Officer, prior to joining Pfizer in 2010.

Frank Rimalovski, MBA – Managing Director, NYU Innovation Venture Fund

Frank is managing director of the NYU Innovation Venture Fund, a $20 million seed-stage venture fund formed exclusively to invest in startups founded by and/or built upon technologies and intellectual property developed by NYU students, faculty and researchers. He is also the founder and Executive Director of the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute, which was formed to create a pan-University entrepreneurial ecosystem to encourage and support the development of new ventures founded by NYU students, faculty and researchers.

Frank brings 20 years of experience in venture capital, early-stage investing, spinouts and technology commercialization. He was a founding partner of New Venture Partners, the leading global venture capital firm dedicated to funding technology spinouts based on corporate innovations. He joined New Venture Partners from Lucent, where he was a director and entrepreneur-in-residence within Lucent’s New Ventures Group. For six years prior, he held various positions in marketing, business development and product management in Silicon Valley at JavaSoft/Sun Microsystems, Apple and NeXT. Earlier in his career, he was an investment banker in the mergers and acquisitions groups of Bear Stearns and Rodman & Renshaw. Frank holds a BA in Economics from Tufts University and a MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.


Flagship Sponsor


Premier provider of legal services in biotechnology and the life sciences – Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati offers critical perspective and guidance to Hb member companies.





Leveraging their depth of expertise in optical systems, Morrell Instruments and Nikon Instruments provide Harlem Biospace members with a class-leading fluorescent microscopy system.


Equipment-Level Sponsors



As a leading manufacturer of bioscience instruments and filtration equipment, Millipore provides the Harlem Biospace community with high quality water purification systems.



Interested in being a sponsor or otherwise getting involved? Contact us.

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