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Alachua Propels into a Premier Business Hub

Alachua Propels into a Premier Business Hub

Alachua Propels Into a Premier Business Hub

The City of Alachua: Foucsing on Creating a Vibrant, Sustaiable and Innovative Ecosystem


With state-of-the-art laboratories, teaching spaces and collaborative meeting areas, residents and professionals are offered the perfect environment to explore the latest technologies.

In addition to the area’s thriving tech and healthcare industries, new live-work-play concepts have been introduced to bridge the gap between industry and community. Developments are going up, businesses are moving in and Alachua is set to become an epicenter of biotechnology, innovation and community growth.


Balancing High-Tech Worklife with Quality Living


The City of Alachua is thrilled to welcome a new biotech hub, Momentum Labs. Built by Concept Companies, a leading real estate development firm, the mixed-use facility is set to bring a new era of healthcare to Greater Gainesville.

Momemtum Labs by Concept Companies

Momentum Labs will focus its efforts on research and development of cutting-edge technology to improve quality and accessibility in the healthcare industry. The facility will feature a range of advanced equipment and tools for researching, diagnosing and treating various medical conditions. The laboratories will also be home to a team of top scientists and expert medical professionals from around the world. Multiple teaching and meeting spaces where students and professionals can learn and communicate about the latest medical technology and treatments are just a sample of the amenities available. Additionally, Momentum Labs will boast concierge level service for its members.

“By developing a purpose-built facility for emerging science in the Alachua community, Momentum Labs is providing critical infrastructure, access to state-of-the-art equipment, amenities and tailored business development support these companies need for continued exponential growth,” said Kyla Frye, national director for Momentum Labs.


“This ultimately helps us retain and recruit growing life sciences companies to the region, contributing to the City of Alachua’s economic value and the thriving life sciences cluster in the community,” she said.

Bringing Momentum Labs to the City of Alachua is a project of great distinction for Concept Companies. With their contribution to the growth of the biotechnology industry and the participation of an engaged local community, this venture will undoubtedly prove to be a game changer for Greater Gainesville.

In addition to Momentum Labs, the City of Alachua is preparing to welcome The Convergence, a master planned section of the Progress District, from Concept Companies and The Roberts Companies.


This dynamic, 420-acre mixed-use community results from a successful collaboration between the two innovative and forward-thinking organizations. With a mix of residential, commercial and recreational spaces, The Convergence is designed to provide a high quality of life for residents and visitors alike.


Touted as the perfect live-work hub for science professionals, this venture will feature state-of-the-art infrastructure and amenities, including parks, playgrounds, walking trails, shopping, dining options and much more. The latest updates to The Convergence make it even more attractive to those seeking work-life balance.


Plans include the addition of a fitness center, a public park, a pool and a walking trail. The fitness center will offer a variety of classes, including yoga and cycling, ideal for those who want to stay active and healthy. The public park will be a great place to relax, breathe fresh air and get in touch with nature. The pool and walking trail will provide opportunities to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy some well-deserved leisure time.


The Convergence is also introducing an impressive list of new amenities to help foster a sense of community. This includes a children’s play area, a retail district and various restaurants. The retail district will feature a variety of shops, from clothing boutiques to art galleries. The added restaurants will provide diverse cuisines, ensuring everyone can find something to please their palette.

The Convergence creates a sense of harmony between work, life and leisure. With these welcome updates, The Convergence will prove to be the pinnacle of balance for those who insist on both a high-quality life and a high-tech workplace.



Paving the Way for Genetic Therapies

Lacerta Therapeutics’ new office space is located in Copeland Park, a biotechnology and life science research community in Alachua, Florida.

With the biotech and life science industry booming in Greater Gainesville, Lacerta Therapeutics is the newest tenant to expand its location to the Alachua Research Cluster –– and is poised to dramatically impact the local and international biotech scene.

A drug discovery and development leader, Lacerta has taken a significant step forward in its mission to revolutionize medical treatments by establishing an 11,961-square-foot state-of-the-art clinical manufacturing facility in Copeland Park. This new construction marks a substantial investment in Alachua’s local economy and boosts employment in the area.

According to Edgardo Rodriguez-Lebron, chief executive officer of Lacerta Therapeutics, “We want to provide early solutions, so manufacturing is more efficient and less costly.”

The clinical-stage gene therapy company partnered with Concept Companies to establish a new manufacturing facility, which is expected to open in 2023.

Lacerta’s participation in the sector is set to shift healthcare from symptom management to root cause resolution, accelerating the development of gene therapies for rare diseases and providing patients with access to life-changing treatments.

Lacerta has also recently partnered with Prevail, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly, to help further advance research and development efforts. This partnership represents the determination within the biotechnology field and signals a commitment to bringing novel therapies to patients in need.

With a focus on programs that target rare, devastating and underserved conditions, Lacerta’s cutting-edge capabilities and drugs could resolve some of the most challenging medical issues.

By having their facility in the Alachua Research Cluster, the team at Lacerta can access local resources, which can help speed up their development of treatments that impact peoples’ lives.

“We work on what we call monogenetic diseases. We can predict emerging diseases when we know it’s a single gene or single mutation. We can now use this to deliver genetic material for the cells. We can either halt the aggression of that disease or, if the FDA allows us, try to prevent its onset,” said Rodriguez-Lebron.

Lacerta’s presence in Copeland Park can have a positive ripple effect on the surrounding community. With an influx of jobs and talented professionals focused on life sciences, Alachua is set on a promising path to becoming a destination for innovative research and development.

Lacerta’s mission to continually advance gene therapy technology will undoubtedly play a vital role in helping deliver valuable, lifesaving treatments for patients worldwide and further boost Alachua’s growing reputation in biotechnology and life sciences.


 Making an Impressive Impact in Alachua

Entrance to San Felasco Tech City. phot by Joe Hancock with Moxie Media

San Felasco Tech City is quickly becoming one of Greater Gainesville’s most talked about business hubs. The 270,000-square-foot mixed-use development comprises a network of entrepreneurs, investors and innovators working together to create a vibrant, high-growth tech ecosystem.

Co-founders Mitch Glaeser, CEO of Emory Group Companies, and Rich Blaser, co-developer, lead the charge to create the sustainable environment enabling entrepreneurs to launch and scale their businesses and build community.

“It’s an evolution of what we planned from the beginning. We are three and a half years old and have over fifty companies relocated to Tech City. This is an impressive number of companies embracing a community and lifestyle they want to call home,” said Mitch Glaeser.

According to Glaeser, Rich Blaser played a critical role in integrating the sustainable community features of Tech City. “We are producing more energy on-site than we are consuming, so we are sending energy out onto the grid,” Glaeser said.


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Sustainability continues to be a critical factor in their mission to make Tech City stand out amongst its peers. With another 24 newly designed solar trees being installed, the artistic representation of what solar can look like is an iconic cornerstone of Tech City.

Partnering with local business and government leaders, Glaeser and Blaser are developing public spaces for residents and businesses, such as parks and playgrounds. The duo has also spearheaded initiatives to bring in new companies that can help create a vibrant city center, including the preschool, the brewery, the cafe and housing.


Thanks to the passion and hard work of co-founders Mitch Glaeser and Rich Blaser, San Felasco Tech City is rapidly expanding, creating jobs and opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses. With these two dedicated developers at the helm, the technology community’s one-stop-shop will become an even more dynamic and exciting tech hub in the coming years.



Setting The Gold Standard in Business Creation

UF Innovate | Sid Martin Biotech photo by Joe Hancock with Moxie Media

The Sid Martin Biotech Incubator at UF Innovate has long been a resource for innovation and entrepreneurship in Greater Gainesville and continues to make waves with its cutting-edge technologies and exciting new startups.

Sid Martin provides biotechnology business incubation with well-equipped laboratories and specialized equipment, plus an outstanding network of advisors, collaborators, mentors and connections to investors that can help entrepreneurs reach new heights.

“UF Innovate | Accelerate, and its two business incubators, Sid Martin Biotech and The Hub are official ‘Soft Landings’ designations from the International Business Innovation Association,” said Karl LaPan, director of incubation services at UF Innovate. “This designation means these incubators have the resources and expertise to help global companies successfully establish themselves in the Florida market.”

This Soft Landings designation is a valuable asset for any company looking to expand its operations to the United States, and it underscores the commitment of UF Innovate | Accelerate to supporting businesses of all sizes and backgrounds.

“We operate one of the country’s most extensive super-hub programs. A super-hub is a multifaceted program with different ways of supporting various stages of a company’s growth,” said LaPan. “Only 40 companies in the country have the high complexity and scope of what we do.”


Startup Spotlights @ Sid Martin

One of the most exciting developments at the Sid Martin incubator is the emergence of several promising biotech startups coming from all over the world.

These companies are developing new therapies for various diseases, from cancer to neurological disorders. The incubator provides these startups with the resources they need to bring their innovations to market.

One specific startup company gaining traction due to Sid Martin Biotech’s support is Lacerta Therapeutics, a cutting-edge gene therapy company currently developing three types of gene therapies: Gene replacement, vectorized antibody delivery and artificial microRNA-mediated modulation of gene expression. These therapies have the potential to fundamentally change how diseases are treated –– by moving from treating symptoms to disease modification and eventually towards a cure. With the support of UF Innovate Accelerate and Sid Martin Biotech facilities, Lacerta is well on its way to becoming a leading gene therapy company.

Another exciting startup at Sid Martin is Neobiosis, a new company changing the field of regenerative medicine. The company primarily focuses on developing innovative therapies by using stem cells. This means they can regenerate damaged tissue and organs. Neobiosis is also using gene editing technology, allowing scientists to make precise changes to DNA sequences, which can be used to correct genetic defects that cause diseases.



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