Jay Hanson | Co-Founder | Berkeley Biolabs

Berkeley BioLabs’ mission is to accelerate biotech innovation through a collaborative, high throughput approach to scientific discovery and business development
Berkeley BioLabs enables scientists and biotech entrepreneurs to research and develop their products by providing economical lab facilities, a large biotech community and a host of services to accelerate their success.

Berkeley BioLabs (BBL) is a Biotech lab for both proto companies and individual scientists who want to get to their Proof of Concept quickly.
BBL offers a beautiful lab location with regular community events, scientific and business mentoring, and we have a range of pricing options. Our facilities and equipment are set up to support experiments ranging from molecular and synthetic biology to biochemistry through to organic and materials chemistry focused projects.

Me: Tell me about yourself, the team you worked with to build BBL and why did you build it?
Hanson: I was a former Director of Operations at Apple for Consumer Software for 11 years then I retired in 2008. I’m a citizen scientist and I taught myself with molecular biology.

Me: How did you find the space and funding?
Hanson: Along with Ryan and Ron Shigeta, our aim is to provide a platform for new biotech startups to provide low cost equipment and Education Outreach as well.
With regards to the space,we searched in Oakland, in some industrial places, warehouses
and we found this office complex and the landlord was also interested in investing.

Me: Was building the Garage lab, DIYBio & Biocurious community hard? Who is/was part of the community?
Hanson: Not that hard, a lot of people are interested and it only took us 1-2 months before all are settled.

Me: What types of equipment did you find you needed and what were the challenges you encountered?
Hanson: Equipment’s for synthetic biology, freezers, synthesizers, SDS page gel machines etc.

Me: What types of projects have you and the Garage lab, DIYBio & Biocurious team worked on?
Hanson: Batteries, wastewater, anobotics, identification, different diseases, synthetic fiber cells,

Me: What do you see as the future for biohacking in the U.S. and globally?
Hanson: It’s growing, more interesting and it’s even a community now. In the last 3 years we had Berkeley Biolab, Counter Culture Lab, BioCurious and Indie.bio. I see it really growing and more people are engaging and there are even biotech labs now in Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Biotech labs Costa Rica, Taiwan and Toronto.