The exterior of Buffalo's Innovation Center <span class='image-credits'>Jill Gugino</span>

What you need to know about the Innovation Center

The Thomas R. Beecher, Jr. Innovation Center, located at 640 Ellicott St. in downtown Buffalo, is the largest business incubator in Buffalo. The LEED-certified research and development space houses life sciences and biotech companies, as well as companies offering support services like IP attorneys, talent acquisition, sales, and marketing. The growing space is designed to accommodate small to medium companies seeking office, wet lab and/or research space, on a month-to-month basis or via longer term leases, and is located in the heart of the thriving Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

In addition to traditional lease space, the suites at the Innovation Center offer physical and virtual office space on a month-to-month basis. Offices are fully furnished with telephones and internet access included, offering a “plug ‘n’ play” space that is perfect for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

During a recent tour, several aspects of the center were highlighted:

DIG (Design Innovation Garage): DIG is the region’s largest venue for coworking. It offers affordable workspace, access to mentors, and opportunity for collaboration within a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem, so entrepreneurs can share ideas, build business models, work on new projects, and collaborate. DIG also provides event space, and has become recognized as the prominent gathering spot for the startup community in Buffalo.


Shared office space: Offices and work stations that include turn-key amenities are available in dedicated suites for those seeking a more private work environment for themselves or their growing company. The menu of office options is designed to be flexible and cost effective. They provide the furniture and technology – you just go to work. Offices are available on a monthly rental basis - no long-term leases required.


Wet labs: A full range of wet lab spaces across Buffalo’s Medical Campus is available for chemical and biological research, testing, and pilot production. Dry lab spaces for applications in bioinformatics and light assembly of medical devices are also available. Most labs include shared core services, which are accessed through partnerships with research institutions and clinics on the campus.


Idea Lab: also known as i4 Studio, is a creative space where new ideas are born and applied for the purpose of making the world a better place to live, work, and play. It is staffed by educators and trained practitioners well-versed in creative thinking.


Event space: The Innovation Center houses many networking and educational events. It’s the go-to place in Buffalo to network and learn from other startups, established businesses, and people looking to help grow companies in Buffalo.


Supporting more than 120 companies in three buildings, this self-contained ecosystem provides an ideal environment for idea generators, business modelers, startup companies, service providers, and scaling, post-launch businesses.

Read more articles by Jill Gugino.

Jill Gugino is a nurse examiner and freelance writer living in western New York. Her published works can be found in Buffalo Spree, Reminisce magazine and The Buffalo News. She currently is heading up a news publication for a local ski area. Jill is married with children and makes her home on the shores of Lake Erie.  



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