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San Antonio in race for new biotech campus for multiple companies
March 22, 2018

Fountainhead Investment Partners Managing Partner Brian Kieser said San Antonio could land a new biotech innovation campus. FILE PHOTO

By W. Scott Bailey  – Senior Reporter, San Antonio Business Journal

The Alamo City is in the hunt to land a new main campus to be developed by San Antonio-based biomedical incubator Watershed Idea Foundry, which needs space to accommodate additional growth. Through its founder, Fountainhead Investment Partners, Watershed Idea Foundry is launching a site-selection process for that development in addition to expanding its footprint beyond Texas.

Fountainhead, a San Antonio-based venture capital firm formed by a group of health care entrepreneurs, created Watershed roughly four years ago. The plan is for the new campus to house organizations that are part of Watershed’s incubator and accelerator programs, as well as some of Fountainhead’s portfolio companies.

Fountainhead's goal is to determine a location by the end of the third quarter and start construction in early 2019, said Managing Partner Brian Kieser, who confirmed that San Antonio is considered a potential site for the new campus.

“I see great opportunity in San Antonio for biomedical technology and research. I believe our portfolio companies and the campus we envision would be an asset to the community and an avenue for growth,” Kieser said, adding that the campus could also house Nvision Biomedical Technologies and Alaris Biologic Technologies.

When Fountainhead launched Watershed in 2016, Kieser said San Antonio needed to align its assets to strengthen its efforts in bioscience.

“For the biomedical industry to continue to grow here, a broad base of support and collaboration is needed between private industry and state and local government,” he said. “We think San Antonio has the ecosystem for that collaboration.”

While the search for the new campus gets underway, Watershed is extending its reach to Carlsbad, California, where it has opened a new Center of Excellence.

The 4,000-square- foot facility will house the foundry’s first additive manufacturing and research and development facilities. It will also provide an environment for entrepreneurs and manufacturers to work with Watershed to develop products and create regulatory compliant documentation and will be supported in part by the University of Texas at El Paso’s W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation.

Watershed CEO Nick Cordaro said additive manufacturing represents the “future of medical device design.”

As such, Watershed is combining its expertise in both areas to help guide manufacturers and entrepreneurs through what its leadership characterizes as an “innovative transition” in the biomedical industry. 

Watershed’s planned main campus represents a more significant expansion. The project — at least initially — could be at least 10 times the size of the new Center of Excellence.

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