FertiLab, a business incubator and co-working space that opened in Eugene two years ago without a clear idea of who it would serve or how it would stay afloat financially, has matured to the point where it now has expanded to Springfield.
The nonprofit group that founded the FertiLab Thinkubator in the Whiteaker neighborhood recently opened a second site — the Fertilab Startup Center — on Main Street in downtown Springfield.
FertiLab also is launching a campaign to raise $200,000 to transform more space in the same building as the Startup Center to equip a biotech lab and create programming for biotech startups, FertiLab Executive Director Shula Jaron said.
Extending FertiLab to Springfield adds to the network of resources for Lane County entrepreneurs, with the aim of growing companies, creating jobs and improving the local economy, organizers say.
The new center will bring an infusion of people and energy to Springfield’s downtown.
Courtney Griesel, Springfield’s senior economic development analyst, said there is new vitality in downtown Springfield, and having FertiLab downtown will build on that.
“We’re excited any time we can draw creative thinkers to downtown, and having them engage in the energy going on and using the amenities, shopping at the stores and using the services already there,” she said.