Jack Oswald, the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of ISOThrive, a start-up life sciences firm, said starting a new company is better with a new place to work. “Where I come from in Silicon Valley, starting in a garage is a badge of honor, but it’s also really unpleasant. Having a really nice facility makes for good morale and a lot better work.”
Oswald recently moved his company into the Prince William Science Accelerator, a newly opened, public-private property featuring wet lab spaces ranging from 435 square feet to 1,141 square feet — the only public-private commercially available property featuring wet laboratory spaces in Northern Virginia. The labs come in a variety of floor plans designed to promote research and product development. “You really need a great facility with excellent equipment to achieve a great product,” Oswald said.
In addition to being the first tenant to occupy space in the 9,126-square-foot building on Discovery Boulevard, Oswald announced that ISOThrive would be collaborating with George Mason University in life sciences research and development. The Science Accelerator is designed to attract tenants who will work with existing industry and universities to add expertise and attract new businesses to the county’s growing life sciences industry.
Prince William Chairman Corey A. Stewart said the opening of the new building — with shared conference rooms, a kitchen and office space — represents work that started 20 years ago when the Prince William Board of County Supervisors set aside 500 acres near Manassas to attract research and development firms. Stewart commended Prince William Supervisors Maureen S. Caddigan and John D. Jenkins for spearheading efforts to create Innovation Park. “They took the risk and it paid off, not just for the Board of Supervisors and County government, but for all of the citizens because of the jobs that were created; and we’re just at the beginning. This is yet another testimony to Prince William County’s commitment to developing the life sciences industry in our County.”
Stewart went on to say that cooperation was the key to the success at Innovation Park. “We could not have done this without the collaboration between County government, George Mason University and the private sector.”
Caddigan said the opening of the Science Accelerator with its first new tenant put “Prince William County on the map.”
Supervisor W.S. “Wally” Covington III agreed with the concept that led to the development of Innovation Park, which eventually led to the building of the Science Accelerator. “It’s an innovative step in the right direction – not only for this individual company – but now they’ve created a partnership with George Mason. It’s a new synergy moving forward. I see a lot of excitement in the community.”
Syd Dorsey, the advisor for small business development for the Virginia Secretariat of Commerce and Trade, said Prince William County’s Science Accelerator represented a growing industry in the state. “Life sciences is one of Virginia’s key growth sectors employing more than 23,000 people in more than 800 establishments; and we’re delighted to add ISOThrive to that list. I am certain that the success of this public-private partnership will aid in securing additional tenants and that the concept of the science accelerator will soon be repeated elsewhere in Virginia.”