Zebra mussels, an invasive species, are now a huge problem in central Texas lakes. ABI member company EQO is using molecular biology techniques to solve this problem and protect the native environment.

“As a scientist with an idea, starting a successful business was a daunting challenge,” says Higley. “The support and advice provided by ABI and Austin Technology Incubator led to our company joining an accelerator program, refining our business canvas, learning how to pitch, and most importantly, positive, ongoing relationships with numerous business experts, successful entrepreneurs, startup programs, and other scientists. We are well on our way to long-term success. The support and expertise at ABI has been crucial to this development.”

Companies admitted into the ABI can take advantage of many resources, including a pool of ACC student interns.

Mike Delisi was pursuing a linguistics degree until he realized his passion for biotechnology. As an intern for ABI, he tested equipment and planned the layout of the various labs. He helped establish framework for day-to-day activities, such as managing and optimizing the inventory system, writing standard operating procedures for the various laboratory devices, receiving daily shipments of supplies, and creating and performing a regular maintenance schedule for the facilities and equipment. He also had the opportunity to train new interns, work on a pharmaceutical optimization project with a client company, and contribute to cancer research.

“ABI has done more to prepare me for a career in biotechnology than I can adequately express in words,” says Delisi. “I gained a vast wealth of experience, mentorship, and opportunities to establish connections and work with industry professionals. This is a great place for any aspiring biotechnician.”

“We’ve made significant strides in establishing the Bioscience Incubator as a critical hub in central Texas’ life sciences community,” says Tyler Drake, PhD, director. “We will continue building our startup, mentor, and student network to support science entrepreneurship.”

The one-year anniversary was celebrated March 7.

This article originally appeared on ACC’s Newsroom.

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Austin Community College staff


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