A new biotechnology incubator called Bio, Tech and Beyond opened last week in Carlsbad.

The organization calls itself a “group of DIY bio-entrepreneurs, educators, engineers, scientists and hobbyists doing innovative bootstrapped basic research and building an open science community.”

The City of Carlsbad has been a key advocate of this project. Remarkably, it has leased a 6,000-square-foot building to Bio, Tech and Beyond Founders Kevin Lustig and Joseph Jackson, for $1 per year for five years. The building, which is right in the center of a cluster of some 200 life sciences companies in Carlsbad, was vacant for eight years until Lustig and Jackson proposed to use the space as a community biotech incubator.

Lustig said his goal is to help initiate eight new startup companies out of this community space by the end of 2014. He said he wants to keep basic lab space use free to independent “citizen scientists,” and as small companies begin to use the space, charge them a fee to keep the lab running.

“I’m convinced there are many people out there without the benefit of having been trained, or grew up in a poor environment — but are brilliant, and could accomplish great things in science if given a chance,” Lustig said in an April interview. “With our community model, we think we could help people get into the lab with a low or no cost.”

Bio, Tech and Beyond is currently using crowdsourcing site Indie Gogo with aims to raise $50,000 by August 30.

— SDBJ Staff Report