Recursion, a Salt Lake City clinical-stage biotech company, and the University of Utah’s Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization (TVC) have launched Altitude Lab, an early-stage life science and healthcare company incubator and accelerator program. The organization has announced the first three resident companies for the program.

Altitude Lab “fills the critical role of finding, supporting, incubating and accelerating early-stage life science and healthcare companies in Utah,” the organization said in a statement. “Altitude Lab is the first of its kind — a blended incubator/accelerator program focused on developing diverse and inclusive businesses in the healthcare sector.”

“We’re focused on where innovation and economic growth truly start — founders,” said Chandana Haque, executive director of Altitude Lab. “We see an opportunity in Salt Lake City to propel global healthcare innovation by meeting the needs of a diverse community of entrepreneurs.”

The incubator’s first companies include Known Med, founded by Andrea Mazzocchi and Katie-Rose Skelly to develop an organoid-based platform to personalize cancer treatment strategies; 3Helix, a developer of a collagen-based diagnostic platform for liver fibrosis, founded by Michael Yu; and NexEos Bio, founded by Theresa Mansi and Gerald Gleich with collaborators from the University of Utah, to develop diagnostic tools and therapies to address eosinophil-related diseases.

As residents of the incubator, founders will have access to a 14,500-square-foot facility equipped with nearly $1 million of the latest molecular and cell biology tools located in the UofU Research Park, laboratory space and office and networking facilities. Altitude will also offer workshops, mentoring and non-dilutive funding designed to address the opportunity gap experienced by underrepresented founders. Half of resident companies will have an underrepresented founder or executive and one-third will receive grants that cover the cost of residency.

“Altitude Lab is bringing together resources and a community that many startups lack, but were pivotal to Recursion’s success,” said Chris Gibson, co-founder and CEO of Recursion. “Together with the university and other partners, we can help reduce the friction of finding key assets, like lab space and capital, for a new generation of diverse companies and founders. It’s an approach that we see transforming the industry in this region.”

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