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New lab planned in the Seaport for fledgling biotech companies

Pillar, an early-stage venture capital firm in Boston, is starting a new laboratory in the seaport district for fledgling biotechs.

Called, appropriately enough, Petri, the accelerator will provide at least $250,000 to each worthy startup created by doctorate and post-doctorate researchers. As many as 10 research teams will receive investments from Petri, which is scheduled to open in February.

The teams will occupy a 5,000-square-foot laboratory at 27 Drydock Ave. They will be mentored by 11 prominent figures in biotech, who are considered Petri cofounders. Those figures include such leading research scientists as George Church and Pamela Silver, both of Harvard Medical School, and executives from biotechs such as Ginkgo Bioworks, which is in the same building where Petri will be.


“We were compelled to build this by the community,” said Tony Kulesa, another Petri co-founder who has taught biological engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “People need a home to build companies.”

Jamie Goldstein, the founding partner of Pillar, will serve as Petri’s chairman. Pillar is providing the initial capital. Kulesa said Petri’s founders aren’t disclosing the total amount earmarked for the accelerator. Petri is starting to take applications from research teams.

Jonathan Saltzman can be reached at jsaltzman@globe.com