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Genomics Territory II Tempted By Grants and Candles, Incogen Migrates North

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When he moved his company to Virginia, Maciek Sasinowski was thrilled that he cut his commute in half. Of course, the old commute was only 10 minutes, but he’s still excited.

CEO of bioinformatics firm Incogen, Sasinowski and his team left their old digs in Clemson, SC, for Williamsburg, Va., late last year. It wasn’t exactly an easy decision. “We’ve been looking to move for about a year,” Sasinowski says. Incogen checked out places from San Diego to Boston, Research Triangle Park to Colorado, before settling in what most think of as colonial Williamsburg. Lured by state research grants, Sasinowski also had his own motive: from his grad years at the College of William and Mary, he knew that he liked the area.

The dozen or so people who moved with Incogen will soon be immersed in a $7 million, three-year project with William and Mary and the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute to develop a bioinformatics program. Sasinowski expects to hire five to seven people to fill the holes from the handful of people still working for Incogen in South Carolina and the couple of people who couldn’t stay with the company, which would bring the team back up to about 20. By the end of the year he expects to employ as many as 35 people.

The Virginia project will complement the $2 million NIST grant Incogen received last summer, Sasinowski says, giving the company a firm financial footing from the get-go. “It’s kind of nice that we don’t have to worry about where the next paycheck’s coming from,” he says.

Incogen is temporarily based in the Busch Corporate Center and will move to its ultimate destination, the brand-new 800-acre, mixed-use community called New Town, which will be home to retail shops, restaurants, offices, and apartments. It’s part of Williamsburg’s play to attract high-tech companies to the locale, which is a few hours’ drive from Washington, DC, and North Carolina’s RTP — and, as Sasinowski points out, just next door to the Busch Gardens theme park.

“There will be a lot of companies that will want to move here in the next few years,” he predicts. And not just to see the colonial re-enactors making candles.

— Meredith Salisbury

 

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