Managing Director Harlee Sorkin in one of the Common Place Holding Labs.
There are lots of startup accelerators making work for themselves today in St. Louis by funding new businesses and helping them to expand. However, companies like Common Place Holdings do more than just accelerate businesses, but create new businesses as well. Common Place helps to develop advances in the health and medical community. “We find it important to identify problems and then provide funding to researchers who may want profits from their work, but do not have any interest in managing a business,” explains managing director Harleee Sorkin. Common Place Holdings identifies problems, funds researchers to help them create a solution to the problem, and then helps to form a business around the product.
Established in 2012, Common Place Holdings is still very new, and hasn’t had much time to cement a real product in their field. However, a lot of their research is yielding promising results and could potentially have a powerful impact on the health community. “Our first fund was $2 million from our Investor Arsenal Capital at the start of 2013,” says Sorkin. “That helped to kick off seven companies.”
Mr. Sorkin and Common Place Holdings operate out of the Cortex building in cooperation with BioGenerator Labs, who provide housing and investment towards small businesses and researchers in the area. The facility is near Washington University and is an area that ripe is for young researchers to come and do work in the medical field while having a corporation to help fund and sell their product.
Sorkin expressed that he felt gratified to be working in the medical field and helping to forward research. “We’re fortunate to be in this position,” says Sorkin. “We came together because we all had a skill-set around medical technology. That’s where our experience was. It’s good to know that when you are doing well, you are benefitting others.”