Real estate investment trust Alexandria Real Estate Equities and Columbia University have partnered to open a LaunchLabs space for life sciences startups.

Alexandria LaunchLabs at Columbia--to be located at the university's Washington Heights campus, adjacent to Columbia University Irving Medical Center--is scheduled to open next spring. It will offer member companies 14,000 square feet of office, laboratory, conference and event space as well as mentorship and access to strategic investment capital through the Alexandria seed capital platform.

Alexandria will lease the space from Columbia, said Jenna Foger, senior vice president of science and technology at the trust. And companies will pay competitive rent.

"It's really a critical component of the [life sciences] ecosystem and to ensure future growth as well," Foger said of LaunchLabs. Much of the demand is for early-stage companies spun out of the area's academic medical centers, she said.

Read the full story in Crain's New York Business