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Guide to Buying Lab Equipment in Denver, Colorado

When we think of Denver, Colorado, we don’t think of laboratories and equipment. Most people think of the outdoors. Denver, however, is still home to plenty of laboratories and research centers. While many are involved with environmental sciences, such as the Bureau of Reclamation, Denver also remains a growing healthcare hub. If you are considering a laboratory in Denver, then you are in the right place. Today, we will review what you need to know about the laboratory equipment industry and Denver’s networking opportunities.

Denver’s Lab Equipment Industry

Denver is a bustling city whose lab equipment industry is similar to many other healthcare hubs. They have noteworthy academia, big pharmaceutical companies, and a biotech industry that continues to grow. As this ecosystem grows, support is much needed. That is why you will also find a few accelerators and incubators to jumpstart a laboratory here (but more on that later). First, let’s take a stroll through the academic arena.

Denver University is a private college that supports the lab industry through its academic courses and research facilities. The culture around their facilities fosters the desire to make the world a better place and do everything they can to move technology forward. Health & Wellness and Technology & Science are the two most active facilities they have that both benefit from and contribute to the lab equipment industry.

Similarly, the Denver School of Science and Technology (DSST) is a charter public school system that focuses on STEM education. Working with middle school and high school students empowers the children to be ready for college and a successful STEM career. This leads to students supporting the local economy by staying in the area and doing the research and development that is needed. In the end, these students greatly contribute to the biotech and big pharma communities when they eventually enter higher education or start their careers.

Since 2000, a new trend has been developing near the Rocky Mountains: New biotech firms moved into the area, changing the economy to be more tech-friendly and focused. These firms have attracted millions of dollars from investors who like what they see, which has led to more specialized and professional jobs and an overall more robust city. One of those firms is Nexien Biopharma, a pharmaceutical development company focused on cannabinoids, a hot topic with the legalization of cannabis and marijuana in the state. We have seen the explosion of research and development regarding cannabinoids, and it is an exciting growth to watch. 

Meanwhile, Siva Therapeutics is another Denver company working to treat cancer patients while developing less invasive and costly treatments. Their innovative technology is believed to be a safer, less invasive form of treatment that patients will not dread as much as they might chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. This is nanotechnology at great work, attempting to save cancer patients in their Denver community.

While these labs and companies in Denver may seem like they’re off and running, we have no doubt that it has cost a great deal to get them all started. Startup costs of opening a laboratory can be overwhelming—incubators and accelerators are an effective way to get things up and running. While based in Silicon Valley, CA, The Founder Institute is a top-notch global program that seeks to educate new entrepreneurs about their new business. This is a great place to start or accelerate your lab into fruition. If you are looking to start research and development with digital health in the heart of Denver, you must seek Catalyst HTI. They are a fantastic incubator and accelerator that is devoted to growing the biotechnology industry. 

Laboratory Equipment Suppliers and Manufacturers in Denver

Now that you are familiar with Denver’s laboratory landscape, the next step is to learn who the suppliers are in the area. As always, it will be a big help for you to review the Laboratory Safety Guidance from OSHA when beginning to select your equipment and to design your lab. And when you’re ready to begin shopping, here are two companies we recommend you talk to.

NRSmart 

Since 1985, NRSmart has been a purveyor of used lab equipment that serves the Denver, Boulder, and Front Range areas. They are owned by the company National Remarketing Services, Inc. and specialize in used furniture, equipment, computers, and just about anything you can think of. You will find fume hoods, common glassware, and lab workbenches, cabinets, and casework. Not only can you outfit your lab with any piece of equipment, but you can also outfit your offices as well. They also offer various services that include: moving your business, installations, assessments, calibrations, and asset inventory.

Midland Scientific, Inc.  

Midland Scientific, Inc. is no stranger to the laboratory equipment industry. Founded in 1975, the company has focused on being a laboratory supplier with the feel of working with hometown friends. They have warehouses around the country, with one right here in Denver. Here you will find: chemicals, chromatography, sterilizers, autoclaves, microplates, hotplates, spectrometers, ultra-low temperature freezers, pipettes, titrators, washers, and so much more.

Important Considerations When Purchasing Lab Equipment

Of course, buying laboratory equipment comes with a necessity to be careful, especially if you are buying used machinery. Here are a few things to consider.

Cost

The cost of your equipment and machinery will have a big impact on your finances and the success of your laboratory. You want to save money and get the best possible deal, but also, you want to invest in your success. Carefully weigh all your options and make sure you are not paying an overinflated price for a centrifuge or simple glassware. 

Warranty or Return/Repair Policies

Always read the fine print. Some machinery and equipment can be very expensive, and you want to make sure there’s a good warranty in place. Review the contract carefully and establish that it’s fair and something you can work with. If you lease your equipment, check their policies on returns and repairs. If you are responsible for some repairs, you want to work that into your budget. Sometimes when you purchase machinery, it comes with a one year warranty, so if you need repairs during that first year, it’s free of charge. Make sure to take advantage of that offer as it can be a real money-saver. 

Condition and Quality 

Consider the quality of the equipment you are buying. Not all brands are the same, and sometimes, a brand name can lack the quality you and your lab deserve. Check with your local networking group about reputable products that you need. If you buy used laboratory equipment, pay attention to the condition. Has it been taken care of for the length of ownership? Are any unpleasantries merely cosmetic or mechanical? Always ask to see the reports on maintenance and repairs of any used equipment. Manufacturers will most likely provide these to you if asked.

Usage

What are your intended uses for the particular machine? Often if you use the equipment for unintended purposes, you violate a warranty. You want to buy the right tools for the job. You don’t want to buy a cool-storage unit when you’ve actually been meaning to use an ultra-low temperature freezer. You want to make sure you understand the different needs and tools for measuring mass or measuring volume. Simultaneously, there are biological uses for some machinery that would not be appropriated in another lab environment.

Get Equipment for Your Lab in Denver

Hopefully, we have ignited some excitement about the laboratory industry within you. You understand who is in the area, who can be a valuable resource for assistance, and where to find machinery. Such as:

Contact us at Excedr when you’re ready to secure the equipment you need for your lab. Whether you need high-quality homogenizers, pH meters, calorimeters, or freeze dryers, Excedr can help you procure exactly what you need. Our financial experts are waiting to talk to you about your financial options. Call today and find out how easy we can make it for you!