Entrepreneur Insights

Our mixed-use development is built on the important role that entrepreneurs play in shaping the way we all do business today. At Riverwalk, we are home to a variety of med-tech companies, but one has been with us since the beginning, Nexcelom Bioscience. 

We recently sat down with Dr. Peter Li, President and CEO, to talk about how Riverwalk has shaped the business he created from the ground up from the beginning, to rank #101 on the  prestigious Inc.500 List in 2009. Pioneers in automated cell counting and analysis, Peter and the first members of his team were already working here when Sal Lupoli, Founder and CEO of Lupoli Companies, first purchased this property and presented Peter with his plans for the ultimate work, live, play environment. “We started at Riverwalk in 2003. When Sal started development here, he put up these huge images that made the space look like a Hollywood set, it was pictures of what Riverwalk was going to look like,” says Peter. “And it looked great.”

And now as they get ready to take over another 7,000SF of space at Riverwalk, Peter reflected back on how he originally started right here. “The big windows and high ceilings made the space very attractive, regardless of the company size,” he says. “Because we manufacture precision instruments and consumable for biomedical research, it is essential for communication to keep everyone close together, from the scientists to the engineers to the manufacturing technicians.  At Riverwalk, we have the ability to achieve that and continue to grow.” Since 2003, Nexcelom Bioscience has expanded sideways almost every two years. “It has been such a straightforward process,” says Peter. “Sal and the leasing team are very flexible, especially when we have been in a growth mode, they make the process for us to increase our footprint so easy.” 

The location is also key for their business, being so close to Boston gives them access to biomedical researchers and scientists at world-class institutes such as Harvard, MIT, and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and biopharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, Novatis, Sanofi and Biogen. In addition, being close to local manufacturing suppliers from the Merrimack Valley strengthenes their ability to practical lean manufacturing. “It allows us to hire locally from Lawrence and Lowell and surrounding towns, while also being in a centralized area for our employees,” says Peter. “We have people who travel from New Hampshire and those who reverse commute from Boston, so we really are in the best location.”

Always on the lookout for talent, Nexcelom Bioscience is going through yet another phase of rapid growth and they are looking for new people to be part of their team. “We provide the most advanced tools to analyze cells and help scientists to develop therapies and cures for cancer and other diseases.  Everyone who works at Nexcelom is a part of that,” Peter explains. “We offer the chance to do good, impactful work that people can be proud of.”