The development of new material platforms can improve our ability to study biological processes. Here, we developed a water-compatible variant of a click-like polymerization between alkynoates and secondary amines to form β-aminoacrylate synthetic polyethylene glycol (PEG) based hydrogels. These materials are easy to access-PEG alkynoate was synthesized on a 100 gram scale and the amines were available commercially; these materials are also operationally simple to formulate-gel formation occurred upon simple mixing of precursor solutions without the need for initiators, catalysts, nor specialized equipment. Three-dimensional cell culture experiments also indicated cytocompatibility of these gels with >90 % viability retained in THP-1 and NIH/3T3 cells after 72 hours in culture. This hydrogel system therefore represents an alternative platform to other click and click-like hydrogels with improved accessibility and user-friendliness for biomaterials application.