May 'On the Road' with Stephen Rapundalo
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Posted by: Katie Trevathan
It’s a shorter turnaround time since my last report as we get back to our regular publication schedule. But it’s been a busy and exciting few weeks.
A BioArbor event focused on “Corporate Investors as Key Players in the Life Science Funding Ecosystem” closed out April and featured Brian Gallagher, Ph.D. from SR One Ventures (the corporate venture arm of GlaxoSmithKline). He discussed many aspects of working with strategic partners and investors including the difference between strategic investments from those made by traditional venture capitalists, timing of bringing in a strategic investor, potential advantages and disadvantages of a large strategic partner or corporate investor, and factors large companies or their venture capital arms look for when considering investing in a start-up.
May kicked off with my attendance at the Grand Opening Ceremony of the Translational Imaging Center at MPI Research. Talk about a quick construction phase... its groundbreaking was only last September! Staff offered guided tours of the new facility and its capabilities. It really sets MPI apart from its competitors and should be a great commercial success. Kudos to MPI on their global-first achievement!
The annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business awards gala took place on May 6th. This year the event was held at MSU’s Breslin Center and a number of life science companies were recognized for their growth and success including Ann Arbor-based Ackervall Technologies, Holly-based Rankin Biomedical Corporation, and Wixom-based Amigo Mobility.
The most exciting news to report was the launch of MichBio’s brand new website. Totally redesigned with new features for members including community groups, enhanced profiling, product showcase additional industry resources, policy issues and resources, and an overall easier user experience, the site is the latest step in the organization’s efforts to be the ultimate bio-industry resource in Michigan. Additional features are planned, and the BioToolbox will continue to expand its links to relevant information that bioscience companies statewide can leverage. Visit the new site and let us know what you think and how we can improve it even more!
This week I headed off to Washington DC where MichBio and other state associations co-hosted Congressional briefings for the House and Senate on “Public-Private Partnerships: Advancing Treatments and Cures.” Featured speakers represented NIH, academic research (Mayo Clinic), industry (BD spoke on flow cytometry and its origins from research funded by NIH), and patient groups. The two events were well attended. Rep. Fred Upton graciously co-sponsored the House briefing and helped us secure the venue. I ditched out briefly from the House briefing to attend the Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing in regards to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) report on drug innovation. BIO’s (www.bio.org) Executive Vice President of Health, Sara Radcliffe, testified before the group along with other industry and patient advocacy representatives.
So that catches us up on the latest happenings. With the most grueling part of the website preparation behind us, staff and I will be turning our attention to other initiatives including publication of the next issue of BioMatters magazine, additional programming for the CEO Leaders Club, MichBio U, and BioConnections events, and of course, planning of the annual Expo & Conference slated for September 30-October 1, 2014.
As always, let us know how we’re doing or what we can do better to assist you and your organization.
Read more from the May 2014 issue of biolink.