WSU at WBBA's Life Science Innovation Northwest

by alexisholzer22. July 2013 10:33

Washington State University was in full effect at the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association’s annual Life Science Innovation Northwest conference, July 10 and 11. Up from just three WSU attendees last year, the WSU team this year brought spin out companies, research posters, two exhibit booths, and even had a faculty researcher in the College of Veterinary Medicine honored as a Woman to Watch in Life Sciences. Representing WSU at the conference were the Office of the Provost, Office of Research, Government Relations, Office of Commercialization, College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Professional Science Masters, College of Veterinary Medicine, and WSU Extension. You can find all the materials and presentations on our website here.

 (L to R: Pam Kelley, Office of Research; Tatum Weed, College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences; Adria Alhadeff, Corporate and Foundation Relations; Alexis Holzer, Economic Development; Travis Woodland and Heather Burke, Office of Commercialization)

(L to R: Pam Kelley, Office of Research; Tatum Weed, College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences; Adria Alhadeff, Corporate and Foundation Relations; Alexis Holzer, Economic Development; Travis Woodland and Heather Burke, Office of Commercialization) 

We met with incubators and accelerators, venture capitalists, angel investors, and businesses bringing the consistent message: WSU is an active player in life science, we are open for business, and we want to partner with you. I cannot tell you the joy it gives me to see WSU’s Office of Commercialization staff networking for investment and partnership, or how exciting it is to have five Colleges collaborating on a conference presence to increase corporate and industry connections. The excitement was sustained with every person who came by the booth and said "Go Cougs!".This just did not happen even one year ago. Because of our office’s efforts to coordinate this collaboration, together, we made over 50 new connections to investors and potential partners for collaborative research, including a team from Madigan Army Medical Center (MAMC) who connected with WSU spin out M3 Biotechnology to discuss how M3 can tap into the vast patient pool at MAMC for clinical testing. 

Another highlight of the conference was the podium presentation from WSU Spokane Chancellor Lisa Brown on the growth of medical education and health sciences at WSU Spokane. With our exhibit booth right next to Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI), the conversation came up again and again that Spokane may be the next South Lake Union, poised for growth and innovation. So much so that a particular developer who declined to visit Spokane at the invitation of GSI earlier this year, has now reconsidered after hearing Chancellor Brown's presentation. That is a seriously effective message from a university, and a premier example of the vital role universities play in economic development. Although just one player in the network of necessary partners, universities are unique in that we are the providers of innovation and workforce needed by industry, and industry is starting to see WSU in a new light, especially in health sciences. 

It's not too soon to start planning for next year: mark your calendar for Life Science Innovation Northwest 2014: July 19 and 20 in Seattle!

 

Clockwise from top: Travis Woodland and Preeti Malik-Kale show posters on a wearable technology to detect dyskinesia and a training proceedure for veterinarians to learn and perfect laproscopic surgery, respectfully; both Governor Inslee and Mayor Mike McGinn proclaim July 10th Life Science Innovation Northwest Day; WSU Spokane Chancellor Lisa Brown gave a presentation on the growth of Spokane in the health and medical sciences.

Women to Watch award winners! Director of the Office of Commercialization, Sita Pappu (third from right) accepted the award on behalf of Dr. Katrina Mealey and her work in veterinary pharmacogenetics.

Tags:

Business Development | Corporate Relations | Health Sciences | Partnerships

WBBA non-dilutive funding event

by alexisholzer6. March 2013 09:26

The Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association (WBBA) hosted a workshop titled “Non-Dilutive Funding: Finding It, Getting It, and Using It Strategically to Move Your Company Forward”. Given the standing-room-only audience of more than 100 people, clearly this is a topic of high interest.

The morning began (at the reasonable hour of 8am) with some opening remarks from WBBA President Chris Rivera welcomed everyone and set the stage for the morning. This was followed by a 20-minute presentation from Stephanie Fertig, Project Manager of the Small Business Program with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a program within the NIH. Stephanie gave a great overview of the SBIR and STTR programs within NINDS, and a quick “Top 10” most asked questions.

The first panel discussion, moderated by Patricia Beckman, founder of BioStrategy, LLC, focused on early-stage resources for non-dilutive funding. Panelists were Allison Formal, VP for Research and Business Development at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, John DesRosier, Executive Director of the Life Sciences Discovery Fund, Stephanie Fertig, Susan Ashe, Executive Director of Health Sciences & Services Authority, and Rick Shindell, President of Zyn Systems. Economic impact and tie ins with regional economic development were themes from LSDF and HSSA, while LLS and NIH were less concerned with economic development in their programs. While each presenter offered their views on funding and resources, a common theme which emerged was communicate, communicate, and communicate, particularly with your program and/or grant officer. Amazing this is still one of the most common lapses today.

After Stephanie Fertig spoke a second time about additional, later-stage resource available for entrepreneurs, a second panel presented on additional options for companies that are likely out of discover phase and quickly entering the Valley of Death. Bart Phillips, VP at Innovate Washington, Gary Spanner, Director of the Economic Development Office at PNNL, Christiana Dellorusso, VP of Commercialization at WBBA, and Jeanette Ennis, Gap Funding Manager at UW’s C4C, spoke about their experiences and resources for supporting entrepreneurs. This panel was hosted by WSU’s VP for Economic Development Anson Fatland. Go Cougs!

The wrap up session brought together three CEO’s from local biotech companies which all used, to varying degrees, non-dilutive funding and commercialization resources. Michael Hilte from Impel Neuroscience, Matthew Scholz from Immusoft, and Erik Nilsson had at least one common thread between them: a startup is hard work but worth every minute spent!

Presentation slides are available on the WBBA’s website.

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Funding | Health Sciences