startup-valley-of-death

The “valley of death” is a common term in the startup world, referring to the difficulty of covering the negative cash flow in the early stages of a startup, before their new product or service is bringing in revenue from real customers. I often get asked about the real alternatives to bridge this valley, and there are some good ones I will outline here.

According to a Gompers and Lerner study, the challenge is very real, with 90% of new ventures that don't attract investors failing within the first three years. The problem is that professional investors (Angels and Venture Capital) want a proven business model before they invest, ready to scale, rather than the more risky research and development efforts.

baltimore-md

Life sciences research is a strong economic driver, even if it leads to few patents

As the economy continues to flounder, many cities are looking for ways to replicate Silicon Valley's financial success. When seeking to catch the magic of those biggest successes — Apple, Google and Facebook — the word "innovation" gets thrown around frequently. And as intellectual property is taking on a larger and larger role in how companies do business in the Bay Area, many have equated innovation with patents.

A recent Sun article about innovation in Baltimore and Maryland focused on just that. It lamented that the Baltimore metro area came in 116th out of 360 metro areas for the number of patent applications per capita, and that the number of patents granted to Baltimoreans remained flat over the past decade. The article seemed to suggest that this lack of intellectual property growth was at least partially responsible for Baltimore's lack of job growth.

mont-county-offices

Montgomery officials are under no illusions about the county’s image among the Washington region’s young: boring.

“We’re a little sleepy,” said County Council member Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda). “We go to bed early.”

For all its prosperity and family-friendly suburban appeal, Montgomery is in the throes of a midlife crisis. That angst has led to a new item at the top of the public policy agenda: a yearning to be hip.

Johns Hopkins University

On Friday, the Department of Defense announced that it has awarded The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory a five-year, sole source, cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity task order contract to conduct research, development, engineering, and test and evaluation work for programs "throughout the Department of Defense."

The contract envisions Hopkins scientists performing up to 11,964,743 staff-hours' worth of research and development work through September 2017. Work would be performed in "core competency" areas such as "strategic systems test and evaluation; submarine security and survivability; space science and engineering; combat systems and guided missiles; theater air defense and power projection; and information technology (C4ISR/IO), simulation, modeling, and operations analysis."

rice-business-plan-comp

The Rice University Business Plan Competition is the world’s richest and largest graduate-level business plan competition. It is hosted and organized by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, Rice University's nationally recognized entrepreneurship initiative, and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, the #4 Best U.S. Graduate Entrepreneurship program per the Princeton Review.

In its 13th year, 42 teams from around the world will compete on campus April 11-13, 2013 for more than an expected $1 million + in cash and prizes in front of over 250 judges, primarily venture capitalists and other investors.   More than 1200 teams applied to compete in 2012 and the competition was supported by more than 130 sponsors.   More than 133 past competitors have successfully launched their business after competing at Rice, are still in business today, and have raised more than $480 million in funding. 

sbir-ga

The Department of Health and Human Services SBIR/STTR grant solicitation aimed at supporting small business innovation research is now available.

Through the PHS 2013-02 SBIR/STTR Omnibus Solicitation, U.S. small businesses are encouraged to submit investigator-initiated SBIR/STTR grant applications in response to a variety of identified topics related to the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the Administration for Children and Families.

The SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011 and the recently released SBIR and STTR policy directives have brought about numerous – and often times, complicated – changes. In an effort to keep the small business research community aware of the impending modifications, the NIH has set up a new website providing a detailed overview of its implementation plan. In addition, HHS intends to revise or re-issue the Omnibus solicitation later this year. To stay informed, download a copy of the current solicitation and request to be updated as changes are made.

mikulski-barbara-video

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) dropped by Rockville on Monday for lunch with the Montgomery County Council, where much of the hour-long meeting focused on the looming federal government sequester.

Mikulski said she realized the effect across-the-board spending cuts and furloughs of federal workers could have on the county, home to 17 agencies, 32,000 employees and the many contracting firms that work with those agencies. There has been little recent movement on avoiding the sequester on Capitol Hill.

innovate-health-tech-nyc

Innovate Health Tech NYC invites software and hardware developers and other innovators living or working in New York City to create new commercially viable technologies that solve urgent health care problems. Individuals, teams, and companies with 10 or fewer employes can compete, and will be required to demonstrate a functioning prototype of a pre-commercial technology in their submission. Technologies may include, but are not limited to, healthcare analytics tools, clinical workflow management tools, mobile health applications, and wireless health monitoring devices. Contestants are encouraged, but not required, to address healthcare priority areas identified by New York City.

pilot-health-tech-nyc

PILOT Health Tech NYC is an exciting new program which provides funding of up to $100,000 each to 10 innovative pilot projects to take place in New York City. The program seeks to match early-stage healthcare technology companies ('innovators') with key NYC healthcare service organizations or individuals ('hosts'), including hospitals, physician clinics, payors, pharma companies, and nursing associations. Each pilot project will be focused on addressing defined needs of the healthcare industry and testing a technology prototype in a healthcare setting for a period of approximately 3-6 months.

united-therapeutics

United Therapeutics Corporation announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has acknowledged the resubmission of the new drug application (NDA) for treprostinil diolamine extended release tablets (oral treprostinil) for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. The FDA classified the resubmission as a complete, class 1 response to FDA's October 23, 2012 complete response letter and the FDA set a user fee goal date of March 31, 2013.

Qiagen lilly

Diagnostic products maker Qiagen NV said Wednesday that it will work with Eli Lilly and Co. to develop new tests that could identify patients who could be helped by Lilly's drugs.

The companies did not disclose terms of the new collaboration, but described it as a "broad" partnership that will cover "all therapeutic areas."

crowdfunding

A piece in Forbes this week calls attention to a recent trend in technology commercialization at universities: the use of crowdfunding.

The article focused on a collaboration between the University of Utah’s Technology Commercialization Office and the crowdfunding site RocketHub, which resulted in the University Tech Vault, a portal specifically for projects that come out of the university.

medcity-acquisition

As Valentine’s Day approaches the occasion begs the question: what does it take for two companies in the biopharmaceutical industry to merge? Of all the things that could come between them, how do a biotech startup and suitable partner find each other in this crazy, mixed up world?

Like any good marriage, the reasons that bring a couple together span of a good merger is more than meets the eye. The companies involved share similar goals and work hard to ensure the union endures. But there are all sorts of things That was the gist of an insightful panel discussion at the BIO CEO conference in New York. Among the panelists were: Michael Margolis, a managing director with ROTH Capital Partners, Effie Toshav, partner with Fenwick & West H.Thomas Watkins, former president and CEO of Human Genome Sciences until it was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline, Michael Gilman, a senior vice president at Biogen Idec and Corrine Epperly, the director of strategy, alliances and transactions at Bristol Myers-Squibb (NYSE: BMS)

rowe-tim-cic

The Cambridge Innovation Center, a longtime fixture of the Boston-area startup scene, is expanding its entrepreneur-friendly office space business to new cities—just as it continues to build a larger footprint in its hometown.

The CIC, which rents office space and related services to more than 500 companies in seven floors of a building near MIT, has been advertising for a general manager at a new Baltimore location. And CEO Tim Rowe says that’s not the only place the CIC is eyeing for a possible expansion.