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December 16, 2008


Filed under: SEBIO News — admin @ 10:12 am

Atlanta, GA– More than 400 people attended the Tenth Anniversary Southeastern BIO Investor Forum on December 4-5th in Palm Beach, Florida. The Forum is the Southeast’s premier life sciences venture capital forum.

SEBIO’s Tenth Anniversary Investor Forum celebrated the growth of the life sciences industry in the Southeast. Investors, entrepreneurs, researchers, and companies interfacing with the industry met to honor the productivity of newly formed and established companies in the region as well as to formulate strategies to foster growth in the coming decade. This year’s Forum brought investment banks, seasoned venture capital funds, large and intermediate pharmaceutical companies together with newly emerging companies and research institutions to discuss the opportunities and prospects for growth over the course of the next few years.

Kathryne Carr, Managing Director of Tall Oaks Capital Partners, and newly elected Chair of SEBIO confirmed that, “SEBIO will harness the energy and momentum created by the Forum’s large attendance as we work with industry leaders to create opportunities and growth of life sciences throughout the Southeast.”

The Investor Forum offered something for everyone: an early-stage event which profiled the best new initial investment opportunities in the region; a presenting company event which showcased companies in the region that have already completed at least one round of institutional financing; and the BIO/Plan competition, which brought forward the most promising new technologies from the region’s research organizations.

The early-stage event allowed participants to introduce their companies to selected advisory teams, which then chose the four best to participate in the Early-Stage Shootout. During the Early-Stage Shootout, the companies had the opportunity to present to the entire conference audience including a panel of celebrity judges. The selected participants of the Early-Stage Shootout were: AxoTect, Inc. (Atlanta, GA), HemoSonics, LLC (Charlottesville, VA), Selah Technologies, LLC (Pendleton, SC) and Sharklet Technologies (Alachua, FL).
The winner of the Early-Stage Shootout, among the Forum’s most popular events, was Sharklet Technologies (Alachua, FL). The company is a spin-out of the University of Florida. Sharklet has engineered a new surface technology that controls the growth of dangerous microorganisms. The winner was determined by a panel of celebrity venture capitalist judges.
“The 2008 Investor Forum was successful in connecting emerging life science companies with potential investors in a manner that provided meaningful networking opportunities,” notes SEBIO 2008 Investor Forum Chair David Day, Director, Office of Technology Licensing, University of Florida. “We anticipate a significant increase in deal flow over the next year as a result of the Forum.”
The two day event explored research, market, and financing trends with nationally recognized leaders from the investment and bioscience industries. Participants included biotechnology executives, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, investment bankers and other industry professionals.
The conference’s opening keynote panel session, “Trends in Life Science Exits: Keys to Orchestrating a Successful Exit,” reflected the theme of the Forum. The panel featured key industry leaders with the expertise and experience required for a successful exit, including Peter Day, Leerink Swann LLC; Ryan Naftulin, Cooley Godward Kronish LLP; Nancy Wysenski, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Seth Rudnick, Caanan Partners; Mark Bussard, T. Rowe Price and James Powers, Independent Business Strategy Consultant as the Moderator.

Ad Rawcliffe, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Business Development and Finance at GlaxoSmithKline, a conference keynote speaker, closed the conference with a presentation on “Meeting Today’s Challenges: A Perspective from GSK.” Mr. Rawcliffe presented a synopsis of the current culture and drug development structure at GSK and shared his views on the difficulties that lie ahead in these challenging economic times and some thoughts on how to overcome them.

The 2009 Southeastern BIO Investor Forum will be held December 3-4, 2009, at the Charleston Place in Charleston, SC. Further details will be posted on the SEBIO website.

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