A Recap of the 20th Anniversary Forum
An impressive group of investors and companies attended the 20th Anniversary Southeastern BIO Investor & Partnering Forum (SEBIO) on November 13-14th at the Loews Hotel in Atlanta. The Forum is the Southeast’s only regional life sciences venture capital conference.
“The success of this year’s Forum is a testament to SEBIO’s significant role in connecting investment capital from up and down the eastern U.S. with the most promising biomedical companies for our seven-state region,” said Todd Sherer, Chair of SEBIO and Emory University Interim Vice President of Research. “The conference was as exciting as it has ever been. As a networking event, the quality and high level of attendees produced a tremendous intensity of networking.”
The 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; a keynote health care technology speaker whose latest company is transforming our control of our own health; and four panels brimming over with leading investors, entrepreneurs and luminaries.
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 including a panel of celebrity judges. The selected participants of the Early-Stage Shootout were: Tellus Therapeutics (NC),
EternaTear (NC), Innovative Med Concepts (AL), and Advanced Chemotherapy Technologies (NC).
Wednesday’s keynote address was presented by Jeff Arnold, Chairman and CEO of Sharecare, a digital health company he founded with Dr. Mehmet Oz to help people access and manage all of their health resources in one place.
The day was kicked off by a panel entitled “Early Stage Investing: And We Do Mean Early” where industry veterans spoke on fundraising, the novel aspects of their programs and how this industry segment is evolving. Dennis Liotta, PhD of Emory Institute for Drug Development, Alan Bentley with the Vanderbilt Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization, Bob Creeden of UVA LVG Seed Fund & New Ventures and Bob Crutchfield of BrightEdge Ventures spoke on funding sources for the early stage life sciences world and so much more.
According to participants the highlight of the conference could have been the Corporate VC panel. Gladys Nunez of Amgen Ventures, Steve Hall of Lilly Ventures, Charles Kunsch with AbbVie Ventures, and Linda Lohr of Pfizer detailed their own funds and how they operate. But even more to the point, described the ins and outs, ups and downs of working with the venture arms of large corporations.
The Future of the Medical Device Industry panel featured a representative from one of the most active medical device venture funds in America. Panelists featured are Justin Klein, MD, JD of NEA, Timothy Patrick of Cartiva, Jed Cohen with Leerink, and Peter Shagory of CONMED Corporation. This afternoon panel was led by Scott Weiner of Pappas Capital.
Max Wallace of Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure moderated a stimulating conversation on Neuroscience including advances and the future. Joining in the conversation were Teo Dagi, MD, an internationally recognized neurosurgeon, scholar, educator, venture investor and entrepreneur, Shawn Hingtgen, Founder, Falcon Therapeutics and Owen Samuels, M.D., Medical Director, Emory University Division of Neurointensive Care.