Each company will have the option to participate in a 30 minute, web/teleconference-based virtual presentation and consultation session 2-4 weeks before the SEBIO Investor & Partnering Forum. On site at the Investor & Partnering Forum, each company will meet with a specifically matched advisory panel during an interactive, hour-long session. Advisory panels are comprised of 6-8 individuals from active life sciences venture funds, experienced life sciences managers, serial entrepreneurs, and service providers. The company representatives will present their opportunity, including their “elevator pitch,” 10-12 minute PowerPoint presentation, and business plan. The advisory panel members will provide specifically relevant feedback designed to assist the company in maximizing efforts in the future. These sessions are closed to other conference attendees to enhance discourse between the advisory panel members and company representatives and create an intimate networking environment.
Each advisory panel will select one representative from its group that it believes to be the strongest and best prepared Early Stage company. The following day, each of these selected companies will present it opportunity in a traditional venture forum venue to the full conference audience. The selected companies will be judged by an elite group of senior venture capitalists and other life sciences professionals on the quality of the opportunity and effectiveness of the presentation. The overall “winner” will be announced in a special ceremony at the closing lunch and recognized publicly for its success at the conference.
All candidates must come from the life sciences sector. Broadly defined, this includes products or services relating to biotechnology (i.e., genomics, proteomics, drug discovery, etc.), pharmaceuticals, biomedical engineering, agricultural biotechnology, medical devices and technology, bioinformatics, functional and pharmacogenomics, as well as other related technologies. SEBIO will also accept applications from healthcare information technology companies that support the above activities.
All candidates must be privately held companies. The stage of development may range from early to late. For purposes of categorizing the candidates, those that have no previous institutional funding (seed or ‘A’ Round) will be designated as Early Stage companies.
The company must exhibit a business model suitable to provide an appropriate return for the venture capital investor.
The company must contemplate a suitable exit strategy for the venture investor, for example, through sale or merger of the company or by initial public offering (IPO).
The company should have credible management with obvious sector expertise that is consistent with its current stage of development. The management team need not be complete; however, critical managers for that particular enterprise at its current stage of development should be in place. It is expected that management teams for candidate companies that are designated as Early Stage will be less well developed.
Sustainable Competitive Advantage
The company should have a distinct advantage over competitors, including both direct competitors and substitute technologies. Additionally, the company must exhibit an appreciation of the value of proprietary technologies, as evidenced, for example, by a maturing intellectual property portfolio and appropriate licenses securing access to other critical technologies. It is recognized that Early Stage candidates may not have license agreements in place to secure exclusive use of their underlying technologies; however, these should be contemplated as part of the continuing development of the company.
Market Acceptance and Potential
The company must show the market potential for the company’s product or service, as well as the capturable market. In general, the market potential should exceed (1) $50 million for a diagnostic, (2) $100 million for a medical device, and (3) $250 million for a therapeutic compound.
Companies that previously participated at earlier SEBIO Investor Forums are also eligible for consideration. Preference will be shown to companies that have reached important milestones since their last presentation.