Posts Tagged ‘bioangel’

Podcast Review: Quiet Innovation Podcast on Obtaining $ for Your Startup

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D.


I wanted to highlight an interesting interview (What it Really Takes to Get Money for Your Startup) with David S. Rose, serial entrepreneur and Founder and CEO of Gust.com, which is a global collaboration platform for early stage angel investing, connecting hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs and investors in over 75 countries. The interview with David and CFA John P. Gavin was broadcast on the podcast Quiet Innovation (from PodCast Addict @Podcast_Addict) from. I had tweeted it out on my Twitter account below (see the http link)


… but will include some notes from the podcast here. In addition you can link to the podcast directly using the links below:

QI-013 David Rose Interview_01.mp3

Or download the mp3


This post is a followup from yesterday’s post Protecting Your Biotech IP and Market Strategy: Notes from Life Sciences Collaborative 2015 Meeting.

Some highlights from the podcast


David Rose discusses how there are hundreds of thousands of new ideas, some which are great some which are not… having an idea may be an initial step but for an investor to even consider your idea it is more important to have


This is what David feels is critical to investors, such as himself, to decide whether your idea is investable. A startup needs to show they can accomplish their goal and show at least a rudimentary example of this, whether it is putting up a website or writing up a design blueprint for a new widget. He says starting a business today (either tech or manufacturing) requires a lot less capital than years ago (unless you are starting a biotech). He gives an example of internet startups he had founded in the 90’s versus today… in the 90’s you needed $2 million… today you can do it for $2,000. But the ability to show that you can EXECUTE this plan is CRITICAL.

David sites three aspects which are important to investors:

  1. Integrity – Be humble about yourself. He says there are way too many people who claim ‘our idea is the best’ or ‘we do it better than anyone’ or ‘we are the first to have this idea’. As he says Jeff Bezos of Amazon was not the first to have the idea of selling books over the internet, he just EXECUTED the plan extremely well.
  2. Passion- Investors need to see that you are ‘all in’ and committed. A specific example is angels asking how much money have you put into your idea (skin in the game)
  3. Experience- David says there are TWO important types of experience in developing startups and both valid. The first is how many startups have you done and succeeded and the second is how many startups have failed. He says investors actually like if you have failed because they are learning experiences, just as valuable if not more than having startups always succeed. Investors need to know how you can deal with adversity. All three points goes back to execution.

David Rose gave some reading suggestions as well including

Lucky or Smart? Secrets to an Entrepreneurial Life by Bo Peabody – He highlights this book to help people understand that a startup entrepreneur should always hire someone smarter than themselves.

Derek Sivers post Ideas Are Just a Multiplier of Execution  – where a great idea is worth $20 but a great idea plus execution is worth $20 million.

Eris Reese’s post The Lean Startup in his blog StartUpLessonsLearned – being frugal (gets back to what he said about not needed as much capital as you would think i.e. Don’t Burn Through the Cash) and also get metrics on your startup or idea (as long as you have the IP). He suggests taking out an ad to see what the interest is out there. You can measure the clicks from the ad and use that as a marketing tool to potential investors i.e. Getting Feedback

Some other posts on this site about Investing and Startups include:

Protecting Your Biotech IP and Market Strategy: Notes from Life Sciences Collaborative 2015 Meeting

THE BLOOMBERG INNOVATION INDEX: Country Rankings by Six Measures of the Capacity to Innovate as a Nation

Updated: Investing and Inventing: Is the Tango of Mars and Venus Still on

Sand Hill Angels

The Bioscience Crowdfunding Environment: The Bigger Better VC?

Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute in NYC: Postdocs keep exclusive license to their IP and take a fixed dollar amount of Equity if the researchers create a Spinoff company

Tycho Brahe, where art thou? Today’s Renaissance of the Self-Funded Scientist!



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The following is a summary of the panel discussions for the  1st Pitch Life Science- Philadelphia: “Eavesdropping on Investors’ Closed Door Discussions” held on September 16, 2014 in Philadelphia.  For synopsis of the meeting see

1st Pitch Life Science- Philadelphia- What VCs Really Think of your Pitch

The meeting, as described by meeting organizer and Steering Committee member of Mid Atlantic Bio Angels Lorraine Marchand, as a “benevolent sharktank”, where presenters get open and honest feedback from experienced venture capitalists on how to improve their pitch and business.  The meeting here in Philadelphia was well attended with” over 70 attendants compareable to the 130 we get in New york”, according to MABA Founder Yaniv Sneor.


A few key points were discussed to improve the presenters future pitches to VC.

  1. Define your technology/product, its purpose, how it fills an unmet need, and how you are unique.
  2. Timelines and Milestones VERY IMPORTANT to have specific dates on when and what you will accomplish.
  3. If your EXIT Strategy involves OUT-LICENSING, it is important to keep this in mind when framing your patent
  4. VC’s want to see a STRONG MANAGEMENT TEAM, preferably a CEO from big pharma if you need to deal with them later
  5. if PITCH sounds too much like a science project VC’s would NOT be interested.  Show also the BUSINESS not just science
  6. know the REGULATORY RISK – talk with the FDA
  7. if market is small, son’t fret, show PROOF OF CONCEPT then show how relates to other markets
  8. show your TANGIBLE ASSETS in your pitch – if you use a new equipment show it,

Other posts related to this meeting are included below

1st Pitch Life Science- Philadelphia- What VCs Really Think of your Pitch

Hastke Inc. Presents at 1st Pitch Life Sciences-Philadelphia

LytPhage Presents at 1st Pitch Life Sciences-Philadelphia

RAbD Biotech Presents at 1st Pitch Life Sciences-Philadelphia


@pharma_BI      https://twitter.com/Pharma_BI

@BioAngelsGroup     https://twitter.com/BioAngelsGroup



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RAbD Biotech Presents at 1st Pitch Life Sciences-Philadelphia-September 16, 2014

RAbD is a new biotechnology company founded by Fox  Chase Cancer Center investigators Gregory Adams, Ph.D., Matthew Robinson, Ph.D. and Roland Dunbrack, Ph.D. that is focused on the knowledge-based design of antibodies that bind to key functional, often highly conserved and difficult to target epitopes. We are using homology modeling, crystal structures, protein docking and design software and algorithms to drive combinatorial sampling of CDRs to computationally design new antibodies and then express, validate and perform further design in an iterative manner.Brian Smith, Ph.D., MBA is RAbD Biotech’s Business Development Lead.

Contact information for RAbD Biotech:

Website  http://rabdbiotech.com/


Twitter @RAbDBiotech

The overall goal of RAbD is to

“drug the undruggable”

The company using in silico design methods to design to produce novel antibodies and biomimetics. The company is developing a first in class biomimetic, RaD-003, for the treatment of ovarian cancer.  Ovarian  cancer is one of the most deadly of all women’s cancers, with very low 5 year survival rates.  An expected 22,000 US women a year will be diagnosed and expected 16,000 will die every year.  Cisplatin/paclitaxel therapy is only approved and effective chemotherapy for ovarian cancer yet resistance develops quickly and is common. RaD-003  targets the MISII receptor (Mullerian Inhibiting Substance Type II Receptor), which is expressed on ovarian cancer cells but not on normal ovarian epithelium.

It has been shown that activation of this receptor by the Mullerian Inhibiting Substance (MIS) has antitumor activity in ovarian cancer.

The MISII receptor had been considered undruggable as

  • MIS is too expensive and difficult to produce
  • previous attempts to develop therapeutic antibodies ot MISIIR have proven difficult

Therefore, the company used their computational platform to produce a “first in class” chimeric biomimetic to more effectively target and activate MISIIR.

For  more information about this meeting and the Mid-Atlantic Bioangels and 1st Pitch please see posting on this site

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LytPhage Presents at 1st Pitch Life Sciences-Philadelphia-September 16, 2014

LytPhage presented at Mid-Atlantic BioAngels 1st Pitch Life Sciences in  Philadelphia Tuesday Sept. 16, 2014.

LytPhage is a new biotech company using novel bioengineering to develop therapeutics to address the worldwide crisis of antibiotic resistant organisms.  They are developing a treatment for vancomycin resistant systemic infections with their platform, which can be adapted for other problematic organisms.  LytPhage is a spin-out form Temple University.

The overall goal is to use genetically modified bacteriophage (bacterial viruses) as an antimicrobial therapy against drug-resistant strains.  Their genetically modifed viruses are only lytic, meaning they result in cell death of the host but do not integrate in the host DNA.  In additon preliminary studies using mainly clinical isolates have shown good efficacy against most drug-resistant strains found in common hospital infections like Clostridium difficile colitis.  The presenters noted that bacteriophage therapy had successfully been used in Europe but no approved therapy in US

For more information about this meeting please see posting on this site

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Hastke Inc. Presents at 1st Pitch Life Sciences-Philadelphia-September 16, 2014

Reporter: Stephen J Williams, PhD



Hastke Inc. presented at Mid-Atlantic BioAngels 1st Pitch Life Sciences in  Philadelphia Tuesday Sept. 16, 2014.

Hastke, Inc., a Princeton University spin-out, captures dynamic cellular events IN REAL TIME in live cells at an unprecendented level of detail in 3D using proprietary 3D microscopy in conjunction with nanotechnology-based tags and sensors. The resolution up to 10 nm in all directions and 10 us precision, orders of magnitude superior than other methods, can be achieved.  The company is using this technology to determine extent of uptake of drugs on a cellular level and to visualize drug-receptor interaction.  Their goal is to use their ability to visualize comound-cell interaction and uptake to enhance the drug screening process.

Their company is currently comprised of three team members:

Stephanie Budijono is the President and CEO of Hastke Inc. Prior to Hastke, she developed a nanoparticle platform for targeted cancer therapy and imaging. She received her PhD from Princeton University.

Haw Yang is the leading inventor of the technology. He is a Professor at Princeton University, leading a research lab developing new methods to understand molecular reactivity in complex systems.

Kevin Welsher is a co-invetor of the technology. He is a prolific scientist whose works have been consistently featured in world-leading journals. His previous experience also includes developing new materials for in-vivo fluorescent imaging. He received his PhD from Stanford University.

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1st Pitch Life Science- Philadelphia: “Eavesdropping on Investors’ Closed Door Discussions”

Mid Atlantic Bio Angels group (MABA), an angel investor group focused exclusively on new and emerging life science companies hosted a meeting Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:30pm – 8:30pm Other Time Presented by:


“Eavesdropping on investors‘ closed door discussions” gives entrepreneurs the inside track on what happens after a start-up company presents to investors.  Typically, after a start up company’s team leaves the room investors have a private discussion about whether the opportunity merits further investigation and possible investment.  1st Pitch Life Science-Philadelphia offers local company presenters and audience participants the chance to listen in on these closed door discussions to learn what really matters to investors.  This event offers excellent networking opportunities for investors, university technology transfer professionals, entrepreneurs, and business professionals in the Philadelphia entrepreneurial ecosystem.   It provides a supportive learning environment for entrepreneurs.


For more information about Mid-Atlantic BioAngels and to make a submission for evaluation of your startup please visit their

website: http://bioangels.net/.

MABA: LinkedIn:
MABA: Twitter


Mid-Atlantic Bioangels was formed in 2013 to provide an unmet need in the Mid-Atlantic region for early-stage life-science entrepreneurship,  providing early life science entrepreneurs a venue to  present their companies, obtain funding and provide mentoring, feedback, networking, and information for corporate development.  A great article by  can be found here



More information on the !st Pitch Life Sciences meetings can be found at www.1stpitchlifescienc.com.  Further information can be obtained at nfo@1stpitchlifescience.com.For sponsorship questions please email Bernie@bioangels.net.

Meeting Coverage

Three companies are to be presented

Hastke Inc is a device company with a best-in-class, real-time 3D visualization technology that can de-risk the drug development process for pharma.  In the future, their technology has the potential to become an important diagnostic tool for physicians.

LytPhage is a new biotech company using novel bioengineering to develop therapeutics to address the worldwide crisis of antibiotic resistant organisms.  They are developing a treatment for vancomycin resistant systemic infections with their platform, which can be adapted for other problematic organisms.

RAbD Biotech uses proprietary computational methods to design biologic agents capable of treating severe diseases.  RAbD’s lead product candidate is a potential first-in-class treatment for ovarian cancer, a disease characterized by late detection, few therapeutic options, and high mortality.

The meeting format includes:

  1. 15-20 minute meeting presentation
  2. group discussion/questions
  3. panel opinions (panel of experienced venture capitalists)

Notes from the meeting will be put in future postings.

Please also see Twitter handles for meeting coverage using the following hashtags and handles


hashtags                                                                                                   handles

             #MABA   #lifescience   #PHL   #biotech         #startup                                @BioAngelsGroup   @pharma_BI   @RAbDBiotech

              #VC  #venturecapital   # bioangels    #entrepreneur



The meeting had a live voting on Surveymonkey for each presentation using your smartphone.  The address for the voting was


where event participants vote on each individual presentation and a “Best in Show”.

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The Bioscience Crowdfunding Environment: Will Crowdfunding be the Bigger, New VC

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D.


Pharmaceutical Consulting Consortium International Inc. (PCCI) recently presented their 7th annual Roundtable “CROWDFUNDING FOR LIFE SCIENCES: A BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATERS?”, a panel discussion on how this new funding mechanism applies to early stage life science companies and changes the funding landscape.

A major provision in the recently passed JOBS Act resulted in Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) rule changes revolutionizing the way companies can raise capital, with some figures in the range of $11 trillion dollars. Companies, startups, and entrepreneurs can, in a manner, now go directly to the individual investor and raise capital. This method is generally referred to as CROWDFUNDING.

As explained by Mark Roderick, moderator for the meeting, there are two main types of approved crowdfunding:

  • Donation-based Crowdfunding – Popularized by the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, this method of raising capital can accept small donations from anyone for an idea/project to be completed. The donor may either get a free token of appreciation or access to enjoy the fruits of the project, for example, a watching a movie funded by the donor. Some scientific researchers have used Kickstarter as a method to fund their research.
  • Investor-based Crowdfunding– This type of crowdfunding involves the actual transfer of securities, and investors must qualify according to rules set by the SEC and go thru brokers, or portals, like the bioscience and healthcare internet portal Poliwogg.

Investor-based crowdfundingwas discussed at the meeting.  There are five different mechanisms with this type of funding: Title II (Rule 506c), Title II, Title IV, Existing Regulation A, and Rule 504. The main focus of the meeting was on Title II as, according to Mr. Roderick, involves the mechanism most suited for biotech startups, while rules for Title III still need to be finalized.

Title II crowdfunding requires that “accredited” or “qualified” investors (those who make at least $200,000/year or net worth $1 million US) go through licensed dealer internet nodes (or Portals) like Poliwog. The Portal will have lists of startups they deem legitimate which investors can choose from. For instance the Epilepsy Foundation uses Poliwog to fund certain projects.

The panelists discussed matters including:

  • How crowdfunding is different than other mechanisms like venture capital
  • What are the regulations and financial responsibilities for both biotech and crowdfunder
  • Liabilities
  • Due-diligence issues

The panelists included:

  1. Mark Roderick, moderator. Mark is an attorney at Flaster/Greenberg PC (@CrowdfundAttny on Twitter) and has developed great experience and expertise in the details of crowdfunding. He maintains a Crowdfunding blog www.crowdfundattny.com, which contains information and links about the JOBS Act and crowdfunding.
  2. Barbara Schiberg, Managing Director at BioAdvance, a Mid-Atlantic bioangel investment community.
  3. Samuel Wertheimer, PhD, CIO Poliwogg, a crowdfunding internet portal.
  4. Darrick Mix, Partner, Duane Morris LLP, corporate lawyer with experience in the JOBS act
  5. Donlon Skerret, PCCI President and CEO of NanoScan Imaging and serial entrepreneur

The Opportunity















Recent estimates place Title II Crowdfunding capacity to $1 Trillion.

Venture Capital (VC) had estimated only $5 Billion bio-investment in 2013.

Where does the rest go?


Mr. Skerret noted that bioangels can only take you so far but thinks that crowdfunding may fill this “valley of death”.



Crowdfunding is SELLING SECURITIESso there is liability, disclosure and nondisclosure issues.

Title II contains 580 pages of regulations and SEC needs a licensed intermediary.




Barbara Schiberg also noted that with VCs or bioangels groups you also get s support network, basically their rolodex of contacts and KOL’s and experts. With Crowdfunding like Poliwog they just handle linking investors with entrepreneur. Any contact is done through social media and the crowd.


BioAdvance hires experts – may take months to years to get expert opinion


Poliwog only has responsibility to investor to make sure company is legitimate. They don’t do extensive due diligence like bioangels. Most crowdfunding do not have extensive networks of professionals.



To obtain a video recording of this meeting and get more information please go to PCCI’s web site at http://www.rxpcci.com/meetings.htm.


Other posts on this site related to FUNDING and Bio Investing include:


PCCI’s 7th Annual Roundtable “Crowdfunding for Life Sciences: A Bridge Over Troubled Waters?” May 12 2014 Embassy Suites Hotel, Chesterbrook PA 6:00-9:30 PM

10 heart-focused apps & devices are crowdfunding for American Heart Association’s open innovation challenge

Importance of Funding Replication Studies: NIH on Credibility of Basic Biomedical Studies

Partnerships & Funding

Updated: Investing and Inventing: Is the Tango of Mars and Venus Still on

Transforming Biotech & Pharma: LinkedIn is the Quiet Force by Timmerman

Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute in NYC: Postdocs keep exclusive license to their IP and take a fixed dollar amount of Equity if the researchers create a Spinoff company




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