It is anticipated that the majority of the applicants will emanate from research universities and centers throughout the Southeast U.S. As a second source, applicants may be Southeast-based entrepreneurs actively considering development opportunities or, at most, be in the earliest stages of development (the prototypical “garage shop” operation). All of the candidates will come from the life science sector. Broadly defined, this includes products or services relating to: biotechnology (i.e., genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, monoclonals, stem cell products/strategies, gene therapy products/strategies, etc.); medical technology; drug discovery/development for pharmaceuticals or biologicals; drug delivery; biomanufacturing technologies; diagnostics and research reagents/tools; biomedically-engineered products; medical devices; bioinformatics; agricultural and environmental biotechnology; and other similar technologies.
Assuming that these are the primary sources of the ‘next great idea’ we are seeking, those opportunities that are selected to participate in the BIO/Plan Competition will, at minimum, demonstrate most, if not all, of the following:
- Be an unincorporated opportunity with credentials that support the establishment of a free-standing, venture-fundable enterprise or provide a significant partnering opportunity that will be attractive to a larger commercial partner.
- Be supported by a principal or principals who have a reasonably good sense of what the underlying technologies and associated intellectual property (if any) might be that will serve as the backbone of the opportunity.
- Be supported by a principal or principals who are able to articulate a well thought-out conceptualization of what the commercial exploitation of the technology/opportunity might mean.
- Be supported by an individual or team of individuals who is/are genuinely committed to taking a commercial opportunity forward as either an incorporated entity or a significant partnering opportunity. Further, this individual or team must be willing and able to participate, either directly or in a significant supporting role, in advancing this effort. Examples of such would be the inventor or inventors who conceived of the technology/opportunity originally, an entrepreneur or commercialization lead who has taken an interest in the project that is the subject of the application (may be a grad student or post-doc), and others with a similar commitment to the project.
- In most cases, these opportunities will have had only modest funding from the typical pre-seed sources: traditional federal or state grants; university, state, local or non-profit association pre-seed (e.g., proof-of-concept) funds; personal funds.
- Not have received funds from a recognized, professional venture capital fund or have an existing partnership with an established commercial entity.
Those Who Should Not Apply
Please note that those young companies that are already reasonably well established (i.e., already incorporated and have a business plan in place, and/or management in place, and/or are resident in a local incubator, etc.), but not yet professionally funded, will find greater benefits from applying to the SEBIO EARLY/Stage program, where they will receive consultation from and broader exposure to the investment community. Applications for this program begin in spring and can be accessed directly through this website at that time.
Also please note that the BIO/Plan Competition is not designed to accommodate students or student groups interested in pursuing the program as an academic exercise. However, this does not preclude an applicant who is committed to moving the opportunity forward and who may also be a student during the Competition.