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PROPEL Intel - April 2012
April 01, 2012
News and Events from PROPEL:
Since its launch in June 2007, PROPEL has helped or is helping more than 65 early-stage life sciences companies.
iBIO IndEx 2012, April 26
Destination: INNOVATION is this year’s theme and you will have limited access to our most innovative Midwest resources. This year’s agenda is packed with the exciting and informational keynotes and sessions that we are sure will not disappoint! During the 2012 sessions, you will explore how the heads of research from our internationally renowned research universities are shaping the future of the biosciences industry through innovation. You will also gain insight into some of the industry’s most notable bio-pharma companies in R&D Rockstars, a session featuring CSOs and Global Development Chiefs from some of our global bio-pharma companies. And don’t forget to attend the annual PROPEL Business Plan Competition! For more information about iBIO IndEx 2012, click HERE.
7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
PROPEL Workshop: Hockey Sticks Are For Blackhawks: Financial Projections That Investors Care About Most, May 9
Join PROPEL for Part 2 of a two-part workshop series on Financing and Financials for Early Stage Life Sciences Companies. Building financial statements (income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements) for formation-stage and early-stage life sciences companies is challenging, to say the least. This workshop will discuss alternatives that allow management and investors to focus on financial projections that matter the most for life sciences entrepreneurs: milestone-driven funding through launch and to scale the business. This workshop will be led by Joe Feldman of Joseph Feldman Associates, a consulting firm that provides strategy development and implementation for growing companies. Joe is also an Executive-in-Residence at the University of Chicago’s UChicagoTech. To register, click HERE. Registration is $10. For questions, contact Monique Velasquez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312.422.1111x6.
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Hosted at Sikich Investment Banking
123 N Wacker Drive, Suite 1500
PROPEL Workshop: SBIR/STTR Grant Writing Workshop, June 6 - 7
PROPEL’s next SBIR/STTR grant writing workshop led by Lisa Kurek of Biotechnology Business Consultants (BBC) is June 6 – 7, 2012 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Chicago. This two-day workshop combines the SBIR/STTR 101, Proposal Preparation and NIH Electronic Submission Workshops into a two-day intensive workshop. The workshop is targeted to life science companies, covering DOD, NSF and NIH, with detailed emphasis on NIH. If you plan to submit an SBIR or STTR proposal within the next 12 months, PROPEL strongly encourages you to attend. The registration fee is $200 per participant, $150 each additional participant from the same company. For more information or to register, click HERE. Register by May 31. Contact Monique Velasquez with questions (312.422.1111x6 or email@example.com).
June 6 – 7
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
2011 BIO Convention Workshops Available
The workshops originally recorded at the 2011 BIO International Convention in Washington DC are now available at PROPEL. Each session has the audio and slide presentations of the speakers and is roughly an hour and a half in length. New this year: sessions from the Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Boot Camp are available to PROPEL companies. To see a full listing of workshops available, click HERE and contact Monique Velasquez (312.422.1111x6 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to reserve viewing time.
In October, Governor Quinn launched the Advantage Illinois program, DCEO's enhanced portfolio of lending and venture capital programs to help small businesses gain much-needed access to capital. The program is designed to provide Illinois businesses and entrepreneurs with access to the capital needed to start new companies and expand existing businesses. The $78 million federally-funded program encourages businesses to bring innovative ideas and new products to market, and accelerate job creation and economic growth in Illinois. Advantage Illinois consists of the Capital Access Program (CAP), Participation Loan Program (PLP), Collateral Support Program (CSP), and Invest Illinois Venture Fund Program (IIVF). The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) began actively enrolling lending institutions to utilize CAP, PLP, and CSP in early October. Once the appropriate application process is complete, businesses will be able to begin accessing the capitol loans. For complete information, click HERE.
- Invest Illinois Venture Fund Program (IIVF) is a new venture capital program to support young, innovative companies in Illinois that show high growth potential, can demonstrate their place in the market and already have other investors. The IIVF venture capital application is online on the Advantage Illinois web site and will administered directly by DCEO.
The official website of Advantage Illinois is: www.ildceo.net/AdvantageIllinois.
For the Advantage Illinois flyer, click HERE.
For the Invest Illinois Venture Fund Application, click HERE.
Investors in PROPEL Companies Eligible for Illinois Angel Investment Credit Program
Update from DCEO: Total amount of investment dollars placed into the qualified new business ventures during 2011: more than $8 million. Total amount of investment dollars placed into the qualified new business ventures during 2012YTD: more than $11 million.
The Illinois Angel Investment Credit Program is designed to offer a tax credit to interested firms or natural person(s) who make an investment in one of Illinois' innovative, qualified new business ventures. The investment will encourage job growth and expand capital investment in Illinois. The program can offer a tax credit to qualifying firms in an amount equal to 25% of their investment made directly in a qualified new business venture. The maximum amount of an investment that may be used as the basis for a credit under this section is $2,000,000 for each investment directly in a qualified new business venture. An awarded tax credit may not be sold or otherwise transferred to another person or entity. Businesses desiring to be registered as a qualified new business venture shall submit a registration form in each taxable year for which the business desires registration. The registration will attest to the fact that the business is principally engaged in innovation, their business headquarters is located in Illinois and their business has the potential for increasing jobs and capital investment in Illinois. Interested firms or natural person(s) desiring a tax credit based on their investment in a qualified new business venture must submit an application to the Department which attests to the fact that an investment has been made and remains in the qualified new business venture for no less than 3 years.For the registration form, click HERE. For claimant/investor application, click HERE.
For more information, click HERE for the Qualified New Business Venture List or HERE for the Illinois Angel Investment Statute. For a summary of the program, click HERE. For any inquiries about the Illinois Angel Investment Credit Program or to become an eligible Qualified New Business Venture or an eligible Claimant please contact: email@example.com or (217) 557-0513.
PROPEL’s LinkedIn Group
PROPEL has its own group on LinkedIn called “PROPEL at the iBIO Institute.” Whether you are a PROPEL participant, coach, subject matter expert, professional service firm or community member, consider becoming a part of PROPEL online by joining this LinkedIn group.
Business Insights Reports Available
PROPEL provides our clients with over 175 market research reports from Business Insights at no charge. Titles include “Autoimmune Market Outlook to 2012,” “Pharmaceutical Pricing and Reimbursement” and “Regulatory Affairs: Paths to Approval.” For a full list of available reports, click HERE and contact Monique Velasquez at 312.422.1111x6 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming Events and Other News within the Community:
Research Commercialization Introductory Courses, April 2 – 9
The Research Commercialization Introductory Course is a very popular online course designed to help science and engineering researchers better understand how research commercialization works. Generally over 4000 researchers from across the US take the course each time it is offered. Research commercialization involves taking articles, documentation, know-how, patents, and copyrights, which are created during research activities and getting them to users and patients for real societal impacts. In some cases, commercialization involved taking patents based on the research and licensing them to a company. This usually involves also having the researchers consult to the company. In other cases, commercialization involves forming of creating a startup and applying to federally funded commercialization programs. In all cases, though, research commercialization typically involves defining the nature of the research being commercialized (e.g., in a patent or intellectual property agreement), establishing a commercial relationship with another party (e.g., employment, a sale or license), and negotiating a contract (e.g., compensation). The Research Commercialization Course is recommended for all science, engineering and medical researchers in public or private research institutions (e.g., grad students, post-docs, and faculty). This is an indispensable course for S&E grad students looking for jobs in the next 6-18 months. Areas covered in the course include intellectual property, patents, copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks, licensing agreements, employment agreements, consulting agreements, tech transfer, creating and funding companies, and federally funded Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs. Each lecture is a live 90-minute online class with Q&A. For more information, click HERE.
Intro to Structuring and Leading the Research-Intensive Company: April 2, 2012, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET
Intro to Early Stage Funding: April 9, 2012, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET
Springboard: Life Science 2012, Application Deadline April 3
Springboard Enterprises is recruiting women-led business in the life science sector to participate in Springboard: Life Science 2012. This is a community-driven accelerator program that gives participants access to unique opportunities for relationship building, targeted in-person and virtual coaching sessions with industry experts, and a variety of presentation assessment opportunities that will provide multiple layers of feedback and showcase selected companies to potential investors and strategic partners. Applications are accepted until April 3, and companies are then selected through a three round screening process. Those chosen to participate will be invited to attend a Bootcamp program in Boston on May 10 and will be assigned a team of coaches to work with them during a two-month relationship-building coaching accelerator. For more information, click HERE or visit www.springboardenterprises.org.
Chicago Startup Ideation Bootcamp, April 3
The Startup Ideation Bootcamp provides expert advice with real-world practice. The evening begins with talks by leading startup Founders designed to teach you the components of good and bad startup ideas. Then, attendees can share their ideas with both experts and peers to receive constructive feedback. This hands-on, intensive workshop will be led by David Culver, Co-Founder of Forward Momentum and George Deeb, Managing Partner of Red Rocket Venture Partners. Light snacks and drinks will also be provided by our venue sponsor True Partners Consulting LLC. Space is extremely limited so to register, click HERE.
6 – 9 p.m.
True Partners Consulting LLC
225 W. Wacker Dr,, Suite 1600
Business Network Chicago Venture Capital Group Monthly Meeting, April 3
The BNC Venture Capital Group introduces exciting investment opportunities to professional investors (angels, early stage venture capitalists and private equity firms seeking add-ons) and fosters the growth of entrepreneurial activity. Len Bland, CEO of Concept Equity and David Carman, CEO of Business Network Chicago, lead the BNC Venture Capital Group. Three entrepreneurial opportunities will be reviewed: each presentation lasts 10 minutes, followed by a 15 minute Q&A. Event cost $25 (late $30). Evening Meeting includes food and beverages. For more information, please click HERE. These meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month.
5 – 8 p.m.
InvestMidwest Forum, April 4-5
InvestMidwest is a venture capital conference that showcases 40-45 companies from throughout the Midwest in the three industry tracks of life sciences, technology and clean energy/sustainability. The 300+ attendees include investors from top venture capital firms. For more information, click HERE.
St. Louis, MO
New Pathways to Understanding And Treating Brain Disease, April 5
This event will feature Professor Alon Friedman, Head of the Laboratory for Experimental Neurosurgery, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. To RSVP, click HERE.
Illinois Science + Technology Park
8045 Lamon Ave., Auditorium
SBA Matchmaker Conference, April 5
SBA Hosts 14-City Matchmaker Conferences to Connect Small Businesses with Teaming and Federal Contract Opportunities. The program gives small disadvantaged businesses access to guidance on federal contracting, face-to-face meetings and opportunities to team with larger businesses and graduates of the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development program. During the forums, small businesses will learn how to market themselves to the federal government and go after government contracting opportunities. They will also get an overview of the SBA’s Mentor-Protégé program – a tool of the SBA’s 8(a) program that encourages mentors to team with a protégé or smaller firm to help them with management and technical assistance, financial assistance and access to joint ventures and federal contracting opportunities. The forums will also feature a discussion of strategic alliance and joint venture opportunities, a Q&A session and face-to-face and virtual business matchmaking sessions with larger businesses and companies that have graduated from the 8(a) program. For more information about the SBA’s Mentor-Protégé program, click HERE and to learn more about the Mentor-Protégé Matchmaking Conference, click HERE.
Share the Vision Event, April 5 - 6
EnterpriseWorks is working with the Office of Technology Management and other campus units on the 'Share the Vision 2012' Technology Showcase on April 5th and 6th 2012. OTM has recruited more than 35 faculty/inventor speakers that represent some of the “stars” from U of I that have breakthrough research with strong commercial opportunity. They are planning an all-day event on 4/5/12 to with about 100 venture capital groups and corporate business development leaders at the I Hotel to showcase strengths. Day two, 4/6/12, will be hosted by EnterpriseWorks. To learn more about the event, click HERE. To register, click HERE.
8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
EnterpriseWorks’ offices and conference rooms
60 Hazelwood Dr.
Leveraging Regional Collaborations – Midwest University Research Network –
Past, Present, and Future, April 10
Moderator -Gary Keller, MsB –Xomix Ltd., CEO–Midwest Research University Network, MRUN, Operating Director. Panelists: Allen J Dines – MRUN President; University of Wisconsin-Assistant Director Madison Office of Corporate Relations (OCR); Helen Kate Liebelt – Principal – Barque Consulting, Global Medical Links; Elizabeth Hart-Wells – Purdue Research Foundation; Sacha (Alexandra) Patera - Associate Director, Northwestern University Office of Corporate Relations (OCR); Dennis Serio –Founder, Midwest Co-investment Network. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP to Sylvia Yacoubian at SylviaYacoubian@forestcity.net or 847-568-8405.
3:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Illinois Science + Technology Park
8045 Lamon Ave.
Trade Mission to ChinaBio Partnering Forum 2012, Application Deadline April 16
The State of Illinois DCEO is organizing a trade mission to participate in the China BIO Partnering Forum in late May. The State of Illinois will cover the cost of the conference registration (a $1,200 value). The Illinois Trade Office will also be responsible for matchmaking appointments in Shanghai, the BIO industry center in China. For more information, click HERE.
Angels & Entrepreneurs Luncheon, April 16
Join DePaul University’s CEC for a luncheon discussion featuring the vibrant angel investor community in Chicago. Also on topic is how Chicago’s startups are faring in the current environment. The luncheon will be highlighted by a presentation by Jeff Carter of Hyde Park Angels, Raman Chadha of DePaul’s Entrepreneurship Program, and Kevin Willer of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center. The luncheon will begin with an 11:30 a.m. reception followed by the program at noon. The dress code at the Union League Club is business attire. Registration is $25. For more information, click HERE.
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Union League Club of Chicago
65 W. Jackson Ave.
EIR Workshop on Working with Angel Investors, April 24
This workshop will provide background considerations about working with angel investors as a funding source for a startup company. The workshop will discuss reasonable parameters and expectations for negotiating angel investments with individuals and point out examples of success and problems that can result from this funding strategy. An angel investor is typically an affluent individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. Some angel investors organize themselves into angel networks to share research and pool their investment capital. This workshop will be led by Dennis Beard, a Principal with Serra Ventures and a Partner and CFO for Open Prairie Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm.
12 – 1:30 p.m.
Conference Rm 130
60 Hazelwood Dr.
Proposal Preparation Workshop, Department of Defense SBIR/STTR Phase 1, April 24
On April 24, the Illinois Science & Technology Institute, with support from the Illinois Institute of Technology and Northwestern University, will be sponsoring an all-day SBIR/STTR application training session on IIT's campus at the Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation. Jim Greenwood, an expert on the SBIR/STTR process and head of Greenwood Consulting Group, will be leading the workshop. Mr. Greenwood will focus on DoD opportunities, but the information will be general enough so as to benefit anyone seeking phase 1 SBIR/STTR funding. Cost To Register: $200/person. Space for this event is limited. To register, visit the ISTC's website by clicking HERE.
7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Illinois Institute of Technology's Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation
10 W. 35th St., 16th Fl.
Starting Your Business Workshops, April and May
Simple Steps to Starting Your Business, SCORE's five week workshop series in reaching a Go/No Go decision to launch your business begins March 29, 2012 with a three hour free session. Additional sessions are April 5, April 19, May 3, and May 17at the EIGERlab, 605 Fulton Ave., Rockford, IL. . This series is ideal for the individual dreaming of starting their own, but needing help to evaluate the idea. For details and registration, click HERE.
10th Annual Business & Legal Issues in Dialysis & Nephrology Symposium, May 10
Save the date for an engaging full-day seminar covering business and legal issues faced by nephrologists; hospital and dialysis facility CEOs, CFOs and COOs; lawyers; administrators; and consultants. Hear from leading industry experts on important topics affecting the industry. For more information, click HERE.
8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Hyatt Regency O’Hare
9300 Bryn Mawr Ave.
BBC Webinars, May - September
Consider joining Biotechnology Business Consultants’ many webinars coming up.
DoD SBIR/STTR Overview, May 1
5-Part Government Accounting & Grants Management Series: Intro to Budgets, May 3; Preparing for Government Funding Audits, May 10; and Indirect Rate Development, May 17
QuickBooks for Gov't Funding Recipients, May 24
Post Award Compliance: Managing Your SBIR/ STTR Award, June 7
Tips on Electronic Submission to NIH, June 28
Tips on Electronic Submission to DoD/DoE, Sept 6
Most webinar admission is $25. Webinars run from 1 to 3 PM (ET). To register or for more information, click HERE.
Chicago Innovation Awards: Nominations Open May 1 – July 15
Whether you work for a large company or a small start-up, in technology or in consumer products, for a non-profit or otherwise, be sure to nominate your new product or service for the Chicago Innovation Awards. Past PROPEL companies selected as “Top 75 Up-and-Comers” include Advanced Cooling Therapy, Citrics Biomedical and Nerve Access. For more information, click HERE.
14th Annual NIH SBIR/STTR Conference, May 30 – June 1
Save the dates of May 30 through June 1, 2012 for the 14th Annual NIH SBIR/STTR Conference. This year’s conference will be held in Louisville, Kentucky. NIH is pleased to work with the local host, the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation to plan an exciting conference. The main conference will be held on May 30-31 and an optional workshops (to be determined) will be held on June 1. Please block this date off on your calendars and stay tuned for more details as the logistics and agenda are developed. For more information, click HERE.
Stateline FastPitch Competition, June 20
Save the date - FastPitch 2012 is scheduled for Wednesday, June 20 in Rockford, IL. For more information, click HERE.
A Start-Up Ecosystem Forms in Chicago
Inspired by Local Stars Like Groupon as Well as More Venture-Capital Funding, Entrepreneurs Nurture Local Connections. From www.wsj.com; by Sarah E. Needleman and Owen Fletcher. Dan Salcedo left Chicago last year for Silicon Valley to take a three-month course in launching a technology business, but the entrepreneur plans to return to Chicago this spring as a member of a growing group of tech founders drawn to the city's brewing start-up scene. Mr. Salcedo, 26 years old, aims to launch a social-network-based online shopping business. He and other local founders are inspired by Chicago-based stars like Groupon Inc., the daily deals site launched in 2008 that now has a market capitalization of roughly $10 billion, and GrubHub Inc., an online restaurant delivery service started in 2004 that has raised $84.1 million in investor capital. "Good things can happen in Chicago," Mr. Salcedo says. For the full article, click HERE.
5 New Spots for Chicago Tech Entrepreneurs
From www.wsj.com; by Sarah E. Needleman and Owen Fletcher. In Chicago, a handful of business incubators, co-working spaces and other initiatives have launched in recent years, making the Midwestern City a new alternative to long-popular headquarters for tech ventures like California's Silicon Valley, Boston and New York. These programs, plus the success of local stars like Groupon Inc. and GrubHub Inc., have helped make Chicago a popular breeding ground for entrepreneurial activity. For the full article, click HERE.
Illinois Innovation Index On Patent Output And Illinois’ Innovation
To read the March 2012 Illinois Innovation Index’s March newsletter focused on Patent output and Illinois’ innovation trajectory, click HERE.
Biotech Funding Gets Harder to Find
From www.wsj.com, by Jonathan D. Rockoff and Pui-Wing Tam, March 19, 2012. Biotechnology firms are coming around to a harsh reality: The gravy days are over. These small, innovative drug companies were once an investment darling, able to secure millions of dollars from venture capitalists and even more later through public offerings. But in recent years, venture financing for biotech has been in decline, due to the tough economic environment and poor returns from stock offerings. Venture capitalists invested a total of $3.92 billion last year in biotechs of all stages, well below the $6.17 billion peak in 2007, according to VentureSource. And shares in biotechs that went public last year averaged 29% less than their expected midpoint offering price, according to investment bank Needham & Co. Some venture capitalists have stopped funding new biotech altogether. Meantime, Big Pharma companies, whose deals with biotechs provide another major source of funding, are driving harder bargains, increasingly tying their investments to proof of success. For the full article, click HERE.
Five Critical Questions Before Out-Licensing To A Pharmaceutical Company
From Boston.com, posted by Devin Cole, written by Arne Hessenbruch, Boston Denmark Partnerships, February 27, 2012. Many university scientists and start-up companies develop new drugs. But getting a drug through the FDA approval process and to market is a long, expensive and risky process. Many companies seek to share this risk by partnering or out-licensing to a larger biotechnology or pharmaceutical company. Antony Newton worked for Genzyme from 1992 to 2011, eventually becoming Vice President of Portfolio Management in the Oncology Division, he facilitated the in-licensing process there and describes here what you have to think about in order to successfully out-license your drug to a pharmaceutical company: 1) Have a clear value proposition; 2) Understand the culture of the company; 3) Understand the structure of decision making; 4) Develop relationships on the inside; and 5) Plan for follow through. While the example of Genzyme helps us flesh out these five points, the lessons are general and apply to any pharmaceutical company. For the full article, click HERE.
Halo Report: 2011 Angel Group Year in Review
The Angel Resource Institute (ARI) is pleased to share the inaugural Halo ReportTM: 2011 Angel Group Year in Review. A collaborative effort with Silicon Valley Bank and data powered by CB Insights, this report provides a first-ever look in to the activity and trends of angel groups and provides data not previously available to entrepreneurs and early stage investors. Initially presented as part of the 2012 Angel Capital Association (ACA) Summit, we invite you to take a moment to review the report highlights and informational release below and feel free to download & share the Halo ReportTM. For questions or angel groups and individual angels interested in including data as part of the Halo ReportTM, contact Sarah Dickey, ARI Research Manager via 913-894-4700 or email@example.com.
Wellcome Trust Creates Biotech Start-Up Fund
From www.ft.com, March 19, 2012, By Andrew Jack. The Wellcome Trust is creating a £200m fund to invest over the very long term in start-up biotechnology companies, in a nod to the origins of its wealth in the pharmaceutical industry. The UK-based foundation, one of the largest philanthropic funders of scientific and medical research in the world, will take significant equity stakes and exert management influence in companies with promising projects. The trust is taking action at a time of growing concern over the “valley of death" in funding for fledgling life science companies in the UK, as investors shift to lower-risk alternative sectors while the costs and uncertainties of drug development continue to rise.
The project reflects Wellcome's historical roots as the former owner of the drug company that has since become GlaxoSmithKline but from which it began diversifying in the 1980s and in which today it holds only a tiny stake. The new company, temporarily called Sigma, will focus on UK and European companies and will be able to draw on Wellcome's extensive network of experts and the scientific projects it funds. It will be able to fund “transformational technologies" with potential for high returns but which may not be made for a decade or more, far beyond the time limits fixed by most existing private equity groups that invest in the sector. For the full article, click HERE.
Senate Passes Start-Ups Bill, With Amendments
From NYTimes.com, by Edward Wyatt, published: March 22, 2012. WASHINGTON — Depending on who is speaking, a bill approved by the Senate on Thursday to make it easier for small companies to raise money will either improve the economy by creating jobs or cause unwitting investors to get swindled. The Senate voted 73 to 26 to approve the JOBS Act, whose acronym stands for Jump-start Our Business Start-ups. The legislation, approved overwhelmingly by the House two weeks ago, would designate a new category of “emerging growth” companies that could conduct initial public offerings of stock while being exempt from certain financial disclosure and governance requirements for up to five years. In addition, the measure would provide a new form of financing to small companies. Through crowd-funding, or the sale of small amounts of stock to many individuals, companies could solicit equity investments through the Internet or elsewhere, raising up to $1 million annually without being required to register the shares for public trading with the Securities and Exchange Commission. For the full article, click HERE.
Helping Small-Business Owners Find the Perfect Mentor
From nytimes.com, by Paul Sullivan, March 23, 2012. Vice Adm. Edward M. Straw was a bit skeptical when he was asked to donate his time and expertise to a program that helps small-business owners. He had mentored students hoping to get into his alma mater, the Naval Academy, and service members on their way out of the military. This was different, though. Sure the program carried the imprimatur of the Clinton Foundation and his financial adviser at UBS was asking him to participate. But Admiral Straw said he questioned whether his background — he had commanded the Defense Logistics Agency before a successful second career in the private sector — would be useful to a small business. “I said, ‘I’ll only do this if my skills would help the company,’ ” said Admiral Straw, who was president of global operations at Estée Lauder and now serves on six boards. “I wanted a company that made something.” For the full article, click HERE.
Selling or Funding A Startup? Tips On Surviving Technical Due Diligence
By Karl Treier, February 28, 2012, from www.onstartups.com.Be better prepared for technical due diligence. I have been on the receiving end of several technical due diligence assessments instigated by VCs (pre-investment) or acquirers (pre-purchase). I have also been the inquisitor on a few occasions. So I thought it might worthwhile to write this post to share my thoughts on this process and hopefully help companies better prepare for this event. The first thing to recognize is that the assessor is not there to catch you out, trip you, up or somehow prove you are incompetent, nor is it likely that he's there to try steal your job, so first and foremost don't be threatened or intimidated (it's not the Spanish Inquisition, after all "Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition"). It is however extremely likely that he or she is, or has been an entrepreneur and empathizes with you, so be cooperative and cordial (maybe even downright friendly). They will understand the challenges and the realities of startup, ramp-up and speedup life and are not expecting perfection. I personally would love it if every entrepreneur could get funded, or exit with an acquisition that gets them the rewards they have worked so hard to attain, but the reality is different. Remember however the assessor is contractually obligated to do a thorough evaluation and report honestly any deficiencies, to not do so would risk a lawsuit for negligence. Also keep in mind that the purpose of an individual doing this, rather than have the investor or buyer just deliver a survey to you for you to complete, is that they are evaluating you and your team, how well you think on your feet, how you engage, and your thought processes. So expect it to be an interactive conversation, more than an outright quiz or exam, which would be painful and boring for both parties. For the full article, click HERE.
Chicago Innovation Pipeline Available Online
The Chicago Innovation Pipeline, an interactive, web-based tool featuring top technologies available for license from leading Chicago-area research institutions is now available. The Pipeline is a searchable database that provides one-stop shopping for members of industry and investors. Technologies are organized by product type, therapeutic area and development stage. Detailed product sheets for each technology as well as links to key contacts are included for easy download. Current Pipeline participants are Argonne National Laboratory; Children’s Memorial Research Center; Loyola University; University of Chicago; and University of Illinois at Chicago. To read more, click HERE.
City of Chicago’s Monthly Business Education Workshops
The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) offers workshops every Wednesday and Friday. Workshops will vary each month and are conducted by City Officials, experts and partner business organizations. All workshops are free and open to the public. Workshops are held at BACP's offices located at 121 N. LaSalle St., City Hall Rm 805, Chicago, IL. For the current schedule, click HERE.
For more information: