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iBIO Institute’s PROPEL Center Clients Exceed $100 Million Capital Raised

Tuesday, February 18, 2014  
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iBIO Institute’s PROPEL® Center Clients Exceed $100 Million Capital Raised
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Searle Funds at Chicago Community Trust Increase Total PROPEL Donations to $1.5 Million


The PROPEL® Center at the iBIO® Institute today announced that active PROPEL clients—all life sciences startups—have raised more than $100 million since PROPEL was launched in June of 2007. Recognizing the success of PROPEL’s work, the Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust has made a 2014 gift of $500,000, increasing its total donations to PROPEL to $1.5 million.

“This milestone is a significant achievement,” said Linda F. Friedman, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Astellas US and Chairperson of the iBIO Institute.  “PROPEL assists the earliest stage life sciences startups, the ones that face the riskiest path to survival and success. That such fledgling companies have raised over $100 million speaks volumes about the value of PROPEL’s assistance.”
PROPEL gives entrepreneurs access to specialized resources and expertise and prepares them for early-stage funding.  PROPEL programs include coaching and mentoring, technical assistance, workshops, networking events, mock investor pitch sessions, grant and award programs, business plan competition and several publications. 

PROPEL’s work has earned it an outstanding national reputation. Gail Maderis, President & CEO of BayBio in San Francisco, praised PROPEL General Manager Barbara Goodman, and said “iBIO Institute and the state of Illinois should be extremely proud that the Bay Area, often heralded as the world’s leading entrepreneurial hub, is using PROPEL as its model for entrepreneurship support.”

Phillip D. Schiff, J.D., CEO of the Tech Council of Maryland added, “I believe it is one of the best and most comprehensive programs of its kind in the country.”
Institutional and “angel” investors have also been impressed. Victor Schmitt of Bay City Capital commented, “As a venture investor I get to see hundreds of business plans. The most telling thing to me about the PROPEL effort is the degree to which the quality of the plans and presentations improve as the companies move through the programs. The message becomes crisp, and the companies develop a strategic focus critical to their success.”

Added “angel” investor Cliff Turner “As a very early stage investor, I have several PROPEL companies in my portfolio. PROPEL programs give these startups a leg up. None of these startups are sure bets, but the rigors of PROPEL’s work with them substantially de-risks the enterprise compared to what it might otherwise look like at such an early stage.”

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