Bi-Annual Midwest Growth Capital Report
Global Monthly Investment & Exit Review
Bi-Annual Midwest Growth Capital Report
Global Monthly Investment & Exit Review
We like to partner with start-ups that:
Offer a strong value proposition, uniquely solving specific customer pain points through IP-protected products, services or therapies;
Operate in big markets, and/or in markets on a trajectory for fast growth;
Are properly capitalized, with the right investment mix at the right time;
Make their own luck by adapting their business models and plans to the changing circumstances and complexities of the healthcare system;
Develop viable reimbursement strategies to ensure appropriate coding, coverage and payment for the technology or service provided;
Are led by entrepreneurs who are coachable, willing to listen, learn, teach, partner, and bring in new advisors and leadership appropriate to different stages of company growth;
Are managed by teams who are experienced, flexible, focused, nimble, reflexive, resilient, smart and tenacious.
Tim Miller, Ph.D.
I’m the president and CEO of a publicly traded bioscience company who recently decided to locate and expand my company, Abeona Therapeutics, in Northeast Ohio instead of any other state or region in the United States. Why? Because Northeast Ohio provides a unique set of assets to aid the growth of a bioscience company, including internationally renowned clinical, educational and research institutions; supportive government and economic development engines; funding; and a highly talented and abundant workforce.
Abeona is developing novel gene therapies in an effort to treat patients — mostly children — with rare diseases. In 2015, Northeast Ohio institutions received more than 650 awards from NIH, bringing more than $280 million coveted research funds into the region. This funding supports research and development in the life sciences, providing support for discoveries at our Northeast Ohio institutions and private companies. Without this significant support from NIH, and collaboration with our world-class Northeast Ohio institutions, companies like Abeona could not develop the therapies that change people’s lives.
Since 2006, Northeast Ohio educational institutions have graduated more than 18,000 bioscience workers. A company like Abeona is only as good as its employees and must find those employees quickly to sustain our rapid growth. Within the past year, Abeona has increased its local employee base 300% and plans to add additional scientific, manufacturing and technical positions for our new Cleveland facility in the coming year.
Abeona isn’t the only local company enjoying success. Our region is rich with talented entrepreneurs who have chosen to make Northeast Ohio their homes and have since garnered significant investment dollars, often from investors who are outside our region. Many of these entrepreneurs have come from other parts of the country and even other parts of the world. They came to Northeast Ohio specifically because of our strong reputation for health care and biotech success.
Here are just a few shining examples of that success, many of which were highlighted in the Ohio Bioscience Growth Report 2015 published by BioOhio summarizing an economic analysis conducted by the University of Cincinnati:
First, consider that the average wage of Northeast Ohio bioscience workers increased from $61,774 in 2009 to $68,866 in 2014. This is a $7,092 (11%) increase during a time when our nation was in recovery from a near-depression. Jobs in the Northeast Ohio bioscience industry have demonstrated increased value and appreciation as a key area of growth in a highly technical sector.
Similarly, another success highlighted in the BioOhio report is that the number of Northeast Ohio bioscience locations (defined as an office or facility operated by a bioscience company) increased from 1,105 in 2009 to 1,234 in 2014. This is a 12% increase of 129 locations over a five-year period. Bioscience companies are expanding their operations in Northeast Ohio with economic incentives supported by the city, county and state. The recent expansion and improvements in the Heath-Tech Corridor further reflect this growth.
The numbers prove it, and those of us living and breathing bioscience every day here in Northeast Ohio know it firsthand: the region is one of the leading bioscience locations in the nation.
A version of this piece first appeared in Crain’s Cleveland Business on January 31, 2016Close
By Aram Nerpouni, President and CEO, BioEnterprise
In a world where a vast majority of companies are competing to come out on top, much of their success can be determined by a number of key factors. These elements, which include convenient access to financial assets, the ability to attract and retain talent and, of course, the novel ideas on which the company builds its business platform, all can be influenced by where the company chooses to set up shop.
The world of bioscience is no different. Location is a large factor that determines whether or not a start-up company will succeed or fail, and for bioscience companies who choose to make Cleveland home, they are certainly at an advantage. From venture capital and private equity investors to nearby collaborative healthcare partners and institutions in the research and development space, as well as accelerator support and networking opportunities, Cleveland has it all, which is why so many companies have chosen to stay after completing successful exits.
Take CardioInsight, for instance. Recently, the medical device company, which was bought by Medtronic for $93 million last year, announced it will be anchoring in Cleveland, specifically Independence, for at least the next eight years. By the end of 2018, the company has also committed to doubling the size of its current staff and payroll.
The acquisition by medtech giant Medtronic is making it possible for CardioInsight to commercialize its breakthrough patented electrocardiographic imaging technology that will significantly improve the diagnosis and treatment of a number of critical heart conditions.
But before the acquisition, CardioInsight found much-needed guidance and funding from early stage investors such as JumpStart, Case Technology Ventures and Draper Triangle Ventures. Plus, the company got its start at Case Western Reserve University where the novel technology was born, and University Hospitals served as the start-up’s first headquarters, helping to save money while also offering access to patients and world-class medical resources.
CardioInsight isn’t Cleveland’s only recent exit that is committed to Cleveland. Explorys, which was acquired by IBM for an undisclosed amount in 2015, first spun off from Cleveland Clinic in 2009. Since then, the company has experienced steady growth. It now employs about 220 people and shows no signs of slowing down, with a plan to add 80 more to its University Circle headquarters this year alone.
Explorys, a healthcare IT company, takes mountains of data from electronic records and makes meaningful sense out of them, taming Big Data in a novel way that can truly transform healthcare. Local entities that supported Explorys from the beginning by utilizing its medical data management technology to improve patient outcomes include Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth System, University Hospitals, and Summa Health System.
It’s no secret that access to these institutions helped pave the way for Explorys to get ahead, catching the attention of tech giant IBM. The company is part of IBM’s Watson Health Unit and will continue to grow in Cleveland.
Gene therapy company Abeona Therapeutics is another example of Cleveland’s appeal. Just last year, the company dedicated to rare diseases, was acquired by Dallas-based PlasmaTech Biopharmaceuticals. Shortly after the acquisition, Abeona Therapeutics’ CEO, Tim Miller, announced plans to open a new headquarters as part of Cleveland’s Health-Tech Corridor.
Parts of this blog originally appeared in Crain’s Cleveland Business, March 7, 2016Close