Bioscience

Flinn Foundation seeks applicants for Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program

October 9, 2018

By Chris Farrington

The Flinn Foundation Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program is currently accepting applicants for its 2019 cohort. Participating early-stage Arizona firms receive $30,000 in funding and support to develop personalized plans to navigate the challenges facing young companies and empower them to become investor-ready.

The deadline to apply for the 2019 program is Monday, Nov. 5. Up to six early-stage bioscience firms are competitively selected each year. All potential applicants are encouraged to participate in a teleconference information session from 1 to 2 p.m. on Oct. 18.

“Without that program, I’m not sure if we would have been able to get out of the nest,” said David Richardson, CEO and co-founder of bioSyntagma and a former Arizona State University researcher.

Richardson’s startup, a precision-medicine firm with a mission to eliminate trial-and-error cancer treatments, was selected for the program in 2017. At that point, bioSyntagma was fairly early in its development and had a prototype but not its own lab.

The Scottsdale-based firm has now brought in between $1.25 and $1.5 million. Earlier this month, they were one of three firms honored with the Fast Lane Award at the annual Arizona Bioindustry Awards at the Phoenix Convention Center.

“We have the technology to provide unique data on patient biopsies and then match those patients with treatments that will work for them,” Richardson said.

The Flinn Foundation program features several benefits:

  • $30,000 administered through a nonprofit partner to cover approved project costs, provided on a reimbursement basis;
  • A one-year special membership on Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee, a body of high-level statewide bioscience champions;
  • A one-year membership in the Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio), the statewide bioscience industry association;
  • A personalized assessment to identify the firm’s needs, plus quarterly progress reviews and monthly check-ins;
  • Referrals to programs, resources, and mentors to help the firm on the path to commercialization, including supportive funding for registrations, subscriptions, training programs, and related fees as warranted;
  • Opportunities to attend invitation-only bioscience-related events; and
  • Networking events and opportunities with fellow bioscience entrepreneurs.

Richardson said attending the Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee meetings and related events was enlightening and provided opportunity for networking and learning about resources available to emerging firms. He met other bioscience entrepreneurs who provided suggestions and recommendations.

“We were able to leverage some resources from the city of Phoenix and other places that we wouldn’t have been aware of otherwise,” he said.

Since 2014, the Flinn Foundation has selected 28 Arizona bioscience firms engaged in the commercialization of bioscience research and biotechnology and/or the sale of bioscience products to participate in the program.

To learn more about the program and application process, visit www.flinn.org/entrepreneur and read the 2019 Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program brochure.

The Flinn Foundation will host the finalist interviews and announce the winners in February.