Goals, Strategies, and Actions

Goal 1: Entrepreneurial Hub

Form a hub of bioscience entrepreneurs and new enterprises across Arizona

Strategy 1A:

Address capital needs of bioscience firms from startup to expansion through pre-seed funds, seed funds, fund of funds, investments by wealthy individuals, crowdfunding, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants, a resident-based venture industry and out-of-state venture capital, as well as by linking to key target markets outside Arizona

  • Actions
    Create a State Bioscience Portfolio Advisor to help firms locate financing and other services to survive the formative stages until revenues are flowing; and create a Bioscience Catalytic Capital Network to provide information on sources of capital and stage events to link ideas and entrepreneurs with capital
    Form a fund-of-funds risk capital pool
    Develop a directory of pre-seed and seed funding sources and requirements for startup enterprises, as well as a directory of services and functions of organizations within the “Valley of Death”
    Create an integrated system of technical assistance, support, and funding to ensure commercialization services and support for bioscience entrepreneurs
    Initiate Kickstarter and crowdfunding technical assistance for startups
    Expand the pool of wealthy individuals contributing to the three angel funds based in Arizona
    Ensure sufficient seed capital in amounts between $500,000–$1.5 million to build a stronger pipeline of successful bio startups that have passed the proof-of-concept/prototype/pre-seed stage
    Increase outreach, training, and technical assistance to improve securing SBIR/STTR funding
    Examine the feasibility of providing matching grants to Phase II SBIR award-winners to allow recipients to focus on commercialization
    Offer more bioscience business plan competitions with prizes and awards, and increase bioscience entrepreneurial networking opportunities
    Review Arizona Commerce Authority’s Innovation Challenge program to assess whether modifications are needed to meet bioscience industry needs

Strategy 1B:

Accelerate the commercialization of discoveries and advancements from research-performing institutions to industry

  • Actions
    Eliminate barriers to seamless intellectual property flow between research-performing institutions and industry, particularly startups; devolve disclosure, conflict of interest, and faculty entrepreneurship approvals from the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) to the campus level
    Work closely with research-performing institutions’ tech transfer and commercialization programs to help bio startups
    Ensure adequate proof-of-concept funds at every university and research-performing institution
    Encourage university tech transfer/commercialization units to expand functions to teaching hospitals and other research-performing institutions, while increasing linkages to organizations focused on entrepreneurship
    Consider the feasibility of in-state licensing of technologies prior to licensing out of state as well as phased-in fees/royalties for Arizona startups
    Increase the number of technology showcase and partnering events to expand knowledge and awareness

Strategy 1C:

Maintain and improve state and local competitive business climate through the implementation of stable and predictable tax and regulatory policies

  • Actions
    Review state’s R&D tax credit and other tax policies, and propose changes to assist the growth of bioscience firms
    Support efforts of local officials to offer tax and regulatory climates conducive to the growth of the biosciences