There were two choices for the first breakout session: Reimbursement policy and Economic Development, I chose the later.
A wonderful panel that led the discussion. The main theme that was echoed in this session was the wonderful growth that biotech is undergoing and how it is helping the economy. Tennessee has seen a 1.2% drop in unemployment which is in part due to increases in biotech industry in TN.
Charlie Brock spoke about how much LST has helped entrepreneurs get their companies off the ground by using the three M’s (mentors, money, and market).
- The mentor network is over 500 strong, which they are always looking to increase.
- Entrepreneurs are aided with raising money by introducing start-up companies to possible investors.
- Venture Match is a program that helps companies get to market by allowing the start-ups to make a business pitch to the investment community.
Andrew Shapiro gave a talk about how his company (Biggins, Lacy, and Shapiro) helps big pharma find new building space. This is largely driven by the local economy and infrastructure. Determining whether there is a suitable workforce, CROs, and universities in the area. Determinations are made through a combination of several things:
- What kind of discovery is coming out of the area (Universities)
- Is there a good avenue for development of a new drug (CRO)
- Is the area appropriate for manufacturing needs (workforce)
- What are the needs for the headquarters (location)
Paul Ulanch spoke about the economics of North Carolina and how biotech was a large driving force NC’s growth. The state is the 3rd largest state for biotechnology and much like TN and LST, NC has a great support system for entrepreneurs.