This week's LifeScienceTN program lineup is likely to spark venture ideas
By Milt Capps
LIFESCIENCE Tennessee's annual meeting in Nashville brings venture pitches, innovation imperatives and a deeper dive into many things Bio.
Some VNC readers will call that within roughly a year, 1998-1999, champions of science and technologies formed Launch Tennessee (then TTDC), Nashville Technology Council (NTC) and Life Science Tennessee (then, Tennessee Biotechnology Association).
In addition, in December 1999, Warren Ratliff, then a 27-year-old attorney with Farris Warfield Kanaday (now Stites & Harbison), convened what we described in a 2008 VNC column as Nashville's first "supra-technology" event. Ratliff, who was also the first chairman and executive director of NTC, brought several hundred Nashville executives together in a downtown hotel ballroom, leaving more than 100 others wait-listed for registration, if memory serves.
That memorable evening may have been the last time that execs from IT, biotech, emerging digital media and would-be advisors all sat down together amid such an air of expectation of great things to come.
That said, this week's annual meeting of Life Science Tennessee -- which, in fact, features some speakers who were also at the dais in 1999 -- may be the closest approximation to such a heady event as we've had in a while. (One future such possibility is LaunchTN's 2013 statewide innovation-oriented event in Nashville, which is now tentatively set for June 10-12 2013, to leverage the midstate drawing-power of Bonneroo.)
This week's LST program seems to have been thoughtfully jigsawed into place. Its elements include:
► Innovation in lifesciences and healthcare are Topic A, which includes five speakers, including three from three closely interrelated funds (MedCare, TriStar and Healthcare Investment Group). Among those three are Harry Jacobson, M.D., former Vanderbilt vice chancellor for health affairs, and his colleague Duncan Dashiff. Details here.
► TNInvestco updates from TNInvestco fund representatives, including Joe Cook Jr., a founder of Mountain Group Capital's Limestone Fund and chairman of LST, plus executives with TNInvestcos TriStar Technology and InnovaMemphis. Details here.
► Examination of drug discovery and commercialization efforts underway nationally and at Vanderbilt and UT. Today's related story here.
► Business Competition: The winner receives $5,000 in cash and a package of in-kind services from our Business Plan Competition sponsors valued at up to $20,000. Presenters: IPE (drug discovery and development), Urova Medical, Randall Surgical Corporation, NextGxDx and NanOphthalmics
► Break-outs on orphan drugs, medical devices, diagnostics and bioagriculture, the latter represented in part by Genera CEO Kelly Tiller, who might comment on her evolving role as academe-backed entrepreneur.
For more information on registration, visit the Life Science Tennessee website. VNC