BioChallenge Opens To Louisiana Life Sciences Startups With $50K In Prizes
NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans BioInnovation Center is accepting applications for the 5th annual BioChallenge. In this business competition, Louisiana bioscience startups compete for over $50,000 in prizes. This type of competition offers entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their ideas for a shot at feedback and critical capital to fund growth and hiring. Startups are eligible if they are developing a solution in healthcare, biotechnology, environmental science or other life sciences industries. Companies must have received no more than $1 million in investments and must have significant operations in the state, as one of the competition’s objectives is to foster emerging businesses that will generate jobs and economic growth here in Louisiana.
Each applicant should submit an executive summary by Thursday, September 15, 2016, describing their company and the problem they are solving.
Applications will be scored by independent judges on criteria including market analysis and management team. Top-scoring finalists will receive pitch coaching by the Center’s Commercialization consulting team, a group that has coached local startups to business competition wins totaling more than $800,000 since 2011.
The final public pitch event will be held Wednesday, November 16, at the Joy Theater. Each entrepreneur will make an eight-minute pitch to a panel of investors, who will select the $25,000 Grand Prize winner. Two additional prizes are available: the New Orleans BioFund Prize, a $25,000 investment, and the Audience Favorite Award, $2,500 cash given to the winner of a text vote by audience members.
New this year, the New Orleans BioFund investment prize is contingent on a due diligence process and approval by both the company and the fund. The commitment will be in the form of convertible debt note, equity investment, or similar instrument and will require the company to maintain operations in Louisiana.
Finalists from past competitions have raised over $12 million to develop technologies that save lives and address urgent environmental challenges. The 2015 competition winner, BioAesthetics, has created a new regenerative nipple reconstruction option for breast cancer patients after they undergo mastectomies. These women have several options for reconstruction of the nipple-areolar complex, but these aren’t always successful or permanent. BioAesthetics is developing a graft that will allow the patient’s body to regenerate a permanent nipple, thus reducing surgeries, improving outcomes, and significantly enhancing the woman’s self-esteem.
The BioInnovation Center is presenting the final pitch competition on November 16 during Global Entrepreneurship Week, along with several other events meant to highlight innovation in Louisiana universities and startups. Major support is provided by JPMorgan Chase.