Biosciences expo explores statewide industry


The annual MichBio Expo & Conference brings together Michigan’s biosciences industry. Photo via

The state’s biosciences industry will converge on Kalamazoo next week for the annual MichBio Expo & Conference.

Ann Arbor-based MichBio is Michigan’s biosciences industry association, and its annual meeting is the largest gathering of the state’s bioscience professionals.

More than 300 people are expected to attend the 9th annual conference next Tuesday and Wednesday at the Radisson Plaza Hotel.

The Kalamazoo region is one of the state’s major areas for the bio-industry, with extensive growth over the last 10 years attributable to scientific discovery and development, according to MichBio.

Day one: corporate bus tour

The expo begins with a four-hour bus tour of local bioscience companies, including Jasper Clinical Research & Development, Kalexsyn, Kalsec, Launch MI Lab, Stryker Medical, Stryker Instruments and Vestaron Corporation.

The first-day luncheon will feature Mike Carusi, a partner at Advanced Technology Partners. MichBio said he is “a thought leader who invests in the biopharmaceutical and medical devices sectors and has been featured on Forbes’ Midas List of Top Tech Investors.”

There will be an Emerging Biosciences Showcase, featuring nine early stage companies presenting their new technologies proposals to venture capital and angel investors: Advaita Corporation, Brio Device, DataSpeaks, ENT Biotech, HealthCure, Microbion, SIB Medical and Social Patient.

All the presenting companies have had prior coaching from the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center.

“The showcase is a great opportunity for emerging bioscience ventures to begin honing their pitch skills for potential investors,” said Stephen Rapundalo, MichBio president/CEO. “A number of past showcase presenters have gone on to achieve great success in their fundraising efforts and business growth.”

The CEOs Unplugged presentation will feature executives from Southwest Michigan Innovation Center, Amway Corporation, Proteos, Xoran Technologies and Housey Pharmaceuticals sharing their perspectives and outlooks on a range of state, national and global topics, including how the state’s bio-industry can be more competitive.

At the conclusion of the first day, there will be a special town hall presentation by U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, on the issues affecting the bio-industry.

Day two

Day two features educational sessions on bioscience technologies, business growth and human health with topics ranging from “Regulatory Pains” to “The Promise of Molecular Diagnostics,” to “Modernizing Clinical Trail Paradigms & Tools” and “Innovation & IP – Trolls and a Myriad More.”

MichBio will present several awards during the event, including Legislator of the Year, Innovator of the Year and the Good to Great Award, which honors a Michigan company that has produced a leap forward in its results.

Wrapping up the conference is a keynote address by Stelios Papadopoulos, a longtime bio-industry leader and co-founder and chairman of Exelixis. MichBio said he is considered one of the “Top 100 Living Contributors to Biotechnology” and one of BioWorld’s “Biotech’s Original Movers and Shakers,” with over 30 years experience as an investment banker, company founder, investor and board member. 

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