Angel/SEED/Startup/Series A Fund Management | Entrepreneurial Services | Advisement | Consultation
We formed Florida BioSciences, LLC (FBS) to address these challenges. FBS takes a three-pronged funding strategy that will allow the financing and development of qualified early stage biomedical companies to fully realize their opportunity to commercialize their technologies. This approach is designed to leverage emerging technologies from a “seed” round through a “first” round and finally a “late pre-clinical” or “Phase One - Phase II” round of venture finance. The “Phase One” round is intended to finance the portfolio company for up to three years, at which point it should be through or well into Phase II-B of clinical trials. Assuming their drug demonstrates efficacy, the technology should be ready to license, have its potential expanded through a joint venture, or be sold to a company who can afford to take it through final clinical trials and FDA approval. The SEED and first round funds are being developed along with the late pre-clinical fund in FBS’ strategic plan.
We can also assist certain biomedical companies that do not want to be incorporated within a fund portfolio, to raise capital or to gain access to professional business development expertise.
Realizing the potential of developing a biotechnology hub in Florida to compete with the successful hubs in the North Carolina research triangle, the Washington DC-to-Boston corridor, and in southwestern California, Governor Jeb Bush took the initiative in attracting several research institutions to the southeastern coast of Florida, starting with the Scripps Research Institute. These institutes, together with established universities in Florida (such as Florida Atlantic University, the University of Florida, Nova Southeastern University, and the University of Central Florida) encourage scientists with results that have commercialization potential to initiate companies or license the ideas to established companies. Money and space is made available to these startup companies in many instances.
Although academically-sponsored biotechnological business growth is well supported, privately-sponsored biotechnological business growth is not well supported in Florida. The latter is equally important, as more scientists are trained in universities and research institutions nationwide than there are jobs available for them, especially in mature hubs wherein mature large pharmaceutical companies are laying off scientists in droves. Also, more commercially plausible ideas are being generated in academic laboratories than there are scientists in the private sector to develop them to fruition. This imbalance became more skewed with the onset of modern biotechnology and the genomic era. For Florida to emerge as a stable biotechnological hub and attract both new and renowned scientists from around the world, privately-sponsored business development based on these scientists' ideas must also be supported. Also, natural synergies between academic and private research (that underlies some of the success in the California biotechnology hub) may flourish in Florida in the absence of historical "bad blood", if both arms could be comparably funded.
Many of the scientists whose research has commercial potential are entrepreneurs seeking to develop proprietary life science technologies via “early stage” ventures that will eventually “go public”, merge with an industry partner, or continue to grow as a “stand alone” company. Many such life science companies are eager to proceed, but are held back by three formidable problems: