Biocom Super Angel Day: Stimulating Early-Stage Biotech Investment

The situation: Biocom, the largest regional trade organization serving the life science industry, set an ambitious goal as part of its 2015 capital development plan to bring greater visibility to early-stage member companies that haven’t had access to traditional venture capital. But the organization needed strategic direction and tactical leadership to get the job done.

The plan: CanaleComm President Carin Canale-Theakston, who is closely involved in the San Diego venture capital scene as chair of the Biocom Capital Development Committee, orchestrated a spin on Biocom’s quarterly Venture Days—popular events at which venture capital firms come to meet with San Diego companies. The result was the first-ever “Super Angels” event in June 2015, featuring three of San Diego’s most prolific super angels: Greg Lucier, President & CEO, NuVasive and former CEO of Life Technologies; François Ferré, Ph.D., founder and chairman, AltheaDx, and Dan Bradbury, former Amylin CEO.

The results: Carin planned and moderated a lively panel discussion, as well as an intimate but highly engaging discussion forum—keeping the high-profile super angels and 40-plus participating companies fully involved for more than three hours, a rarity in today’s over-scheduled business world. With such a high level of interest for one-on-one meetings, the event broke into a speed-dating format for quick pitches. Biocom’s event exceeded expectations of early-stage companies and super angels themselves, each of whom selected multiple companies for follow-up conversations and said they were pleased to get so many unknown innovators on their radar.

“Thanks for organizing this fun event! Biocom makes the world of difference to our collective success of the San Diego life sciences sector.”

—Gregory T. Lucier