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Translatinal Accelerator looks to invest in Arizona bioscience companies, 2008

BioAccel Challenges Entrepreneurs to Solve Healthcare Problems

BioAccel, a 501(c)3 non-profit and Arizona’s premier resource for healthcare innovation, is announcing the BioAccel Solutions Challenge to solve medical and health delivery problems in Arizona, stimulate new company formation and increase investment in the industry.

BioAccel will publicly release a vetted list of key healthcare problems, or “needs,” identified by industry practitioners and leaders, aimed to challenge entrepreneurs to create innovative solutions to solve them. The needs are expected to focus on improving patient care and health outcomes by using medical devices, molecular diagnostics and potentially health IT, and will be released this summer.

Qualified applicants will receive a $50,000 investment from BioAccel if they succeed in receiving matching funds from investors during a competitive and lively Investment Day event. Successful groups will then have $100,000 in proof-of-concept dollars to form companies to address these patient care needs.

“Necessity is definitely the mother of invention. There are a lot of very talented entrepreneurs in Arizona whose are poised to solve difficult challenges that face the healthcare system. They simply need to be informed about well qualified healthcare needs, so they can apply their creativity to finding solutions to real problems,” said MaryAnn Guerra, CEO of BioAccel. “The BioAccel Solutions Challenge program unlocks the innate nature of entrepreneurs to innovate new products as well as provide the capital and support they need for early-stage success.”

Upon announcing the needs, BioAccel will be hosting Q&A sessions across the state as well as a webinar to support the groups.

“We’re encouraging groups across the state to form in anticipation of the release and to start thinking about how they will create innovative solutions,” said Kelvin Ning, Associate Director of Business and Technology Development at BioAccel.

The final Investment Day event is targeted for the end of 2013.

“The BioAccel Solutions Challenge is bringing together innovators and investors across the state to drive economic development, while at the same time addressing critical needs that face our medical community. Our focus is to catalyze this interaction and stimulate the growth of new enterprises and novel products,” Guerra said.  The BioAccel Solutions Challenge organizes problem, solution and market need, along with the resources needed to support validated outcomes.

As part of the BioAccel Solutions Challenge, winners will receive mentorship and support from BioAccel’s extensive business and financial network. Winners will also have access to BioInspire, BioAccel’s device incubator in Peoria, which provides affordable space and support for medical device technologies.

“BioAccel’s objective is to create sustainable companies that produce valuable products that are needed in the marketplace. Our hope is that these companies progress into our commercialization programs and beyond,” said Dr. Ron King, Chief Scientific and Business Officer at BioAccel.

In addition to creating jobs and new companies, the BioAccel Solutions Challenge will drive the organization’s Technology Advancement Program (TAP) that is focused on creating a more robust and qualified technology pipeline.

The TAP and New Venture Development Programs are commercialization programs unique to BioAccel, which are designed to specifically address the well-known Valley of Death that separates discovery from commercialization. Beyond access to BioInspire and capital, embedded within these programs is BioAccel’s due-diligence process, network of local and national subject matter experts, and healthcare business expertise.