Tag Archives: entrepreneurship

bioscience

Bioscience Roadmap gets an extension through 2025

The strategic plan that has guided Arizona’s fast-growing bioscience sector for nearly 12 years is gearing up for a new decade.

“Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap: 2014-2025” will be unveiled starting April 8 at events in Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff, the state’s three metropolitan areas that feature growing bioscience hubs. The plan includes updated strategies that can strengthen and diversify Arizona’s economy while providing Arizonans access to the latest health care innovations.

“The updated Bioscience Roadmap builds on the successes of its first decade and adds contemporary strategies to take Arizona’s bioscience base to the next level,” said Jack Jewett, President & CEO of the Flinn Foundation, which commissioned the update and the original Bioscience Roadmap in 2002. “Arizona is now known as a top emerging bioscience state, but we have far to go to reach our full potential.”

The updated Roadmap will continue to focus on developing Arizona’s biomedical research infrastructure but will emphasize turning this research into new therapies, products, diagnostics, jobs, firms, and other benefits to Arizona. Commercialization, entrepreneurship, creating a critical mass of bioscience firms, and the development of talent are prime themes.

The Roadmap’s overarching vision is for Arizona—a young but rapidly growing state in the biosciences—to become a global competitor and national leader in select areas of the biosciences by 2025.

Over the first decade, Arizona built major research facilities at its universities, formed new private research institutes, attracted top talent, created high-tech business incubators, and greatly expanded statewide STEM (science, technology, education, math) education programs. The number of Arizona bioscience industry jobs grew by 45 percent, nearly four times greater than the nation.

“Arizona has many bioscience strengths and opportunities, but a substantial increase in private and public investment will be needed over the next decade to realize the Roadmap’s goals,” said Walter Plosila, senior advisor to the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, the Columbus, Ohio-based nonprofit research and development organization that authored the original Roadmap and its update.

Plosila noted that Arizona’s greatest needs are access to risk capital by startup and emerging bioscience firms, building a stronger bioscience entrepreneurship culture, and an expansion of the research infrastructure combined with commercialization at the state’s universities.

The new Roadmap plan features five goals, 17 strategies, and 77 proposed actions. The actions are meant to evolve as needs change over the course of the decade. The plan was developed by Battelle following research, interviews, and focus groups with more than 150 local and national bioscience leaders, including extensive input from Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee, a body of more than 100 statewide leaders in science, business, academia, and government.

“An emphasis on the full spectrum of the biosciences—from research to hospitals to bio-agriculture—and a renewed focus on resources, collaboration, and long-term patience is needed for Arizona to continue its ascent in the biosciences,” said Martin Shultz, Senior Policy Director for Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, who chairs the Roadmap Steering Committee. “The impact can be profound—the biosciences are a multibillion-dollar industry for Arizona.”

There are six industry segments that comprise the biosciences in Arizona: agricultural feedstock and chemicals; drugs, pharmaceuticals, and diagnostics; medical devices and equipment; research, testing, and medical labs; bioscience-related distribution; and hospitals. A new economic-impact analysis by Battelle estimates the total revenue generated annually by Arizona’s bioscience industry—not counting hospitals—to be $14 billion. With hospitals included, the figure exceeds $36 billion.

Based on the latest industry data (2012), Arizona currently has 106,846 bioscience jobs spread across 1,382 establishments and an annual average wage of $62,775—39 percent higher than the private-sector average. These numbers do not include academic research jobs at the state universities or private research institutes.

Hospitals account for the majority of the state’s bioscience jobs. With hospitals removed from the equation, the other segments combine for 23,545 jobs, 1,266 establishments, and average annual wages of $85,571. Growth in the non-hospital segments accelerated dramatically over the last few years.

The bioscience-related distribution subsector is a new addition to Arizona’s bioscience definition, following the lead of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the nation’s bioscience trade association. Companies in this subsector coordinate the delivery of bioscience-related products through processes such as cold storage and product monitoring, and new technologies such as automated pharmaceutical distribution systems. This change also called for several smaller industries to be dropped from Arizona’s definition.

The Roadmap also presents updated data on Arizona’s performance in generating grants from the National Institutes of Health, academic research expenditures, venture capital, and tech-transfer measures involving the state universities. These metrics plus industry measures will be tracked throughout the decade by Battelle and reported by the Flinn Foundation.

The Roadmap also includes analyses of Arizona’s bioscience sector that were critical in developing the strategies and actions, such as an assessment of Arizona’s bioscience strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges. It identified Arizona’s core competencies as cancer research, neurosciences, bioengineering, agricultural biotechnology, imaging sciences, precision medicine, diagnostics, health information technologies, and health economics.

The Flinn Foundation is a privately endowed, philanthropic grantmaking organization established in 1965 by Dr. Robert S. and Irene P. Flinn to improve the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations. The Phoenix-based foundation supports the advancement of the biosciences in Arizona, as well as a merit-based college scholarship program, arts and culture, and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership. “Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap: 2014-2025” is available for download at www.flinn.org.

Entrepreneurs

W. P. Carey School Launches New Major in Entrepreneurship

If you’ve ever thought about starting your own business — about turning your passion into a moneymaking company – then entrepreneurship may be for you. The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University announces a new major in business entrepreneurship that can offer you access to incredible resources and the knowledge to help you succeed.

“The W. P. Carey School has been delivering entrepreneurship coursework for almost 30 years, and ASU has a wide variety of resources for budding entrepreneurs,” says W. P. Carey School of Business Dean Robert Mittelstaedt. “However, until now, we’ve only formally offered a concentration and certificates in entrepreneurship. Starting this fall, we want to give our entrepreneurs a full major, so their degrees and resumes reflect the intense training and preparation they’ve received. This can help when presenting themselves to potential backers, partners or even employers at existing companies looking for true innovators.”

The recent uncertainty in the economy has produced a keen interest in entrepreneurship, as many people try to create their own jobs and business opportunities. As a result, the number of entrepreneurship programs at universities across the country is booming.

“Entrepreneurship students can look forward to potentially connecting with mentors, peers, possible investors and top faculty members who understand how to start and maintain a business,” says Sidnee Peck, director of entrepreneurial initiatives at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “They also get great feedback from industry experts, and they have the ability to try and fail in a safe environment, instead of risking real money in the real world.”

The W. P. Carey School already has a tremendous record of producing great student entrepreneurs. Over just the past few years, the school has had a Forbes magazine “All Star Student Entrepreneur” and two finalists for Entrepreneur magazine’s annual “College Entrepreneur” award. The school has also had many winners of ASU’s Edson Student Entrepreneurship Initiative, which provides funding, mentorship and office space to teams of students and helps them develop their ideas into viable businesses. In the last academic year alone (2011-12), W. P. Carey School students won more than $130,000 in new-venture competitions.

In 2011, Peck was invited to speak at a White House event about the benefits of teaching entrepreneurship to college students. Her entrepreneurship classes at the W. P. Carey School include some groundbreaking new coursework in Lean LaunchPad, an experience-oriented concept introduced in Silicon Valley. Several of her students have successfully launched businesses.

“Our major in entrepreneurship helps you acquire the educational foundation, experiences and network to negotiate obstacles and be successful,” says Professor Gerry Keim, chair of the W. P. Carey School’s Management Department, where the new major is housed. “This country has always encouraged the risk-taking needed to be an entrepreneur. In our program, students can learn whether something is feasible, whether an idea is a good fit for the marketplace, how to get capital, and other key skills, so they only spend time developing business concepts that create value.”

ASU also boasts many other opportunities to help students get their firms off the ground, including:

·         Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS), a sequence of classes at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering that joins students of various majors to help solve real-world problems.
·         Student Teams for Entrepreneurship Projects (STEP), a program from the W. P. Carey School of Business Spirit of Enterprise Center that matches teams of business students with Valley companies to solve existing problems.
·         CTI Maker Week through the College of Technology and Innovation, where students can pitch ideas, make devices and launch them.
·         InnovationSpace — a joint program between the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and the W. P. Carey School of Business – that teaches students how to develop products that create market value, while serving social needs and minimizing impacts on the environment.
·         ASU’s SkySong, which offers the Edson Student Entrepreneurship Initiative and other funding competitions, among many other services for entrepreneurs.

The new entrepreneurship degree will officially be available starting in fall 2013, but applications are already being accepted. Two other new bachelor’s degrees will also be offered at the W. P. Carey School this fall: Bachelor of Arts in Business with concentrations in human resources or sports & media studies. A new concentration is also being introduced in digital and integrated marketing communication.

Visit www.wpcarey.asu.edu for more information on the school’s stellar undergraduate program, ranked Top 25 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

George Slessman_CEO_IO

IO CEO Honored by Goldman Sachs for Entrepreneurship

Goldman Sachs recognized IO CEO George Slessman as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs of 2012 at its recent Builders & Innovators Summit in Newport Beach, California.

Goldman Sachs selected Slessman as one of 100 leaders from multiple industries to be honored at the event. Slessman has been an executive in the data center industry for over a decade and a technology leader and entrepreneur for more than 15 years. In this brief period of time, he has founded and successfully exited several technology businesses, inventing and delivering transformational software, hardware and clean energy technologies for the benefit of enterprise, government and service provider customers. In addition to being recognized as a thought leader in the technology industry that solves problems for customers, his companies have organically created over a billion dollars of value for his investors to date.

“I am humbled to be included in this summit,” said Slessman. “This is truly an acknowledgement of the extraordinary people, organizations, and customers that I have had the privilege to learn from and work with in my own professional journey.”

“We are honored to recognize George Slessman as one of the top 100 most innovative entrepreneurs in the technology industry,” said David Solomon, co-head of investment banking at Goldman Sachs. “This inaugural event brought together emerging entrepreneurs paired with seasoned entrepreneurs from a diverse set of industries to discuss how to build great and enduring companies that reshape industries and the world through innovation.”

For more than 140 years, Goldman Sachs has been advising and financing entrepreneurs as they launch and grow their businesses. In addition to honoring 100 entrepreneurs, the conference included general sessions and clinics led by Goldman Sachs experts and resident scholars.

IO designs, engineers and delivers data center infrastructure for the world’s largest enterprises, governments and service providers. IO owns and operates data centers for hundreds of customers, and has leveraged this experience to build a next-generation Data Center 2.0 cloud enabling technology platform. IO.Anywhere modular data centers provide enterprise-class infrastructure that can be delivered as DCaaS and rapidly deployed as a product to customer sites anywhere in the world. IO developed the first data center infrastructure operating system, IO.OS, to provide the intelligent control needed to maximize utilization, resiliency and energy efficiency. IO is a privately held company headquartered in Phoenix. For more information on IO, please visit us on the web at .io.com

153888767

National Bank of Arizona Hires New Business Banking Manager

National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) announced the hire of new business banking manager, Ward Hickey. Hickey has more than 25 years of experience in the Arizona banking industry, specializing in entrepreneurship, business development and small business administration (SBA) lending.

“I am thrilled to join the NB|AZ team,” Hickey said. “I’m looking forward to expanding the small business products group and developing mutually beneficial partnerships for the bank and the companies we serve.”

In his new role as business banking manager, Hickey will focus on growing deposit and lending products in the SBA department, reinforcing the strong commitment NB|AZ has to fueling the entrepreneurial spirit of Arizona. He will work directly under Brent Cannon, executive vice president and director of community banking, managing a small team of bankers at the NB|AZ Corporate Headquarters at the Biltmore.

“We are extremely pleased that Ward has joined the team at NB|AZ,” Cannon said. “His specialty in the small business segment, and specifically SBA guaranteed loans, will add considerable value to our organization. Under Ward’s leadership, NB|AZ will continue and improve our products and services to small businesses throughout Arizona.”

Prior to joining NB|AZ, Hickey held several executive positions and shared his expertise with various local and national banks, including Heritage Bank, Wells Fargo and Alerus Bank and Trust, among others. Over the course of his career, Hickey has procured and funded more than $500 million in SBA and commercial loan volume.

Hickey has been recognized with many awards for his exemplary work, including the 2006 SBA Financial Services National Champion of the Year, 2000-2003 SBA Arizona Small Business Banker, and the 2000 Southwestern Business Financing Corporation Banker of the Year.

In addition to his professional success, Hickey dedicates a significant portion of his time to giving back to the community through board positions with the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Phoenix and the Arizona State University Dean’s Council.

Factoring Programs

Factoring Programs: Good News For Young Entrepreneurs

The lecture hall was packed, but students weren’t listening to a lecture; they were listening to what could possibly be their only chance at entrepreneurship: factoring programs.

It’s an old — and often misunderstood — strategy for young entrepreneurs whose capital and credit history aren’t as appealing to banks as they should be in order to qualify for loans.

Factoring programs allow for the advancement of funds for small businesses, such as those started by students, against an approved commercial invoice. The remainder is then given to the client once is the invoice is paid. These funds then assist small businesses by allowing them to raise capital, provide credit, etc.

For many students, factoring programs are the only options they have in financing their entrepreneurial projects.

In an interview after the lecture on factoring programs held on the Arizona State University campus, Robyn Barrett of FSW Funding, formerly Factors Southwest LLC, explained the interest of these young entrepreneurs in advancing their ideas and ambitions in the business world. “It’s great to work with people that are so passionate about their job, work and their company,” she said.

One of FSW Funding’s success stories involves a young man who came up with the idea of combining engineering and art to craft a product that he believes makes a difference: Refresh Glass. Refresh Glass products are entirely made from recycled glass. Thanks to factoring programs, Refresh Glass is now a growing business.

Robyn Barrett also says, however, that students must be prepared to take on these entrepreneurial projects, whether they are using factoring programs or not. Students must equip themselves with basic accounting principles. Barrett says that many entrepreneurial students lack these basic skills essential to their entrepreneurial success.

And so as student entrepreneurs walk through their graduation ceremony and their future awaits, they can now be more hopeful. Factoring programs may be an old and misunderstood strategy for financing, but it’s one they may be able to count on.

For more information on factoring programs provided by FSW Funding, formerly Factors Southwest LLC, visit factors-southwest.com.

entrepreneurs

Celebrating Entrepreneurship ~ Nominations Open For Spirit Of Enterprise Awards

Their entrepreneurship helps create new jobs and boost our economy. That’s why we should all be involved in celebrating the importance of Arizona’s best businesses.

You can honor your favorite Arizona company by nominating it for the 2012 Spirit of Enterprise Awards from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. The awards recognize firms that demonstrate ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship. Past winners include well-known companies, such as Cold Stone Creamery, China Mist, Grand Canyon Railway and Ollie the Trolley, as well as smaller businesses that set a great example.

“We want to acknowledge the companies that really make a difference, creating a positive culture both internally and in our community as a whole,” explains Gary Naumann, director of the Spirit of Enterprise Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business.

Anyone can nominate a company, as long as it meets the following criteria:

  • A for-profit enterprise in business for at least four years;
  • Incorporated, headquartered or having a majority of its business operations in Arizona;
  • With three or more full-time employees;
  • Able to demonstrate profitability over the last three years combined.

In addition, one minority-owned business will receive the Gary L. Trujillo Minority Enterprise Award sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona.

The nomination process is starting this week. Companies must complete and turn in an awards application by July 31.

Winners will be announced Nov. 1 at the 16th annual Spirit of Enterprise Awards event. Hundreds of Valley business and community leaders are expected to attend the awards luncheon at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix.

For more information on nominating a company, applying for the awards or attending the luncheon, please call (480) 965-0474 or visit www.spiritofenterprise.org.

These awards are just one focus of the Spirit of Enterprise Center, which helps hundreds of businesses each year. The center offers companies the chance to recruit and meet with top student talent, while also allowing students to get hands-on business experience. One key program, Student Teams for Entrepreneurship Projects (STEP), matches teams of W. P. Carey School of Business students with Valley companies to help tackle real-world challenges and opportunities. Companies can also use the center to access other ASU business resources. The center is self-funded and utilizes community sponsorships and volunteers to sustain its activities.

Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs: Three Key Things To Consider Before Starting Your Business

Three key things for entrepreneurs to consider before starting their own business


The benefit of a challenging economy has been the inspiration for new business. As individuals find themselves out of a job they may have held for decades, they are no longer taking their talents elsewhere. Instead they are choosing to create their own jobs; and in the process, jobs for others.

On a recent visit to the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, I had the honor of meeting a group of enthusiastic future entrepreneurs. Growing up during a time of uncertainty has inspired these students to explore the possibilities of starting their own businesses.

Whether you are a college student with a great idea or a professional seeking to take control of your fate, there are three key things for entrepreneurs to consider before starting your own business and venturing into the world of entrepreneurship.

Do something you’re passionate about

Being in control does not mean more free time. Starting your own business will consume the majority of your time and energy. But if you are passionate about what you do, it won’t feel like work. And when you love what you do, you are more likely to be successful. Think about what you know, what you like and where you may be able to fill a need or provide a benefit to others. This line of thinking most often leads to great ideas that can ultimately become great companies.

The right person for the job

Entrepreneurs wear many hats, especially during the start-up phase. In the beginning, you may be the receptionist, janitor, most valuable employee and CEO — often simultaneously. At a certain point, though, you will be ready to hire full-time employees or need to contract expert help. Running a small operation makes it essential to surround yourself with strong people that fill your weaknesses. While you may be a very knowledgeable about your industry, it does not mean you understand how to execute marketing, public relations or finance.

When hiring, take the time to find people with the right experiences and qualifications to fit your needs. Also, consider personalities, work environments and schedules. As you begin building your team, you want to do your best to find people that you can work well with and will help grow the organization. Finally, consider the qualifications of the team as you reach out to secure potential investors.

Understand the numbers

Entrepreneurs tend to be great idea people or visionaries, but successful entrepreneurs know and understand the financial side of things. If you are still in school and think you may want to launch your own business someday, consider majoring in accounting. If you graduated already, consider taking a few accounting courses. If the thought of accounting repels you, partner with someone or hire someone who understands accounting to serve as a trusted financial adviser. Knowing the numbers and how they are calculated can help to eliminate the risk of fraud. It will also boost your credibility when talking to potential investors because they will realize you know the ins and outs of your company.

Starting a new business is a risk, but the rewards can be great. Taking charge of your own destiny and being your own boss can be empowering and challenging. In the end, having passion for what you do, the determination to make it happen and the dedication to see it through will be what sets you apart from others.

For more information about becoming an entrepreneur, visit fswfunding.com.

Legal

Tips On Avoiding Legal Hurdles When Starting A Business

When an entrepreneur launches a new venture, the legal issues related to forming and operating the business are often put on the back burner. The natural focus is on hiring employees, securing customers, and generating revenue. Unfortunately, failing to do some basic legal planning can result in costly mistakes, impaired growth, and even the untimely collapse of the business.

Here are practical tips that every new business owner should consider:

Create a company

Unless you want to put your personal assets at risk, create a company through which to operate your business. There are a number of options, including C corporations, S corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships. The right choice will turn on the nature of the business, the ownership and management structure, the desired tax treatment (including the elimination of “double taxation”), any applicable regulatory requirements and the exit strategy.

Maintain good corporate records

Understand the legal requirements and best practices associated with maintaining corporate records for your company. Once a checklist has been developed to guide you, the process is fairly painless. Poor record keeping, however, can lead to a host of problems and create significant liability for the company and its owners and managers.

Put someone in charge

Two individuals start a business and decide that each will be a 50 percent owner. That sounds good in theory, but rarely works in practice. No matter how cooperative the partners pledge to be, legitimate disagreements will inevitably arise. And when they do, a 50-50 ownership structure will guarantee deadlock. Encourage each owner to participate in the decision-making process, but invest someone with the power (through stock ownership, board control and/or contractual rights) to make the final call.

Raise money legally

Every new company requires some infusion of capital. If the company’s founders cannot personally finance those capital requirements, they may turn to third-party investors. In doing so, the company must conduct a private offering in compliance with federal and state securities laws. It is important to understand that these laws are triggered when even one share of stock is offered or sold to just one person. The laws dictate the manner in which prospective investors can be solicited, the contents of the documentation that must be provided, and any required regulatory filings. Securities law violations can jeopardize not only the offering, but also create civil and criminal liability for the company and its principals. Hire an experienced lawyer to help you navigate the process.

Protect your brand

As a company matures, its brand can become one of its most valuable assets. Think of Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Disney. Federal trademarks are the best way to protect and enforce your brand. Before launching your company or its new product, have an intellectual property attorney determine whether the names and logos being considered are available for use and, if so, what level of protection might be available. It is difficult enough to acquire brand recognition in the marketplace, so don’t risk being unable to use or protect the brand once that hard-earned recognition is attained.

Protect your other intellectual property

Apart from its brand, every company will have a certain amount of additional intellectual property. It might be a unique product, a novel way of doing business, a secret formula or a proprietary customer list. Make sure that your company both owns and protects its intellectual property. First, have both employees and consultants execute agreements that assign to the company all of the intellectual property they create. Without an agreement, your company’s latest and greatest idea may literally walk out the door without you being able to stop it. Second, consult a lawyer to determine how best to protect your intellectual property, whether through the use of patents, copyrights, trademarks, confidentiality and non-competition agreements, or otherwise.

Understand those contracts you are signing

How many times a week do you enter into contracts without reading the fine print — the ticket to the parking garage, the medical waiver, the cell phone agreement? Unfortunately, business owners are no different, often entering into critical company contracts without fully understanding their terms. They confirm that the basic deal points have been included, but then gloss over things such as representations and warranties, indemnities, and governing law and dispute resolution provisions. At best, those provisions may prevent the company from receiving the intended benefits of the contract. At worst, they may expose the company to significant and unexpected liability. Read and fully understand each and every contract before you sign it. Your company’s success (and survival) may depend on it.

Don’t hand out stock options like candy

To conserve cash while motivating employees to go the extra mile, some business owners are tempted to hand out numerous stock options. Whilethe dot-com era popularized this approach, you are encouraged to resist the urge. Employee turnover is inevitable. It is one thing to have a disgruntled former employee. It is another thing to have a disgruntled former employee who now owns a piece of your business.

Hire a good lawyer

Starting and growing a company is an incredibly difficult challenge. Hire a lawyer who understands and is willing to partner with your business. When you have an issue or problem, the best lawyer is one who has the expertise to understand the legal options, as well as the business sense to help you select the best one.

For more information visit, business-law.freeadvice.com

AZ Business Magazine September 2008