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WHO WANTS TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR?
New Funded Program in Bucks County, PA
Funding Opportunity for Entrepreneurs Seeking
Complete Proof of Concept Study

 

Application deadline:  January 3, 2008

 

Background and Introduction
            The Hepatitis B Foundation’s research institute – the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research (IHVR) - invites proposals from qualified individuals wishing to apply for support to develop their ideas into commercializable products and/or companies at its Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center in Doylestown, PA. This would be done in partnership with the IHVR, a nonprofit research organization.
            The Entrepreneur Program is intended to defray salary, supplies and other expenses related to the “proof of concept” testing of the applicant’s idea. In addition, guidance will be provided for grant writing, business planning, and IP issues to optimize the applicant’s chances of obtaining further development and investment. It is reasoned that achievement of these goals is made more likely if done at the PA Biotech Center, an environment conducive to developmental research.
            The successful candidates will be provided with a faculty/staff position at the IHVR and, if appropriate, be nominated for adjunct appointment at Drexel University; thereby, joining a research and public health environment that is nurturing for innovation and collegiality.

Scope and Areas of Interest
            Biotechnology is an obvious focus of the PA Biotech Center, and as home to the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research, therapeutic drug discovery, liver diseases, and cancer are all strengths. However, other ideas that would be compatible and could benefit from being in the PA Biotech Center, including education services, bioinformatics, biofuels, medicinal chemistry, and so on, are also considered attractive.

Funding Levels
Funding for up to two years with awards of $55,000-100,000 per year is possible.

Application Information
First round deadline is January 3, 2008.
Funding decisions are scheduled to be made by February 1, 2008.

Application Process
Applicants are asked to write a description of the business opportunity of no more than five pages. Evaluation of the entries will be somewhat different than the typical business plan competition, with less emphasis placed on elements like marketing plans, financial projections, and management. Business opportunities should center on an innovative technology or approach, and the description should cover the following elements listed below. More information may be requested by the IHVR, if appropriate.

  1. Title of project, summary and contact information:  In less than a ½ page, provide a brief but clear overall summary of the business concept that articulates the case for promising commercial venture. Please provide email and addresses of the person to be contacted regarding the application.
  2. Background: In less than a ½ page, describe the field in which the opportunity exists and the nature of the underserved medical or health need.
  3. Business Concept: In less than 1 page, describe in broad detail your business concept, the nature of the innovation, how it will address the challenges in the field, what exactly your product or service will be, who will buy it, how it will make money, and what challenges there might be.
  4. Market Overview: In less than a ½ page, provide a basic understanding of the market in which you expect to compete. Who else is there already or planning to enter, and what edge does your concept have over them?
  5. Research Plans: In less than 1 page, explain how residing at the PA Biotech Center will advance your concept. What milestones do you hope to accomplish and what resources will be required to reach them? How might the particular mix of research currently at the Center synergistically aid your work?
  6. Personnel: The lead investigator should also include a resume/biographical sketch. This can be excerpted from a full resume, curriculum vitae, but please provide at least the following information:
    • Name, address, current employment, titles and responsibilities
    • Education and professional background
    • Relevant honors, publication, grants received
    • Names, titles and addresses of 3 references, and relationship to the applicant

Propriety information is NOT needed, but sufficient information to permit comparative evaluations to allow for determination of the following is needed. Thus, although we intend to hold all communications in confidence, ideally, you will be able to provide answers without disclosing confidential information or requiring a confidentiality  agreement. If the absence of such an agreement prevents your ability to answer the following questions, please contact us by email (please, no phone calls).

Selection Criteria
Business opportunity concept papers will not be evaluated solely as documents in and of themselves, but as visions of potential new ventures, and will be judged on the overall likelihood of the success of the idea as carried out by the applicant.  Evaluations of the plans will be based on the following criteria:

  • Degree of creativity and innovation embodied in the business concept
  • Level of thought, research, and analysis evident in the description
  • Appropriateness of the strategy for exploiting the opportunity
  • Intellectual property position and its impact on the feasibility of the business
  • Time that is likely to be required before marketing a product or selling the business
  • Qualifications of the applicant
  • Likelihood of achieving substantial benefit from locating at the PA Biotech Center

For more information, please visit the IHVR (www.ihvr.org) or PA Biotech Center (www.pabiotechbc.org).

 

Please return applications marked “Entrepreneur Program” to:
(No phone calls please)

James Horan, CPA, MBA
Chief Operating Officer
Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research, and
Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center
3805 Old Easton Road
Doylestown, PA, 18902

Email completed applications and/or questions, with “Entrepreneur Program” in the subject line to grants @ihvr.org.

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