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Life After Start-Up Stadium: Dermala, Inc.

May 25, 2017
For the third year, the BIO International Convention will host the 2017 BIO Start-Up Stadium Empowering the Cutting-Edge Companies of Tomorrow, Today – an exciting and interactive experience where investors provide live feedback and judge 5-7 minute pitches presented by start-up biotech companies. The Start-Up Stadium accepts applications from early-stage companies with breakthrough technologies, and invites investors and state and regional affiliates to engage and explore mutual opportunities. Participating companies receive access to BIO One-on-One Partnering™ and educational sessions making their experience at BIO like no other.

[caption id="attachment_25424" align="alignleft" width="175"] Lada Rasochova, CEO of Dermala Inc.[/caption]

This is the fourth in a series of guest blogs highlighting Start-Up Stadium success stories as told by former participants. Today we spoke with 2016 Alum, Lada Rasochova, PhD, MBA, CEO of Dermala Inc.

BTN: Can you tell us about your start-up?

Dermala Inc. is using the human microbiome to discover and develop novel treatments for various skin conditions, including acne, eczema, and aging skin. Our products are based on cutting-edge science and incorporate the latest advances in microbiome research to optimize skin health for everyone.

BTN: Was the Start-Up Stadium platform able to assist you in gaining visibility?

Prior to the BIO International Convention, we had a very limited number of connections outside our company. Most of these contacts we were in the lab and focused on delivering proof of concept for our technology. Being selected for BIO’s Start-Up Stadium was a great opportunity for us to showcase Dermala to investors, potential partners, and the global biotech community.

BTN: Did you receive constructive live feedback at the Start-Up Stadium from stakeholders and subject matter experts?

Yes. Not only was it very helpful, it was an eye-opening experience. We received direct feedback on our technology, our product development approach as well as a “what’s missing” evaluation, and advice for what our focus should be moving forward.

BTN: How have you implemented any feedback to achieve success and continued growth?

Based on the feedback, we redesigned our product development strategy to initially focus on a specific market segment. This enabled us to focus our limited resources where they mattered most and speed up our prototype development. Ultimately, this resulted in gaining significant traction with potential partners and investors, and moved us closer to market launch.

BTN: Were your BIO One-on-One Partnering™ meetings successful? Did they generate valuable connections with potential for meaningful partnerships?

They were successful! We connected with all major dermatology players – global, medium, and small sized companies. We made connections with dermatology companies in various sectors: human health, animal health, pharma, and consumer products. We were in meetings for two days with no breaks. Some of these connections that we made at BIO resulted in partnership and investment opportunities.

BTN: Although no longer eligible to participate in the Start-Up Stadium, will you be returning the 2017 BIO International Convention?

Yes, we will attend again. BIO is the best meeting to attend if you’re looking to make a lot of global connections. Time is the most valuable resource for a small company like Dermala. Attending BIO has proven to be the most efficient way for us to follow up with companies we met with previously and make new connections with potential partners.

About: Dermala Inc., a spinout from the University of California San Diego, is utilizing the human microbiome to develop the next generation of therapeutic and consumer healthcare products for treating diseases and disorders of the skin and improving human health with novel, natural, safe, and effective products. To learn more, visit: