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March Madness | Start-Up Stadium @ #BIOWC19

Connor McKoy
Connor McKoy
March 21, 2019

Starting today, the field of 64 men’s college basketball teams battling in March Madness will begin to dwindle. From now until the beginning of April, there will be upsets, there will be surprises and, more than likely, a team that was previously under-the-radar will gain national notoriety. (Looking at you, University of Maryland Baltimore County.)

Like the Cinderella stories that come out of the NCAA tournament, BIO’s World Congress in Des Moines will provide smaller, emerging, industrial biotech and agtech companies the opportunity to make a name for themselves.

Start-Up Stadium at World Congress is a forum for emerging companies, entrepreneurs and innovators to pitch their technology to potential investors and other stakeholders, so they can secure feedback and funding to grow their businesses.

The Shark Tank-style opportunity will provide these innovators unparalleled access to key members of the investment community, venture philanthropy groups, strategic partners and non-dilutive capital.

At BIO’s 2017 International Convention, one agriculture technology company became a Cinderella story after pitching the Start-Up Stadium judges on it’s “gene switch” application to improve agriculture productivity.

After Agribody Technologies participated in Start-Up Stadium, Lateral Capital, LLC, (one of the competition’s judges) provided some immediate feedback to the company’s leaders. This kicked off a business relationship that would lead to Lateral Capital investing in the company in early 2018. From BIO 2017 to that initial investment in 2018, Lateral Capital was also able to help grow Agribody Technologies’ investor Rolodex by facilitating introductions and meetings with other stakeholders, and served as a support system, offering advice when needed.

“The Start-Up Stadium gives these new companies a chance to be heard in front of experienced investors who have capital to invest in their terrific new ideas,” said John Lily of Lateral Capital, LLC in 2017.”

Companies wishing to participate in Start-Up Stadium have until April 5 to apply. Finalists will be notified April 22. Once accepted, companies will pay a one-time fee, which includes access to BIO’s One-on-One Partnering, registration to the event and your session in front of investors (savings of $2,200+).

That’s like paying for a ticket to the entire NCAA tournament AND getting to play in the tournament AND getting the opportunity to talk with NBA scouts while at the tournament.

At #BIOWC19, four pitches from the field of the 32 Start-Up Stadium participants selected will be chosen as winners. Thanks to our sponsors, each winner will receive two prizes:

  • BIO Prize || One-year membership to BIO
  • The Venture Investor Prize || 1-hour advisory discussion with venture capital firm Emerald Technology Ventures.

So, while the last team standing at the end of March Madness will get to cut down the nets and take in the pageantry that is “One Shining Moment,” BIO’s Start-Up Stadium provides winners with a prize that will benefit them for years to come.

To learn more about Start-Up Stadium at #BIOWC19, click here.