Venture Capitalists Coast to Coast Join BIO Mid-America VentureForum

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 24, 2003)- Venture capitalists nationwide will explore biotechnology investment opportunities in the Midwest at the BIO Mid-America Venture Forum, a first-ever collaboration between the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), eight Midwestern states, and the Mid America Healthcare Investors Syndicate.

The conference, which will take place in Chicago, April 3-4, is the first of its kind to highlight healthcare and biotechnology funding and investment opportunities in the Midwest region. Designed to help connect venture capitalists located on the east and west coasts with those in the Midwest, the conference will help ease the challenge of investing in the burgeoning biotechnology hotbed.

“The Midwest is an emerging biotechnology center,” said Rodney Ferguson, a life-sciences venture capitalist with J.P Morgan Partners in San Francisco. “For investors in other regions of the country, the BIO Mid-America VentureForum is an ideal opportunity to tap into the technologies and companies leading the growth in this region. It's also an important forum for developing relationships with the Mid America Healthcare Investors Syndicate, which was formed in part to make investment opportunities in this region more accessible."

The Midwest includes hundreds of companies in the life sciences, as well as leading research institutions including Washington University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Northwestern and others that are rapidly turning out new life science companies and technologies.

"The Midwest is home to some of the most respected research universities in the nation, which are noted for their strengths in the life sciences, and as the source of development of many promising companies," said Allen Dines, university-industry relations, University of Wisconsin-Madison. "The BIO Mid-America VentureForum is an important step in bringing together venture capital firms nationwide with their regional counterparts to identify investment opportunities in the talent and technologies being spun out from Midwest universities."

To date, more than 70 companies, including life-science firms in the Midwest and 20 other healthcare firms from around the country, are scheduled to present at the conference.

Press registration is complimentary for credentialed news media. Advance registration is available until April 1. To register, please visit Only reporters and editors working full-time for print, or broadcast news organizations may register onsite with valid media credentials.

BIO represents more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in all 50 U.S. states and 33 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.

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