The GSAS Harvard Biotechnology Club recently announced the winners of the 2002 Biotechnology Business Plan Competition. Sponsored by DuPont Bio-Based Materials, the competition is unique in that it focuses exclusively on biotechnology startups. This year, the competition received 18 entries from the United States, Canada, and Europe.
First prize, which includes a $5,000 cash award, was given to Pulmatrix, whose platform technology optimizes pulmonary drug delivery of proteins and macromolecules as a viable alternative to injectable drugs. The Pulmatrix team consists of 12 Harvard undergraduate and graduate students. The team is advised by David Edwards, associate of the division of engineering and applied sciences; Howard Stone, Gordon McKay Professor of Chemical Engineering and Applied Mechanics; Paul Bottino, executive director of the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH); Alexander Klibanov and Robert Langer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.); and Mike Lipp of Alkermes.
Second prize, which consists of a $1,000 cash award, was awarded to Acceleration biopharmaceuticals. The team, led by founder and CEO Ralf Geiben Lynn, formerly at the AIDS Research Center of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School, develop proprietary immune-based therapies for viral and inflammatory disease. The Acceleration biopharmaceuticals team is advised by Vincent Carroll and Mark Staples of Bryn Mawr, Bruce Walker and Andrew Luster of MGH, and Hungyi Shau of Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine.
All of the plans had the opportunity to be reviewed by a world-class group of life science venture capitalists and biotechnology experts. Summaries of many of the plans may be viewed on the Biotech Club’s Web site at http://www.thebiotechclub.org/startup.
“This third year of the competition was a tremendous success. We have seen a significant increase in the quality of plans, and are pleased to see even broader interest in the competition than the previous two years,” said Tony Briggs, director of Start-up Program of the Biotech Club. “This year many of the plans were exceptional. Our plans included entries from undergraduate and graduate students, to experienced senior academics and professionals. This year competition was fierce, however in no other competition can plans be reviewed by such an experienced panel of biotechnology experts,” said Briggs.
The GSAS Harvard Biotechnology Club is a student-run organization that has grown to include a global membership from many sectors of academia and industry. The club’s mission is to promote the evolution of biotechnology by bridging the gap that exists between academic institutions, industry, and the public. Using its extensive Web site as an organizational center, the Biotech Club coordinates a number of cross-disciplinary programs in business and biotechnology. The organization encompasses career services, a start-up program, a consulting group, an investment group, and the online magazine, Industry Focus. The Biotech Club offers many opportunities for corporate sponsors to increase their visibility and recruiting success in Boston and worldwide.