Oklahomans make several connections at international BIO convention

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Oklahoma Bioscience Association’s delegation on Tuesday traveled from Oklahoma to Philadelphia to promote the state’s bioscience sector during the 2015 international convention of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).

For The Oklahoman

PHILADELPHIA — By mid-day on Tuesday, people in bioscience fields from China, Texas, Japan and New Mexico had met with Justin Briggs from Oklahoma City’s Accele BioPharma Inc., at the 2015 international convention of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).

Briggs was part of the Oklahoma Bioscience Association’s delegation, about 60 people who traveled from Oklahoma to promote the state’s bioscience sector. The association, known as OKBio for short and which includes i2e Inc. and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, sponsored a large booth that featured four meeting rooms and several open tables that any of Oklahoma’s companies could use to meet with potential investors, partners and others.

Before the convention started, Briggs had culled 250 requests for an audience with him at the convention down to 42 meetings with government associations and interested partners, and investors scheduled over the BIO convention’s three-day period.  The meeting requests came from people interested in his biotechnology “venture accelerator,” which helps provide seed money and support for start-up companies, he said.

“Our mission is to do this in Oklahoma with world headquarters, so to speak, and have them managed in Oklahoma,” said Briggs, Accele’s director. “But our technology can come from anywhere.”

The BIO convention, which had more than 15,000 people registered from around the world, “is excellent because everyone’s here,” said Briggs, who is promoting the four companies in Accele’s current portfolio. “In 30 minutes you can get a good introduction, but the real work comes after.”

Most of Briggs’ meetings were held at places other than the OKBio booth, which had a full schedule of its own. By Tuesday morning, OKBio had scheduled about 160 meetings in its meeting rooms, said Josh O’Brien of the chamber.

In comparison, OKBio hosted 145 meetings in its booth at the BIO convention last year along with nearly 30 off-site.

Read the rest of this story at NewsOK.com.