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Taking it to a new level: Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center to hold $250,000 pitch competition

Powered by the Hatch BioFund, the PABC’s 10th Annual Entrepreneur Spotlight is the first with a major financial incentive;

Applications to compete are now being accepted.

Doylestown, June 10, 2024 – On July 18, more than one hundred scientists, entrepreneurs, business leaders, biotech investors and others will gather at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center (PABC) for the PABC’s 10th Annual Entrepreneur Spotlight, which this year features a major financial incentive: a $250,000 investment that will be made in the biotech company that wins the event’s pitch competition.

Hatch BioFund, the venture capital fund affiliated with the PABC, will be making the investment.

The Entrepreneur Spotlight will be held on July 18 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the PABC in Doylestown. More information and the registration form are here.

Entrepreneurs interested in applying for the competition should send the company name, a brief description and URL to event manager Maura Delaney by June 19.

The event will provide a high-visibility platform for three biotech companies carefully selected from the applicant pool. A panel of experts from the biotech and financial industries will pose questions to the companies’ presenters during the competition. The audience also will be invited to ask questions. Then, the panelists and audience will vote to rank the companies using a digital app.

The company that scores the highest will be offered the $250,000 investment. The other two companies will receive one-year memberships at the PABC and related business developments opportunities.

This is the first time that the PABC has offered a financial incentive at the Spotlight. Louis P. Kassa III, MPA, president and CEO of the PABC, and co-founder of Hatch BioFund, says that he, Hatch management and partners chose to offer an amount that would attract the best biotech entrepreneurs.

“The Spotlight has always attracted an impressive crowd of people from a variety of industries, but we wanted to take it to a new level this year,” Kassa said. “We’re expecting to bring in three high-potential companies that will make some impressive pitches, plus we’re recruiting an all-star lineup of experts for our panel.”

Lorenzo Pellegrini, Ph.D., managing partner of Hatch BioFund, said: “We look forward to working with the entrepreneurs who apply for the pitch competition to select three outstanding presenters and business concepts. Our region has a rich history of innovation in the life sciences and we’ve seen many great ideas.”

About the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center - Nearly 100 companies belong to the PABC, which is a nonprofit life sciences incubator and accelerator providing a collaborative ecosystem and state-of-the-art laboratory and office space. There are nearly 70 early stage biotech companies onsite at its two locations. Along with its campus in Doylestown, where a new building with labs and offices opened two years ago, the PABC operates B+labs at Cira Centre in University City, Philadelphia. B+labs, which was launched in 2022, is a partnership with Brandywine Realty Trust. The PABC uses a highly successful services-based approach to nurture and guide its member companies to success, advancing biotechnology, maximizing synergies among nonprofit scientists and their commercial colleagues, and launching new ideas and discoveries. PABC companies account for 17% of all National Institutes of Health SBIR grants awarded in Pennsylvania and over the years have created billions of dollars in market value from IPOs, acquisitions and commercial valuations. For more information, please visit the PABC website.

About Hatch BioFund - Formed in 2023, Hatch BioFund provides early stage capital to promising life science companies, along with access to deep industry expertise and physical platforms to help them realize their missions. Hatch partners include Brandywine Realty Trusty, Daiichi Sankyo, the Hepatitis B Foundation, the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute, the PABC and B+labs at Cira Centre. The PABC manages B+labs, which is located in Philadelphia's University City.