O’Connor: Oklahoma shines on global BIO stagePublished: Tuesday, June 12, 2018 By: Cathy O'Connor
About 40 Oklahoma companies joined more than 16,000 people from 74 countries at the BIO International Convention in Boston last week.
As the world’s largest biotech conference, BIO brings together a blend of researchers, manufacturers, investors and service providers in the areas of drug discovery, biomanufacturing, genomics, biofuels, nanotechnology, agriculture and cell therapy. The event recently won the Guinness World Records title for the largest business partnering event.
Every year, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber organizes a delegation of Oklahoma companies, established and new, to attend. It’s an opportunity to showcase the businesses as well as build the Oklahoma brand in science, technology and innovations.
Two Oklahoma companies, Moleculera Labs and Lipid Biologics, were invited to participate in a Startup Stadium as part of a handful of exciting new companies from around the globe. They each had six minutes to present to potential investors the problem they help solve, what’s novel about their technology and the investment opportunity with their companies.
Another Oklahoman who has been honing his pitch is Sean Akadiri, owner and creator of an agriculture technology startup company. AgBoost shows ranchers the genetic attributes of a single animal or the entire herd to breed for higher marbling, faster weight gain, high pregnancy rate or a dozen other genetic characteristics.
Akadiri’s time at BIO was filled with meetings with global leaders in animal health: Merck, Zoetis, and Elanco, all of which expressed high interest in AgBoost, since it’s the only genetic analysis platform on the market. He also had time to visit with other attendees from Oklahoma – company executives who have navigated the rocky startup road as well as those who can connect him with other potential partners and investors.
It’s important to support Oklahoma businesses on the world stage. It’s also important to support them in our own backyard. With the Innovation District, Oklahoma City has the opportunity to facilitate more business partnering, enhance innovation and attract new business in these key science and technology industries.
A talented team let by planning firm Perkins + Will is currently working on a land use and strategic development plan for the Innovation District, building on the recommendations made by the Brookings Institution and Project for Public Spaces.
It’s exciting to consider the transformative potential of intentional collaborations between people, businesses and the community.