Who We Are
Founded in 2009 by MaryAnn Guerra and Ron King, BioAccel provides training, investor education and a competitive early-stage funding for qualified innovators focused on health informatics and medical devices, accelerating the translation of vanguard scientific advances and discoveries into commercially viable products and devices that profoundly improve patient care and advance public health.
BioAccel is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that creates vibrant communities by transforming discoveries into new companies, new jobs and new products. We achieve this through our three strategic priorities (Outcomes): • Diversified Economic Growth • Improved Health • Entrepreneurial Education and Outreach While BioAccel uses philanthropic funding to bridge the high-risk Valley of Death stage of business development unique to bioscience innovation, our novel nonprofit status also allows the holding of equity in exchange for early-stage investments, which ensures our long-term sustainability.
BioAccel's early-stage bioscience entrepreneur support is making a significant difference, helping to launch 17 Arizona bioscience firms since inception.
Why our work is critical
This work is critically important for U.S. competitiveness because, according to The Kauffman Foundation's research, the ability for U.S. firms to commercialize only 6 percent more federally funded research discoveries would result in a $1.4 trillion to $3 trillion impact on the national Gross Domestic Product. Other scholarly research shared by The Kauffman Foundation reveals that university technologies successfully commercialized are 114 times more likely to result in a company initial public offering (IPO) than other startups.
We have identified five resource areas that must be available and integrated to ensure the successful journey of research discoveries:
- Identification and access to intellectual property and novel ideas
- Financial capital that includes proof of concept, seed and venture
- Business, technical and regulatory expertise
- A network of experienced and knowledgeable mentors and advisors
- Access to affordable facilities
Every industry sector has a Valley of Death that challenges entrepreneurs in moving their great concepts swiftly into commerce. The Valley exists primarily due to a lack of funding to commercialize promising early-stage technologies. According to recent research, the primary reason cited by investors for that lack of funding is "excessive risk" . The reality, however, is that many early-stage investors simply lack the technical expertise needed to evaluate risk, and, as a consequence, most regions chronically under-invest in early stage companies.
Nowhere is this resource constrained phenomenon more pronounced than in the biosciences.
In the absence of facts, investors may believe that greater than ten years and more than a billion dollars are required to successfully launch a regulated medical technology as opposed to an IT or software product. This couldn't be further from the truth . With the provision of skilled services, there is no meaningful difference in time to IPO in software companies as compared to medical technology companies.
Where 33 other states had deployed seed capital funds by 2013, Arizona has none. The need to establish multiple early-stage funds and ensure their participants and beneficiaries extend beyond personal investment silos has never been greater.
From Concept to Commerce
This chart illustrates the role BioAccel plays in providing training, investor education and a competitive early-stage funding for qualified innovators focused on health informatics and medical devices, accelerating the translation of novel scientific advances and discoveries into commercially viable products and devices that profoundly improve patient care and advance public health.
With donor investment, BioAccel's economic impact is multiplied as noted in the chart below showing two and five years after an investment is made.
1. Economic impact of the Scottish Enterprise Seed Fund: Final Report
2. Buying Time in 2014: Comparative Holding Periods For VC-Backed M&A Events