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NCBiotech Hosts Ag Biotech Entrepreneurial Showcase  
9/17/2013 3:04:40 PM

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. Sept. 17, 2013 -- Leaders of eight fast-emerging North Carolina agricultural biotechnology companies will pitch their wares to investors and other interested observers October 10 at the 2013 Ag Biotech Entrepreneurial Showcase.

North Carolina is home to more than 80 ag biotech companies, including headquarters and installations for five of the world’s largest: BASF, Bayer CropScience, Monsanto, Syngenta and DuPont Pioneer.

Most of the state’s ag biotech firms, however, are entrepreneur-driven newcomers. Some of them are highlighted in the North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s 2013 Agricultural Bioscience Company and Entrepreneurial Profile System (AgBIOCEPS). That portfolio represents an aggregate investment opportunity of approximately $29 million.

Besides shining a spotlight on nearly 10 percent of the state’s ag biotech companies, this daylong networking and intelligence-gathering event at NCBiotech will also feature panel discussions on technology transfer and ag biotech capital formation.

“This event underlines the fact that we’re using the tools of biotechnology for agricultural R&D in North Carolina more fervently than anywhere else in the world,” said Paul Ulanch, Ph.D., MBA, executive director of NCBiotech’s Biotechnology Crop Commercialization Center.

“North Carolina is the center of the action because we’ve been so successful at merging the state’s two most significant economic sectors – agriculture and biotech. Great research universities, outstanding commercial partnering and the world’s first and most comprehensive state-supported Biotech Center are primary reasons for our leadership. And all will be represented at this Showcase.”

Neal Gutterson, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mendel Biotechnology, will deliver the keynote address on ag biotech entrepreneurship.

Amanda Cashin, Ph.D., vice president for life science with Alexandria Real Estate Equities, will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

Companies to be showcased at the forum include:

- Advanced Animal Diagnostics, by President and CEO Joy Parr Drach

- Benson Hill Biosystems, by President and CEO Matthew Crisp

- BioResource International, by Chairman and CEO Giles Shih, Ph.D.

- Mycosynthetix, by CEO and CSO Cedric Pearce, Ph.D.

- Nova Synthetix, by co-founder and COO David McElroy, Ph.D.

- Phytonix, by President and CEO Bruce Dannenberg

- Trana Discovery, by CEO Steve Peterson

- Zoion Pharma, by President and CEO Jon Alsenas, D.V.M.

A discounted registration of $50 is available with promo code EARLYBIRD, through Wednesday, Sept. 18. The registration fee jumps to $75 thereafter.

NCBiotech is a private, non-profit corporation supported by the N.C. General Assembly. Its mission is to provide long-term economic and societal benefits to North Carolina by supporting biotechnology research, business, education and strategic policy statewide.

The North Carolina AgBiotech Initiative stimulates the growth of agricultural biotechnology in the state of North Carolina to create new opportunities that generate jobs, strengthen the economy and produce the technologies and products that help meet the global demand for food, fuel, medicine and sustainable materials.

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