Vermont Biosciences Alliance Fall Newsletter

Fall Newsletter 
VBSA was created to foster recognition of medicine and bioscience as a leading industry in the Vermont region and promote economic and human well-being by strengthening sector attention, research resources, and venture growth. To the businesses and organizations who are currently members, thank you for supporting the bioscience industry in Vermont.

SAVE THE DATE! The final 2018 Bio & Tech Beer will be held on December 5th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Queen City Brewery, 703B Pine Street, Burlington. Registration will be available on our events page:  VBSA Events.
Don't miss the I-Trep/SPARK-VT webinar on November 12th from 2:00 to 3:00 pm introducing the northeast's new biomedical Accelerator Hub, DRIVEN. Please register at: or you can get in touch with the DRIVEN team at For more information about DRIVEN please see the newsletter feature article.
The Gund Institute for Environment is sponsoring this free talk on data visualization on November 30 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm at Johnson House 101, Burlington.
UVM Events Calendar
Industry News
Four new NIH grants, including one in the northeast region, will support the creation of Regional Technology Transfer Accelerator Hubs to serve Institutional Development Award (IDeA) states. The goal of the hubs is to connect biomedical researchers and entrepreneurs with resources in their regions to facilitate the creation of new biotech start-ups. The northeast regional hub, DRIVEN, will serve Delaware, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire.
For more information see the newsletter feature article, attend the webinar on November 12th (, or get in touch with the DRIVEN team at
Don't miss the chance to attend Lean Manufacturing and Leadership workshops at 50% off the standard fees this winter! The Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center is able to offer workshops around the Northeast Kingdom at a discount with the support of a new Northern Border Regional Commission grant. Says Bob Zider, VMEC Director and CEO, "This is an outstanding training opportunity for Northeast Kingdom manufacturing companies at a significantly reduced cost."
A new bill improving intellectual property protection for small businesses has passed the House and Senate, bringing good news to small biotech companies that rely on their IP assets to attract investors and funding. BIO's President of Advocacy, Law, and Public Policy, Tom DiLenge, praised the bill for recognizing the economic value of small, innovative companies working on bioscience solutions for world-changing medical, agricultural, and industrial problems.
Small Business Innovation Protection Act
Education News
A new set of rankings released by The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education   places the Albany College of Pharmacy (ACPHS) as the number one added-value college, meaning it adds more value to its students' outcomes than any of the nearly 1,000 colleges and universities evaluated for the report.   According to The Wall Street Journal, "graduates at ACPHS earn an average of $117,333 ten years after enrollment...nearly $30,000 more than predicted, and nearly $43,000 more than graduates from Yale." ACPHS also ranked highly in The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education Resources category (65th out of 968 schools) which seeks to quantify if "a college has the capacity to effectively deliver teaching," placing the College in the top 7% in the nation.

Founded in 1881, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is a private, independent institution offering a Doctor of Pharmacy program, as well as bachelor's and master's programs in the health sciences. The College has campuses in Albany, New York and Colchester, Vermont.
The VBSA has collected some resources to help Vermont bioscience employers connect with local college students, available on our website. If you already work with interns, you may find an easier way to recruit or a new program to work with. If you've never worked with interns but would like to, check out these resources to get you started!
DRIVEN: The Northeast's New Biomedical Accelerator Hub

It's hard starting a new biotech business, especially if biotech entrepreneurs find themselves bootstrapping a new business in isolation. Yet distributed across our region is a healthy ecosystem of thriving biotech businesses. Between these regional businesses and some well-respected research institutions, it's clear that the northeast has the potential to support an active and productive community of biotech entrepreneurs.

So when the NIH invited Jake Reder, co-founder and CEO of Celdara Medical in Lebanon, NH, and Mercedes Rincon, Professor of Medicine at the University of Vermont, to apply for a new grant supporting the creation of regional biomedical accelerator hubs, they jumped at the chance to pull together a dream team of experts on medical entrepreneurship in the northeast.

Jake named the new hub project "DRIVEN", the acronym borrowing letters from the abbreviations for each of the five states that the hub will serve: Delaware, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire. The hub already includes key organizations from these states, namely Celdara Medical, Simbex, Dartmouth, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Vermont, the University of Delaware, Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, Maine Medical Center, Brown, and the University of Rhode Island.

The first three years of DRIVEN hub development are covered by the new grant, ultimately launching the hub into self-sustainability. The grant-funded phase of DRIVEN starts this year with a focus on identifying and curating the existing biotech resources in the northeast region. "We don't want to recreate resources already out there and that are already great!" says Julie Coleman, the project manager hired specifically to oversee DRIVEN. Each DRIVEN institution has identified a pair of entrepreneurship leaders. Their first task is to identify existing resources at their institutions and in their states. Once resources have been identified, the DRIVEN team will collect and curate them on an educational website targeted to anyone with ambitions for biomedical entrepreneurship.

The team plans to spend the first year talking directly with the community of researchers and biotech entrepreneurs already working around the northeast. They will learn what technological resources they rely on, what resources are missing, and how to help them connect with each other. "We want to engage as many people as we can," Julie says.

Years two and three of the grant will cover the creation of new tools based on the research of the first year. Those deliverables haven't been determined yet, but Jake expects they will involve curating existing resources so new entrepreneurs can educate themselves, such as recording webinars and connecting people with internships. And perhaps most importantly, DRIVEN will need a business model to keep the hub self-sustaining after the three-year grant period.

Mercedes summed up their hopes for the DRIVEN hub, saying "Our goal is to facilitate small biomedical entrepreneurship in these five states. There are a surprising number of small biomedical businesses, we just need to connect everyone, so everyone can benefit." After all, in the end it's not just about business: adds Jake, "If we're able to increase entrepreneurial success that translates to new medicines making it to patients."

Want to learn more or help the DRIVEN hub? Julie will be holding a webinar on November 12th called "Introducing the DRIVEN Accelerator Hub." For more information and to register please visit:

You can get in touch with the DRIVEN team at
Membership:  Have friends at other businesses that are interested in bioscience and entrepreneurship in Vermont? Invite them to join the VBSA! Joining the VBSA sends a message of support for Vermont bioscience companies and organizations.   Click here   for more on the benefits of joining the VBSA and to sign up.
News: If your business has announcements, milestones, or projects they would like to share with the VBSA community, please get in touch with us! You can email your news and information to
Call for Seminars: The VBSA is always interested in hosting new workshops and seminars! You can suggest seminar ideas to Rachel Marie Sargent at
Twitter:  Connect with VBSA on Twitter at
Member Benefit
New Member Benefit: Online Marketplace for Custom Scientific Research Services and Products

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