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First Southeast Venture Philanthropy Summit Set In NC

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., March 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The first Southeast Venture Philanthropy Summit will bring some 200 leaders of regional life science companies and national disease foundations to Chapel Hill April 3 and 4 to explore alliances bearing new opportunities.

The Summit will connect company leaders, academic researchers, funding specialists and executives from 30 foundations and philanthropic groups targeting a wide range of diseases and conditions.

The Summit has been organized by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in conjunction with BioFlorida, Georgia Bio , NCBIO, Southeast BIO and Virginia Bio . They were aided by a steering committee including members of those organizations plus leaders from the venture philanthropy, venture capital and academic communities.

"Foundation funding, or venture philanthropy, has increased in terms of the breadth of funding options available and the size of the grants and investments these organizations are making," said Peter Ginsberg , vice president of Business and Technology Development at NCBiotech. "However, few life science companies or academic institutions in the Southeast have benefited from venture philanthropy."

Many companies throughout the Southeast are working to commercialize discoveries from academic and corporate labs that could help disease foundations in their struggle to advance new therapies -- and possibly even cures.

Ginsberg was encouraged to organize this regional Summit after 170 participants crowded into an NCBiotech forum he led that featured four venture philanthropy executives.

This Summit will build on that interest with a full-day conference preceded by a reception the evening before, both in Chapel Hill. Discounted advance registration runs through April 1, space permitting.

Foundation funding benefits extend well beyond the dollars involved, said Ginsberg. "Besides money, recipients also receive access to thought leaders, partners and patients, as well as a 'stamp of approval' from a well-recognized body of experts."

Many life science entrepreneurs and academic scientists in the Southeast are unaware of this growing funding opportunity, he added. And others are not familiar with the best ways to attract foundation funding. The Summit is also designed to address those gaps.  

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.

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