KALAMAZOO — The Southwest Michigan Innovation Center will celebrate its 10th birthday Thursday with a gathering of representatives from universities, venture capital firms and life science companies to talk about formulas for success in creating and growing life sciences, using SMIC as an example.

Representatives from 11 life sciences companies, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., Western Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, the University of Michigan, Detroit’s Techtown, and venture capital providers Apjohn Group, Open Prairie Ventures and Flagship Ventures are scheduled to attend.

The event begins with lunch and networking at 11:30 a.m., an 11:45 a.m. presentation from Apjohn founder and general partner Donald Parfet on “The Story of the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center,” remarks from SMIC CEO Robert DeWit, a 12:30 presentation on “Financing a Life Sciences Startup” from Michael Johnson of Flagship Ventures and James Schultz of Open Prairie Ventures, and a 1:30 p.m. presentation on “How Universities Approach Technology Transfer and Business Expansion” from Stephen Haakenson, executive director of WMU’s Biotechnology Research & Commercialization Center and Daniel Chagnovich, UM senior venture specialist.

After a break, there will be a panel discussion of life science startup founders, including Robert Gadwood, president and chief scientific officer of Kalexsyn Inc.; Robert Kennedy, chief scientific officer of Vestaron Corp.; Mark Gurney, founder and president of Tetra Discovery Partners LLC; and Rolf Kletzien, Ph.D., co-founder and COO of  Metabolic Solutions Development Corp.

More at www.kazoosmic.com.


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