KALAMAZOO (WWJ) — As it nears the end of its 10th year, the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center will sponsor two events in October that highlight a decade of achievement, including an inventive online tour showing to the global bioscience industry what makes SMIC and the region a successful life sciences hub.

On Oct. 9, SMIC will host “Leading Life Sciences: A Virtual Visit,” an online exploration of the incubator, its clients and the strengths that southwestern Michigan offers for present and future bioscience companies. Modeled on a traditional trade show with booths and presentations, the virtual visit will be held entirely online, giving entrepreneurs and investors around the world a glimpse of what makes SMIC and the region unique.

“Trade shows are a great way to learn and connect, but they involve travel that’s costly and time-consuming,” said Robert DeWit, SMIC CEO. “A virtual visit offers an opportunity to showcase the region’s successful legacy, current strengths and future potential for innovation to anyone in the world, and all without the expense of travel.”

DeWit said the virtual tour will provide key insights and useful connections to services, expertise and people who are advancing life sciences’ entrepreneurial efforts. Online trade booths will be staffed for live chats, and video presentations will highlight the scientific advancements arising from SMIC and its client companies.

“Southwest Michigan has a unique mix of experience and talent that makes it one of the most successful regions for life sciences investment in the country,” DeWit said. “We’re eager to tell that story to the world.”

Among the 22 organizations at the virtual visit will be Western Michigan University and its Bioscience Research & Commercialization Center, Armune Bioscience Inc., BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting, Genemarkers LLC, Jasper Clinical Research & Development, Kalexsyn Inc., Launch MI Lab, MPI Research, Metabolic Solutions Development Co., Micromyx, the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center, Open Prairie Ventures, Ophthy-DS, PharmOptima LLC, Proteos Inc., Single Source Procurement, Sunapten Therapeutics Inc., Velesco Pharmaceutical Services, Vestaron Corp., West Labs Scientific and SMIC itself.

“Leading Life Sciences: A Virtual Visit” will take place Oct. 9 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

There is no cost to participate, but registration is required. To register, go to http://bit.ly/1e6oKe4.

Later in October, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at an Oct. 23 dinner event celebrating SMIC’s 10th anniversary. The dinner will take place at the Radisson Plaza in downtown Kalamazoo.

Also speaking at the event will be Roger Ulrich, co-founder of Calistoga Pharmaceuticals. A former researcher with Merck Research Laboratories, Abbott Laboratories and the Upjohn Co., Ulrich co-founded Calistoga in 2006 to develop cancer treatments. Calistoga was purchased by Gilead Sciences in 2011 for $375 million.

“Dr. Ulrich brings a unique and valuable perspective to the process of launching, building and succeeding with a life sciences startup,” DeWit said.

Attendees at the celebration will include individuals across Michigan and beyond who have played significant roles in the creation and growth of SMIC.

The Southwest Michigan Innovation Center is a 69,000-square-foot business incubator and accelerator providing a comprehensive range of support and assistance to nurture the formation, survival, and growth of innovative, entrepreneurial life science businesses. Located in Kalamazoo and the heart of Michigan’s life sciences region, SMIC opened its doors in 2003. The Innovation Center is located in Western Michigan University’s Business Technology & Research Park, a state-designated SmartZone.

More at http://www.kazoosmic.com.


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