From Innovation to Investment:  Arizona Bioscience Week Has Something For Everyone

What do over 400 life science leaders, Arizona students, innovative companies and accredited investors have in common?  They are all participating in Arizona Bioscience Week events and you can too.

AZBio ABW 2014


Arizona is home to one of the fastest growing biotech sectors in the country with over 1300 life science companies.  Recent industry successes include the top performing IPO of 2013 (Insys Therapeutics, Inc.) and the 2014 acquisition of Ulthera for $600M.  Arizona researchers have contributed to the development of the drug that saved the lives of two health workers infected with the Ebola virus, designed and built revolutionary cardiac medical devices, pioneered new diagnostics and cancer therapies, and a wealth of other life science innovations that are benefiting patients here at home and around the world.

Arizona Bioscience Week, September 15, 2014 to September 19, 2014, celebrates these successes while providing the community with the opportunity to learn more about the vital work being done to improve health and stimulate the state’s economy.

Connecting Community

For those working in the industry, these life science innovations come as no surprise, but many members of the community do not have the opportunity to connect with Arizona’s life science innovators to see what is here and what is still to come. For this reason, the Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio) is holding a free Biotech Showcase on September 17th from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM in the North Ballroom of the Phoenix Convention Center featuring displays from  Life Science Companies and Arizona Universities.  In addition, students from Arizona high schools, community colleges and universities will showcase their work in a Student Discovery Zone sponsored by Northern Arizona University and award winning life science entrepreneurs will share their experience with the community on the “Best of the Best” Entrepreneurial Stage sponsored by life science accelerator BioAccel.  Presenters include:

  • Mario Martinez II, MRTNZ Ventures
  • Scarlett Spring, VisionGate
  • Alberto Osio, Yolia Health
  • Dirk Karsten Beth, Mission3
  • Mark Sholin, Arbsource

“This is a great opportunity for Arizonans to come and see what is happening in our state,” shared Joan Koerber-Walker, president and CEO of AZBio.  “Innovations in healthcare impact all of us personally at one time or another and the economic impact to our state is significant at based on economic impact analysis by Battelle Technology Partnership Practice which estimated that Arizona’s bioscience industry generates total annual revenue of $14 billion. When you include our hospitals, that figure exceeds $36 billion.”

The Arizona Biotech Showcase is  free and open to the public from 3:00 PM to 5:45 PM on Wednesday, September 17th at the Phoenix Convention Center.  More  information is available at

Honoring Excellence

Each year AZBio honors bioindustry leaders from across Arizona that illustrate the depth, breadth, and expertise of its bioscience industry. Over 400 leaders will gather the evening of September 17th to honor the researchers, leaders, and companies that are driving Arizona bioindustry   growth at the 2014 AZBio Awards from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. The celebration  ceremonies honoring Arizona’s life science leaders and innovators:

Information and tickets for the AZBio Awards are available online at

Investing in the future

The West was won by innovators, investors, and prospectors who understood the value of discovery and accepted the challenge of investing in new frontiers.   On September 18th, a new generation of biotech and healthcare pioneers will take the stage at White Hat Investors 2014, the first annual biotech and healthcare investor conference that showcases the best of the Rocky Mountain & Southwest Region.

Today’s life science pioneers build success through multi-level collaborations across a spectrum from discovery to development to delivery.   Partnerships range from academic institutions to private research institutes, entrepreneurs, global corporations, and investors at all levels and stages that recognize that what you invest in matters and that there is something special about fueling the growth of companies that improve the human condition.  At White Hat Investors 2014 companies that are tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges including HIV/AIDS, Neurological Disorders, Heart Disease and Cancer along with others that are developing solutions to diagnose disease, monitor the effectiveness of treatment and deliver new therapies will present investment opportunities to the region’s accredited investors.  Their work takes different forms as apps, tests, drugs, biologics, and medical devices, but the ultimate end goal is the same, to make life better for people here at home and around the world.

“Developing life science companies takes a bit longer than building an app to make restaurant reservations or a website to share photos with your friends.  Nor do life science innovations pop up like a building that you can drive by or walk into,” shared AZBio president & CEO Joan Koerber- Walker. “Life science innovators must navigate through the clinical trials and regulatory process, negotiate reimbursements across a changing healthcare landscape and work tirelessly to both build their businesses and attract the capital they need to grow.  At the end of that journey the rewards can be significant financially, but even more rewarding is the knowledge that you were part of a cure, helped alleviate pain, or made life better for others in a myriad of ways.”

White Hat Investors 2014 provides accredited investors from across the region with the opportunity to interface with life science innovators as wells as angel investors, strategic investors and venture capitalists with decades of experience.  The presenting companies were selected from across the Rocky Mountain Southwest Region and include:



For more information on White Hat Investors 2014 including times, dates, location and registration information, visit


Accredited investors interested in learning more about this exciting industry sector receive complimentary registration to both the AZBio Awards Dinner and White Hat.



Joan Koerber-Walker

Arizona Bioindustry Association  480-332-9636

Images available upon request.

Posted in AZBio News.