Investors get a chance to connect with startups at upcoming CED conference

Entrepreneurial companies from across the country will come together next month for the Council for Entrepreneurial Development’s 27th annual Life Science Conference in Raleigh.

Seventy companies will be featured at the Feb. 27-28 event held in the Raleigh Convention Center. The businesses will represent biotech, pharmaceuticals, diagnostic care, healthcare technology and medical devices.

“The mission of the conference is to really showcase emerging entrepreneurial companies and help facilitate connections for them,” said Emily McLoughlin, senior communications manager for CED, which assists new businesses in developing resources. “It’s an opportunity to gather everyone together but also to make intentional connections.”

About 70 investors also will attend the events, she noted. CED works with investors before the conference to identify what kind of companies they are interested in.

Entrepreneurs from 30 companies will present their stories and pitch their businesses to about 1,000 attendees. These include the Raleigh companies Applied LifeSciences & Systems, Contego Medical and VitalFlo along with Durham companies Lumedica, Element Genomics and Cellective BioTherapy.

Those who attend the conference will be able to network with the presenting companies as well as 21 additional businesses.

The companies were chosen by a group of angel investors, venture capitalists, community members and CED’s Director of Entrepreneurship Jay Bigelow. Interested businesses applied through an application process in November and were narrowed down by the selection committee, which took into account the stage of the company and its potential for growth.

“Investors may already be following these companies and the conference provides a way for them to follow up in-person,” McLoughlin said.

Attendees will also have the chance to hear from leaders in the life science field such as Patrick Conway, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Gary Glick, CEO of IFM Theraputics, and Steve Nelson, co-founder of Carbon, Inc.

During the conference, the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and Duke University will also host the 2018 Coulter Investment Forum, which showcases 19 life science companies from about a dozen universities. Duke companies Microelastic Ultrasound, which specializes in medical diagnostic devices, and Element Genomics, from the therapeutics sector, will be featured.

Those interested in attending can register through the link: Registration for the CED conference also includes access to the Coulter Investment Forum.

McLoughlin noted that CED is also offering a partnering software in which people can schedule one-on-one meetings with other attendees.

“We have a room in the conference where we host those private attendees,” she said. “That’s something that really helps facilitate these connections.”