September 20, 2016 – Washington, DC – Viewpoint Molecular Targeting, LLC founders met with Iowa legislators at the National Council on Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer (NCET2) National Demo Day. The purpose was to educate them on the key role university based biomedical startups play in creating high value jobs and in improving national economic and social competitiveness.
NCET2 estimates that over 800 startups are created in universities annually. Viewpoint was selected as one of 35 “Best University Startups 2016” by NCET2 to present to legislators, corporates, venture groups and angels to discover, review, partner with and fund university startups.
Company founders described what helps drive the advancement of biomedical based startup companies like Viewpoint. They highlighted how university technology transfer offices facilitate the commercialization of important scientific discoveries by protecting intellectual property and licensing it. Additional programs like the University of Iowa (UI) John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center’s Venture School provide valuable guidance to faculty entrepreneurs throughout the startup process to increase startup success.
Additionally, Viewpoint emphasized the vital role government programs play in technology development leading to job creation and nationwide economic success. These include Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs that cultivate scientific excellence and technological innovation, focused on American priorities, by awarding competitive federal research grants. Grants help provide the funding necessary during critical startup and development stages, when private equity investment is difficult to obtain. The founders encouraged continued appropriations at levels necessary to ensure the commercialization of emerging biomedical technology.
Government programs not only provide grant support to biomedical startups, but also provide access to scarce materials vital for conducting medical research. Viewpoint’s founders highlighted the importance of the Department of Energy Radioisotope Program, which makes medically pertinent isotopes available for use by biomedical startups. Many of these materials are repurposed from former nuclear weapons programs, turning waste products into useful biomedical imaging and cancer treatment tools for the future.
Viewpoint hopes collaboration with legislators will help expedite biomedical startups’ technological developments, in turn, advancing human health and national economic success.
Viewpoint co-founder and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Frances L Johnson, left, Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa, center, and Viewpoint co-founder and Chief Science Officer Dr. Michael K Schultz, at U.S. Capitol.