Align Summit: Pairing ambitious science with investment partners

Mar 21, 2023

By Jason Corderio, Chief Operating Officer, MassBio

When MassBio convened a group of industry partners last year to discuss the innovation ecosystem in Massachusetts, two themes emerged:

  • There are a lot of non-traditional funders looking to invest in early-stage biotech startups.
  • There is a gap in how to get them involved in local companies.

At the same time, it is well known that for all the great science that is attracting money and advancing through the pipeline, there is way more that isn’t even getting seen, let alone funded.

As a convener, MassBio took this information and ran with it, finding a willing partner in McKinsey & Co. and crafting an event that puts the people with the ambitious science in the same room as the investors ready to cut a check. The MassBio Align Summit goes beyond just introductions by delivering educational sessions with practical takeaways, pitches from 20 emerging biotechs, and the power to meet 1-on-1 that day to get a potential collaboration moving forward.

Private investors, venture capitalists, angel investors, or family investors who have been watching biotech from afar want to know what a sound investment looks like, the warning signs to keep an eye out for, and the current market trends and landscape. They are looking for answers to their questions: What is the viability of early-stage startups in a volatile economy? What is the role of innovation in driving economic growth and resilience? How can I best support startups and entrepreneurs?

MassBio has assembled industry experts and insiders to provide valuable insights and perspectives on early-stage investing, navigating the complexities and obstacles of early-stage biotech scaling, and exploring the critical factors and characteristics that will drive the success of biotech companies in the coming years. Two interactive panel discussions and a lunchtime keynote will lay a foundation for next steps (and be a refresher for the seasoned investors in the room).

What better way to put this newfound knowledge into action than by listening to live pitches? When you are a patient-driven investor, you want to find the right patient-driven science to back. Twenty innovative seed and Series A startups in biotech, health tech, and medical technology that have gone through a rigorous selection process will make their cases for financing.

The transformative therapies in development by the featured biotechs will range from next-generation gene therapies and novel drug delivery method to AI- and machine-learning-based drug discovery and digital therapeutics. This is the cutting-edge science you’d expect from local companies. On the healthtech and medtech side, you’re likely to hear about remote health monitoring, health equity and access, and novel data use.

Instead of waiting to take that next step, summit attendees will also be able to jump right into their Jujama app to find other attendees and conveniently schedule one-on-one meetings. This is the matchmaking that MassBio has been facilitating for decades. Massachusetts became a life sciences powerhouse through the density of our early-stage companies and one way we keep our leadership position is to ensure that despite a difficult funding environment, that they are being paired with investors who will support their next chapter.

Bold innovation is alive and well in Massachusetts, happening at lab benches from Kendall Square to Waltham to Worcester. Investors may be acting more cautious and looking for more data than two years ago, but they are looking beyond current market conditions to back emerging companies with promising research. On April 26, MassBio’s Align Summit will look to connect these two pieces to advance therapies and technology closer to patients.

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