A long-running venture investment summit in Philadelphia will include presentations from early stage companies for the first time.
This will supplement the growth stage companies presenting at the Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies’ (or PACT) IMPACT 2012 Mid Atlantic conference across life science, technology, including health IT, and clean tech sectors. Michael Harrington, the vice chairman of the IMPACT conference, is a partner with Fox Rothschild in suburban Philadelphia and represents early and growth-stage technology, life sciences and clean tech companies. He said adding the early stage component is in response to shifting trends that have resulted in fewer early stage venture conferences.
About 60 entrepreneurs are expected to present at the two-day conference from November 7-8 at the Ritz Carlton in Philadelphia, which attracts venture and angel investors and other participants in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond.
Steve Case, the former CEO and co-founder of AOL and founder of investment firm Revolution, will be a keynote speaker for the conference. Case was selected by President Barack Obama to serve as chairman of the Startup America Partnership, a group that supports young, start-up companies. Joe Buck, an NFL and MLB broadcaster with Fox News, will also speak.
Among industry leaders participating in healthcare panel discussions are David P. Holveck, the CEO for Endo Health Solutions and Joseph W. Kaufmann, CEO of Kensey Nash Corp., which was acquired by DSM for $350 million earlier this year.
Although early stage venture investment in drug development has decreased since 2006, the amount raised by venture capital firms for early stage funds increased in the first half of this year. Health IT companies with solutions that address hospital re-admissions and medication adherence are also getting investment.
As reduced venture activity in biotech has raised concerns about the long term outlook for product pipelines, pharmaceutical companies with venture arms are increasingly investing directly alongside traditional venture investors. Pharmaceutical companies are also setting up centers to cultivate drugs and therapeutics in their early stages to supplement cuts made to in-house research and development teams.