Nearly ALL of my clients are State of Maryland entrepreneurs in the life sciences. ALL of these clients need access to the marketing information as it is requested on ALL of the grants, presentations and pitches they make to obtain financing. Clearly the State must recognize that marketing information is important or why would they ask for marketing and competitive analysis sections in the state supported MII, TCF and other grants?
I have worked with over 50 small biotech companies on various consulting efforts. Every one of these required a commercialization plan, and accessing the databases provided critical information and insights that would otherwise not be affordable for these scientists and companies. The State must have a huge return on investment for the databases. The grant money alone is worth millions, plus there is a compound effect on the economy as these companies higher scientists and support staff, pay for facilities, equipment and materials and otherwise contribute to the State economy.
The market database information is imperative to be competitive on a national level for the multi-million dollar SBIR grants available from the NIH, DOD and NSF, among other agencies. The phase II SBIR all require a substantial and detailed commercialization plan. All of the sections are much more meaningful and competitive when companies have access to the market research databases.
Selected Required SBIR Elements:
- Describe the market and/or market segments you are targeting
- Tell what significant advantages your innovation will bring to the market
- Explain the hurdles you will have to overcome in order to gain market/customer acceptance of your innovation.
- Briefly describe your marketing and sales strategy.
- Give an overview of the current competitive landscape and any potential competitors.
- Justifying Value of the Project
- Provide a Marketing Plan.
It is the goal of the state of Maryland to be one of the top three biotech hubs in the nation by 2023. According the NIH provided SBIR rankings MD is currently ranked 5th. It will be imperative to provide the resources necessary for our start-up entrepreneurs to be competitive for non-dilutive funding. SBIR phase 2, Fast Track and Bridge Awards allow start-up companies to develop their technology through proof of concept and sometimes even through phase 1 clinical. This brings the company to a critical valuation inflection point where it is possible to obtain VC funding or even be an acquisition target. To reach the top 3 by 2023, Maryland must submit more SBIR proposals and increase our funding success rate. This will not happen if the market resources necessary for competitive commercialization plans are removed.
SBIR Phase II
Number of Applications Number of Applications
Reviewed Awarded Success Rate Total Funding
CA 106 45 42.5% $34,585,391
MA 62 27 43.5% $20,420,888
PA 27 16 59.3% $10,947,742
NC 35 13 37.1% $10,135,990
MD 28 10 35.7% $8,388,233
I thought the new governor was supporting MD small business? Removing access to a REQUISITE resource for small business success will remove a linchpin required for our biotech hub ecosystem. Removal of the databases will significantly lower the quality of MD start-up businesses/commercialization plans and their ability to raise funds. Without the marketing databases supporting our non-dilutive grant base the State of Maryland will never be in the top-3 by 2023, and I would predict a fast fall from where we currently stand.
I urge biotech start-up stake-holders in Maryland to contact the Office of BioHealth
and Life Sciences in the MD Dept. of Commerce and tell them how important access to these data bases is for your business. Also, contact TEDCO, as they may soon take over the responsibility for this service, summer of 2016.