Pistoia Alliance launches Start-up Challenge 2015

Contest will see start-up companies develop new ways to improve innovation in life sciences R&D

A business plan contest will ask start-up companies from around the world to develop new ideas to lower the barriers to innovation in life sciences R&D.

The Pistoia Alliance President’s Start-up Challenge 2015 will see small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) compete for up to two cash prizes of US$15,000 and a period of expert mentorship from a senior industry figure drawn from the Pistoia Alliance membership.

The finalists, to be announced at the Pistoia Alliance US Conference in Philadelphia, PA, US on 13 October, will also receive mentorship support and a smaller cash prize of US$5,000 each as they develop their business plans ahead of final judging.

The Pistoia Alliance is a global, not-for-profit alliance of life science companies, vendors, publishers, and academic groups that work together to lower barriers to innovation in R&D.

Finding a sustainable path to innovation in life sciences R&D is a highly complex challenge

Michael Braxenthaler, President of the Pistoia Alliance, said: 'Finding a sustainable path to innovation in life sciences R&D is a highly complex challenge. While the majority of established global life science companies are actively seeking out new ideas every day, start-ups and small companies are often able to discover and develop new innovations much more efficiently. Through the Startup Challenge we aim to highlight the best of these new companies and put them in front of our members, as well as supporting the companies themselves in the continued development of their ideas.'

>The Pistoia Alliance says the contest allows start-ups to benefit from direct feedback and advice from major players in the sector that will help them to validate their plans, and in turn the organisation will be able to align its projects better with the innovative new technology of the future.

Richard Holland, Executive Director Operations at the Pistoia Alliance, added: 'If the startup community moves towards a particular innovation area en masse, then it is because that area has significant commercial potential, and commercial potential generally translates into a definite need or gap that the target market is struggling to address. Therefore the Pistoia Alliance should also be looking into what it can do to support those same areas of innovation with appropriate projects.'

For more details about the contest, including full terms and conditions and information on how to enter, visit: www.pistoiaalliance.org/startup2015

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