Sunday, April 09, 2006
For Michael Zwick, vice president of Business Development for Madison's Neoclone Technologies, Chicago's BIO 2006 is all about networking.
"This really isn't a trade show for research," said Zwick, who has been in the biotechnology business for more than a dozen years.
"For that, we'd go to other conferences," he said between bites of ribs at a Ditka's, an iconic Chicago restaurant where a joint Manitoba-Australian biotech party was held Sunday night.
Zwick, whose company does custom development work for companies all over the globe -- among other things -- said "everyone is here. This gives us the chance to meet with customers we met otherwise never meet in person.
"It also gives us the chance to meet with other biotech companies that we'd like to work with," he said.
Zwick said Neoclone ponied up about $4,000 to help sponsor the 1,600-square-foot Wisconsin pavilion.
"It's money very well spent," he said. "We aren't presenting here, but we have our brochures. For us, BIO 2006 is about meeting people and getting our name out."
Zwick praised Wisconsin's effort this year, which is much larger than it had last year in Philadelphia.
"The challenge we face in Wisconsin is that we are not a biotech magnet," he said. "But recognition of our state is growing and this can only help.
"What Wisconsin needs is more venture capital money and a big pharmaceutical company," he said. "Telling our story to anyone who's interested can only help."
And how did Zwick end up at Ditka's?
"We do some work with Australian companies," he said. "That's how my company got the invitation."