• WisBusiness

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

 4:57 PM 

Investors from 14 states will visit Madison for '09 MidAmerica Healthcare Venture Forum

ATLANTA - The MidAmerica Healthcare Venture Forum, one of the nation's largest regional platforms to showcase healthcare start-ups and emerging growth companies, will attract more than 200 private equity investors to Madison in November.

Gov. Jim Doyle announced Wisconsin's selection for the Nov. 10-12 forum during the 2009 BIO convention in Atlanta, where a delegation from the state is taking part in the world's largest biotech convention.

The MidAmerica Healthcare Investors Network, which produces the forum in cooperation with International Business Forum in New York, is an association of 48 venture capital firms from 14 states. Those firms collectively have about $2 billion in assets under management.

"There has never been a more important time to attract a conference of this stature to Wisconsin," said Doyle, who noted that many life sciences companies in Wisconsin are poised to attract venture capital. "This is a chance to bring the right investors to the right place at the right time."

MHIN focuses on life sciences investment opportunities in the region. Those opportunities include biotechnology, medical devices, bioinformatics, healthcare information technology and healthcare services. Key MHIN members in Wisconsin include Venture Investors LLC and Baird Venture Partners. The Wisconsin Technology Council and Forward Wisconsin have taken the lead in working with forum organizers.

The forum unites venture capitalists, private equity firms, corporate investors and investment bankers from around the region - and nationally - to explore investment opportunities. Past forums have attracted C-level executives from biotechnology, medical device and industrial biotechnology companies; business development executives; tech transfer officers and companies.

This year's forum will begin on the evening of Nov. 10 with a joint reception during the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium at Madison's Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. The forum will feature leading-edge industry topics and highlight more than 40 privately held companies that are seeking their next round of capital. Companies from across the region will be selected.

"In the life sciences sector, the recession in the financial sector has affected venture capital in a much deeper way than it has angel investment," said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. "Angel investing in Wisconsin is holding up well. However, Wisconsin needs to attract more venture capital, and this event can help do so by informing investors about the state’s life sciences community."

"There could not be a more opportune time to bring the event to Madison," said John Neis, managing partner of Venture Investors LLC. "As everyone knows, we are in a very difficult climate for raising capital. As our entrepreneurial community has grown, the financing requirements of the companies have grown correspondingly. By holding this event in Madison, we have an opportunity to showcase our state's companies at a time they may need it most."

The forum will overlap the annual Early Stage Symposium, which will be held Nov. 10-11 at Madison's Monona Terrace. The Early Stage Symposium also offers opportunities for Wisconsin companies to present to investors.

A host committee will be announced soon. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, contact Tom Still at 608-442-7557 ext. 24 or tstill@wisconsintechnologycouncil.com To submit a proposal to present or exhibit, or to take advantage of "early bird" registration fees, contact Carissa Stavrakos at 516-765-9005 or Carissa@ibfconferences.com

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