CEO Letters

October 2021

Members and Friends,

We hope this has been a productive fall for you! It has been productive for the Virginia Bio Team; in-person events have resumed, in-person meetings have kicked back in, and preparations for upcoming events (40th Annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, anyone?) are just a few things happening in the ecosystem. We have a lot to update you on, so here we go!

Summer 2022 Life Science Internships!  Next month, Virginia Bio and our Virginia Bio-Connect partnership will open student applications for the STEM2VA life science internship program. STEM2VA will allow interested life science majors to participate in an intense and exciting eight-week Summer 2022 internship opportunity with the industry. Internship candidates will be scholars interested in becoming future scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs at companies working in the following areas: research and development; pharmaceuticals; diagnostics; digital health and medical devices. Interns will receive a stipend of $4200 for the program. Currently enrolled undergraduates and graduate students will be eligible, as will Winter 2021 and Spring 2022 graduates. Interns will be able to select their regional geographic preference, and companies from those regions will have an opportunity to interview and select interns. The student application period will be from November 1, 2022-January 31, 2022; internship decision notices will be sent to applicants by March 31, 2022. Internship applicants: come back to our website next month for application information! (Virginia Bio Member Companies information will be sent to you separately next month regarding your participation in this opportunity!)

Let’s See Each Other! Virginia Bio is Happy to Once Again Be in Person! The Virginia Bio team has been “on the road,” engaging with members and partners across the region. Given that the amount of in-person activity has been noteworthy way, we would like to provide some highlights:

Women Building Bio 2021 was a hit!  With the theme “Investing in Ourselves: Growing Stronger and Better Together,” the September 30 conference continued our focus on advancing women scientist-leaders in the bioscience ecosystem by focusing on their collective importance and strengths and opportunities for growth. The hybrid event saw 168 registrants, including in-person attendees at 5 locations: Charlottesville (Indoor Biotechnologies), Newport News (ivWatch), Roanoke (Virginia Western Community College), Richmond (GSK Consumer Healthcare), and NoVa/Washington DC (JLABS@Washington D.C., Walter Reed campus). Thanks again to our attendees, our emcee Michele Oshman from BIO, speakers, and sponsors for a very successful and impactful event! If you were not there and would like to view the event, please visit the website to learn more.

Biotech & Beer Has Returned! The October 7 Virginia Bio co-sponsored event with Northern Virginia BioHub was a great success, seeing more than 90 people attending the Northern Virginia BioScience Center in Manassas. Thanks to Matthew Miessau from Epidarex Capital for his keynote and the great Northern Virginia life science ecosystem for our successful first Beer and Biotech event of the season! Stay tuned to our Events page for upcoming Beer & Biotech events.

George Mason University’s Accelerate 2022 Brings It’s First Annual Investor Conference to NoVA! On October 19, Virginia Bio was happy to speak on a Biotechnology Innovation panel with Walter Colsman, CEO of BrightSpec, and Sally Allain, Head of JLABS@Washington DC. In addition, several early- to mid-seed-stage Virginia companies pitched to investors, including Virginia Bio members Jeeva Informatics and Perfusion Medical. We look forward to supporting the return of this first-of-its-kind event! For a recap of the event, click here.

Southeast Life Sciences AdvanSE Returns!  After a 1-year hiatus, the AdvanSE returned on October 27-29 in Charleston, SC. The hybrid event saw more than 300 in-person attendees, including several Virginia Bio member companies BrightSpec and Acohmal Research both were selected to pitch to investors. Also in attendance was George Mason University, which was selected to participate in PitchRounds, Southeast Life Sciences’ annual invitation-only small company pitch presentation. For a summary of the week’s events, click here.

If we haven’t seen you in person recently, we look forward to seeing you in the next several months!

JP Morgan Healthcare Conference is Back!  The Virginia Bio team is preparing to see you (and thousands of others!) at the 40th Annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. We will once again host our invitation-only Virginia Reception for investors and members on Sunday, January 9, at the InterContinental Hotel-Mark Hopkins on Nob Hill. The Virginia Reception will allow us to answer the question, “Why Virginia?” Beyond the accommodating business climate, as proved by Virginia’s 2021 CNBC #1 ranking as the best state to do business, our Virginia businesses, economic developers, research entities, and investors will be on hand to tangibly show Virginia’s life sciences strengths. Once again, we will host free meeting spaces for members on a first-come, first-served basis during the week (registration opening soon) for discussions with potential investors and collaborators. For sponsorship and other information, don’t hesitate to contact Frank Wilton, VP for Membership and Development, at

Upcoming Events:

Please click here to see the most current information and registration links for all of Virginia Bio’s and our industry’s events. Here is a summary of other upcoming events, as of this writing:

  • November 18, 2021: Commercialization & Leadership Luncheon: Business Valuation for Life Science Companies with Cherry Bekaert.
  • December 9, 2021: *Hybrid* Virginia Bio Annual Meeting of the Membership. In-person attendance at the Bio+Tech Park at VCU.

Your Ideas. Virginia Bio wants to hear from you! Contact us at with your ideas, comments, suggestions, and advice regarding how Virginia Bio can best support you and our biotechnology ecosystem.

Please stay safe and let us know how we can help you. Thank you for all that you do to make Virginia’s life science ecosystem stronger!


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