BIO2006 to create entrepreneurial ecosystem
March 27, 2006
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
As chairman of the
Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization, Abbott Labs' Jim
Tyree is fixing a serious Chicago illness: We don't spin out enough
entrepreneurial growth companies. Bringing BIO2006, the global
industry trade show here April 9-12, is just the first step in
wants to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem allowing local biotech
behemoths such as Abbott, Baxter, Takeda and Fujisawa to prosper
and new startups to emerge.
"The city will
enjoy the benefit of 30 to 35 million dollars in direct economic
benefit from the 20,000 visitors who will be here for BIO2006,"
Tyree says. That's great for cabdrivers, waiters and hotel employees.
But Tyree wants to do even more than provide a short term shot
in the arm for tourism revenues. He is nurturing and networking
Chicago's biotech industry and demonstrating it is world class.
as a capstone of a three-year effort," says Tyree, who believes
Chicago biotech can rival industry concentrations on the East
and West coasts. "Through BIO2006, we are bringing focus
to what our region has to offer. It is substantial. We decided
to go after BIO2006 because it gives us a chance to bring everyone
to the table."
Tyree knows jobs are
moving offshore. Chicago will only prosper through innovation,
investment and entrepreneurship. We need to create new companies
in the new knowledge industries like biotech. BIO2006 should be
a great catalyst.
Promod Haque, Norwest
Venture partners managing partner and named to Forbes magazine's
top venture capitalists in 2004, believes in prosperity through
"We have to latch
on to the next generation of technology," says Haque, who
was here last week to address the Indus Entrepreneurs and the
Illinois Venture Capital Association. Haque also stopped at Motorola
to trade ideas with CEO Ed Zander's brain trust.
more entrepreneurial than Chicago," says Haque, who earned
his MBA and doctorate at Northwestern University and has local
roots. Haque isn't hammering Chicago. He is trying to help. He
points to Minneapolis-based Medtronic and the wealth of startups
that cascaded from the company.
Creating more entrepreneurs
and a potent biotech ecosystem is precisely what iBio's Tyree
has in mind.
Tyree's efforts are
crucial. Working behind the scenes, Tyree has knit together a
coalition of top leaders from industry, government, academia and
the not-for-profit sector to boost Chicago's entrepreneurial pros-pects
for the long term.
Tyree isn't doing it
alone. He's not seeking credit. He's building an ecosystem.
Tyree, who serves as
senior vice president of Abbott Nutrition International, enjoys
enthusiastic support from his boss, Abbott Labs CEO Miles White.
Without Abbott's backing, there might not be a BIO2006 in Chicago.
Then there's the $1
million provided by the state of Illinois, and the support of
Mayor Daley. BIO2006 clearly is the result of a potent public
sector/ private sector partnership.
While last-minute preparations
are under way for BIO2006, Tyree is looking ahead. He wants to
bring the program back to Chicago in 2010. That's a great idea.
After all, Chicago's too big a berg to play entrepreneurial second
fiddle to Minneapolis.
Gateway to India
Chicago takes another
step at becoming the Midwest gateway to India when Infosys CEO
Nandan Nilekani speaks at the University of Chicago Graduate School
of Business Hyde Park campus Tuesday night.
Nilekani is a co-founder
of the $2 billion global tech services company based in Bangalore.
The fireside chat will be moderated by Dean Ted Snyder. Watch
for Nilekani to address the continuing flattening of the world
and the skills needed to win in the new environment.
The Economic Development
Council convenes Wednesday at the Tower Club to review Chicago's
biotech commercialization efforts. Members are celebrating more
than $100 million in local biotech commercialization investments
since the first of the year, including $44 million at the Illinois
Medical District Technology Park and $50 million in funding at
Northwestern, the U. of C. and UIC.
Speakers include: UIC
professor Brenda Russell, Illinois Medical District Chief of Staff
Mich Hein and UIC Assistant Vice Chancellor David Gulley.
Krauss is a Chicago area tech writer and consultant.