Interview with Lori LeRoy of BioCrossroads

LuRoy2“One of the important things for a region developing a cluster strategy is to get a couple very prominent leaders to champion the effort.” – Lori LeRoy

In a conversation with SSTI, Lori LeRoy, Vice President of Communications for BioCrossroads, shares her insight on how BioCrossroads serves as a catalyst for the continued growth of Indiana’s robust life sciences cluster. Lori credits the role that industry leaders and the collaborative nature of the state played in helping BioCrossroads achieve its mission. BioCrossroads was able to build buy-in from several key industry leaders that allowed them to get all of the state’s key stakeholders in the same room. During the interview, Lori stresses the importance of the need for buy-in to build a strong industry cluster. She also shares some secrets on how BioCrossroads has helped life sciences startups gain recognition and attract venture capital funding.

The discussion continues to the Bioscience Research Institute – a life sciences-focused research institute launched in 2012. Lori shares a bit of history on how the institute was established by industry leaders and the collaborative environment that helped BioCrossroads raise over $50 million in funding to support research collaboration between industry and academia. To conclude, Lori offers several pieces of advice to organization looking to launch a cluster initiative including:

  • Find your focus;
  • Be specific on the goals – building collaboration, increasing capital, etc.;
  • Establish reasonable and feasible goals;
  • Do not thread the organization too thin; and,
  • It’s okay to change the organization’s path based upon organizational strengths, areas of need for industry, and the opportunities that present themselves.

About BioCrossroads

biocrossroadsBioCrossroads is Indiana’s initiative to help grow the life sciences, a public-private collaboration that supports the region’s research and corporate strengths while encouraging new business development. Over the past 12 years, BioCrossroads has served as a catalyst for growth within Indiana’s life sciences industry, raising more than $300 million in funding, organizing several venture capital and seed stage funds, and attracting $277 million in additional venture capital for Indiana life sciences companies. BioCrossroads has also helped to attract more than 3,000 new life sciences jobs and has provided support to more than 300 startup companies. Most of the funding that BioCrossroads has raised for multiple life sciences opportunities has come from foundation grants, venture capital, and industry investment, with less than 3 percent coming from state investment. Learn more…

About the Excellence in TBED awards

The SSTI Excellence in TBED awards recognize exceptional achievement in addressing elements that have been found in successful tech-based economies. These include a research base that generates new knowledge, mechanisms for transferring knowledge into the marketplace, an entrepreneurial culture, sources of risk capital, and a technically skilled workforce. For more information visit: http://www.sstiawards.org.

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