Friday, February 26, 2010

March 2 is the 2010 BioBeers Launch at Twisted Pine in Boulder

Kickoff the 2010 BioBeers Season at "BioBeers - Boulder" on March 2. BioBeers wonderful friends at the Twisted Pine will host (click for details & signup) Note: please arrive promptly at 6:30 p.m.

This will be a special event with a chance to talk and connect with local life science leaders, such as Rick Duke Ph.D. and Kevin Smith of CID4 as well as Robin Shandas, Ph.D., head of the new Bioengineering Department at University of Colorado-Denver and research professor of mechanical engineering at CU-Boulder. All three will be speaking about their ongoing efforts to elevate Colorado bioscience.

Dr. Richard C. Duke, Ph.D. is a biotechnology executive, inventor, biomedical researcher and serial entrepreneur with fifteen years of experience in building, financing, and managing start-up biotechnology companies based on inventions made in Colorado's non-profit research institutions. He is currently Co-scientific Founder, President and CEO of ApopLogic Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Duke is a Co-scientific Founder and former CEO, President and Director of GlobeImmune, Inc. and was involved in the formation of Sierra Neuropharmaceuticals where he was an initial Director. These Colorado-based companies have raised more than $150 million in financing and have multiple products in phase 1 and 2 human clinical trials. In addition to his entrepreneurial activities, Dr. Duke has over twenty-five years of experience in cutting-edge biomedical research and is a tenured faculty member in the Departments of Medicine (Medical Oncology) and Immunology at the University of Colorado Denver. Dr. Duke has provided independent 3rd party life research analysis in the life sciences sector to Janus Capital and to venture capital firms.

Kevin M. Smith was a member of the group that developed the business plan and State Grant proposal which resulted in the creation of CID4. Prior to joining CID4, Kevin was Managing Director of Act Three Consulting, LLC. Act Three was formed in July 2007 to provide consulting services to management teams and their advisors during times of dramatic change. Prior to founding Act Three, Kevin spent nine years as President of Gambro, Inc., the US holding company for the publicly-traded, Swedish-based Gambro Group, until its acquisition by private equity investors in 2006. The US operations of Gambro included the manufacture and distribution of cardiovascular (CV), blood separation and renal dialysis products and the operation of US and international kidney dialysis centers. Before joining Gambro, Kevin was an audit partner in the Denver and New York offices of Ernst & Young, specializing in entrepreneurial services and led the formation of E&Y's Denver Life Sciences Practice. Kevin graduated from Kansas State University in 1970 and worked in New York until his relocation to Colorado in 1988.

Robin Shandas, Ph.D. is the head of the new Bioengineering Department at University of Colorado-Denver and research professor of mechanical engineering at CU-Boulder. This new program will be a driver of economic development in bioengineering fields (Colorado has more than 150 medical device companies). Several companies and jobs have already been created due to bioengineering research in Colorado and this program will continue to grow the medical technology industry and research labs in the state. CU-based startups that could be classified as Bioengineering include: 2C Tech Corp, BioTricity Medical, Cello Bioengineering, EndoShape, Illumasonix, Locomotion, MedShape Solutions, Precision Biopsy, Physical Activities Innovation and TissueFusion. Since 2006, this set of companies has raised more than $20.5 million in grants and seed financing.

For details and to RSVP:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What a debacle, CU J-School! Please pay attention to your Student Ad Club.

Note: I first posted this at my "What Were They Thinking?" blog. I felt it belonged here as well.

Yesterday an odd e-mail came through with the subject: “AGENCY CONTEST: design our logo.” It was from the general e-mail adclub@Colorado.EDU, not an individual. There was no message and a pdf attachment. I threw it in the trash without opening the attachment (standard practice of e-mail safety these days).

Then the barrage hit. It turned out to be a spam “reachout” to 188 e-mail addresses (the e-mailer didn’t hide them) in the Denver-Boulder ad and PR professional community. When people are spammed they tend to hit “reply all” and say the “darnest” things. So, in the course of my day I had to back track and see what the heck was going on.

Back track I did and took at look at the pdf. Link here (if you want to save it in your “odd but true” file or read the following):

“we need your skills to design our logo

CUadclub is crowd-sourcing their logo to the best creatives in the front range and we are summoning your professional talent to brand our club. The winners’ design will be screenprinted on the front of our 2010 t-shirt and other schwag. The winners’ agency will be showcased on the back of the shirt and be awarded a shiny trophy.

Submit file of your submission to by Friday, March 19th for review. Logo should use only 2 colors and work on t-shirts and other branded items. Max of 3 designs submitted per office.”

So in the course of one rude spam attack, I learned:

1) Spamming is now fondly called crowdsourcing. Check that one out in your Wikipedia.

2) Student ad clubs and agencies that started years ago when these current students were being conceived (or before), somehow forgot that universities have Fine Arts departments with competent logo designers.

3) Contests no longer have rules (like who owns the submitted and winning designs or who’s judging the contest, etc.) -- the usual legal particulars.

4) Ad clubbers at CU seem to think that employed Denver area designers should jump at the chance to have their logo design printed on a college club T-shirt. Huh? What a rude disconnect between the university and the professional community.

Being a former university ad instructor and student ad agency advisor, I found this situation unusually interesting, so I tracked down an individual who claimed responsibility for the project (the club president). We e-mailed directly and I, of course, had to personally share some unsolicited "sage advice" last evening. I also found out, according to the club president, there's no faculty advisor/adult on duty for their club, and apparently CU lets these independent “clubs” run rouge these days (I guess in the spirit of Sarah Palin).

You’ll find “Advertising Club” on this list at the CU website labeled as an independent:

Then with further investigation, I found the University of Colorado ad club on Facebook and Twitter with yet another disconnect. Right now, given this could change with a photo upload, both have skylines of Seattle as their profile pictures:

Hey Denver ad people, good news, there’s definitely job security, with what we saw displayed yesterday at the university level.

What a debacle, CU J-School! Certainly not something to be proud of in my opinion.

Monday, February 22, 2010

"With $4.75M in hand, institute helps biotech startups"

"Local bioscience industry boosters have formed a state-supported nonprofit institute to fund biotechnology startups and provide them executive leadership at their earliest stages.

The Colorado Institute for Drug, Device and Diagnostic Development (CID4) is armed with $3.75 million from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and $1 million from the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority in the next five years."

Link to the Denver Business Journal feature

CID4's first funding solicitation deadline is March 1st

From w3w3's Larry Nelson recapping his interview with CID4's Rick Duke and Kevin Smith:

"Kevin added, 'Back in late October when we last talked, we were poised to start operations, doing a lot of planning but we hadn't really started yet. The good news is since then we've finalized our grants with the State of Colorado and our grant with the Fitzsimmons Redevelopment Authority and we're ready to start operations. We've actually launched that first solicitation for technology. But in order to do that we've brought together a business and technical advisory committee consisting of some of the top leaders in the State of Colorado, both in the financing of early stage companies as well as folks with understanding of the medical drug technology development process and the medical device technology process.'"

"Larry asked, 'Rick could you tell us about the solicitation process and what kind of investments you're actually looking for?' 'We have a solicitation process that involves a very simple and straight forward application that's available on our web site and it's open for private companies as well as research institutions or even individual inventors to submit. The caveat is we are looking for technologies that are ready to enter clinical development.' Submissions are due March 1, 2010 and commercialization is a key word."

Link to the site (posted 2/22/10)

Link to download the mp3 from

Friday, February 19, 2010

APR's Maggie Holben Shares PR Perspective with ArgusLeader on YouTube Protests

Absolutely PR's Maggie Holben shared PR perspective yesterday with Thom Gabrukiewicz of the Sioux Falls ArgusLeader. Thoughts from Holben:

"And viral efforts such as this one can be disastrous for companies, especially in the age of instant information, said Maggie Holben, a public relations expert from Lakewood, Colo.

'That's what we fondly call a crisis,' she said of YouTube protests such as Hadrick's. 'You have to circle the wagons, you have to respond and you have to tell people who you are. Is there a trick remedy? No. It's honesty.'"

The YouTube protest involves a South Dakota rancher who takes issue with a Yellow Tail wine PR campaign that raises funds for the Humane Society of the United States. Details from Gabrukiewicz' report:

"My concern is with the Humane Society of the United States, which isn't connected at all with the dog and cat shelters in our local communities," the fifth-generation Vale rancher said Thursday. "This is an organization that's pushing a vegan agenda in this country, and that concerns me. That donation is going to go to efforts to try and put me out of business, and I'm just not going to support a company that does that."

Link to the ArgusLeader

Take a look at the YouTube protest:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

CCIA & IBM Focus on Smart Water Feb 25 at DU Craig Hall Community Room

The Colorado Cleantech Industry Association (CCIA) is offering “Advanced Water Management: Using Cleantech to Manage Scarce Resources,” February 25, with keynote presentation by Cameron Brooks on IBM’s Smarter Planet Initiatives. IBM is already staking claims in the smart grid industry to better manage electricity. Now it's doing the same for water, with a broad offering that will include developing sensor and intelligence networks for water utilities, smart water meters and a new technology for water filtration.

Keynote speaker is Dr. Cameron Brooks, Director of Solutions & Business Development, IBM Big Green Innovations. He will introduce IBM’s Smarter Planet initiatives and discuss the technologies IBM is employing to leverage their smart grid expertise for the water “grid.” Dr. Brooks will also provide IBM’s perspective into where the water technology market is headed relative to IP sharing, investment, partnership and global opportunities.

Following the IBM keynote presentation, the CCIA will open a panel discussion with experts from:

* Stewart Environmental
* MWH Global
* National Renewable Energy Laboratory
* Geotech Environmental Equipment

Event details: February 25, 7:30 – 10:30 a.m., at Craig Hall Community Room, University of Denver. Registration is required by contacting Shelly Curtiss at 303-623-2690 or – CCIA members attend free of charge; $35 for non-members. Note space is limited and reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, visit

Link to the Advanced Water Management news release

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bell Perch Featured: Culinary Schmooze

"Yellow perch – the sweet, mild tasting fish that everyone loves, especially at Friday Night Fish Fries – is now officially back in time to kickoff the Lenten season. The rollout of Bell Aquaculture’s breaded yellow perch products and launch of the Bell Perch™ Online Ordering System means ample supplies of yellow perch fillets will now be available year around. Bell Aquaculture owns and operates of the nation’s largest yellow perch farm in Albany, IN, with corporate headquarters and production facilities nearby in Redkey, northeast of Indianapolis."

Link to the Culinary Schmooze article

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

2009 ACG Corporate Growth Award Goes to Denver's Baxa Corp

Congratulations to the Baxa team. You're awesome!

"Baxa is a Douglas County-based medical device and software firm with annual sales of about $145 million that has been growing steadily in the annual 11 percent to 14 percent range.

Baldwin gratefully acknowledges the 2009 ACG Corporate Growth Award 'celebrating a leading company with steady growth and annual sales exceeding $100 million,' a description that fits Baxa like a glove."

Link to the Colorado Biz Magazine posting

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Altira's Cory Steffek: "Colorado's going to be very well positioned in the future."

Cory Steffek shared secrets to securing funding for early stage startups at the CCIA BioFuels dual-panel program Feb 11 at the Denver Chamber. Here's a recap of participants for this outstanding CCIA event.

Panel 1, moderated by Stacey Simms, Governor's Energy Office: Rich Schoonover, Solix Biofuels; Christopher Ryan, Ph.D., Gevo; Justin Bzdek, Symbios Technologies; Phil Kastelie, Colorado Forest and Energy.

Panel 2, moderated by Wayne Greenberg, Architectural Energy and Heartland Renewable Energy: Chas Eggert, OPX Biotechnologies; Cory Steffek, Altira Group; Mike Miller, formerly Blue Sun Biodiesel; John Ashworth, Ph.D., National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Bell Perch™ Yellow Perch Now Ready For Friday Night Fish Fryin'

Great news today from Absolutely PR client, Bell Aquaculture - Bell's rolling out its Breaded Perch line (including both fillets and yummy Cajun Nuggets) and debuting their online ordering system. Details:

"Yellow perch – the sweet, mild tasting fish everyone loves, especially at Friday Night Fish Fries – is now officially back in time to kickoff the Lenten season. The rollout of Bell Aquaculture’s breaded yellow perch products and launch of the Bell Perch™ Online Ordering System means ample supplies of yellow perch fillets will now be available year around. Bell Aquaculture owns and operates of the nation’s largest yellow perch farm in Albany, IN, with corporate headquarters and production facilities nearby in Redkey, northeast of Indianapolis.

For the past year, as the farm has been building out, Bell Perch has only been available through restaurant partners and various public sales and special events, such as the annual Purdue University Ag Alumni Fish Fry."

Link to online ordering

Link to the PR Web newswire

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Bioscience Day at the Capitol: Patrick Kelly, Biotechnology Industry Association, YouTube Now Posted

Patrick Kelly, vice president for state government relations and alliance development for the Biotechnology Industry Association, spoke about industry legislation at the federal level at the 2010 Bioscience Day at the Capitol.

Location: Colorado State Capitol - January 27, 2010.

This is the first of four parts.

Link to the CBSA YouTube Channel

Denver's Baxa Corp: 2010 STAR Center Course Schedule in Pharmacy Purchasing & Products

Pharmacy Purchasing & Products Magazine featured Baxa Corporation's 2010 course dates its STAR Center® in the January 2010 issue. The STAR Center, the world’s first purpose-built premier facility designed for cleanroom and pharmacy practice demonstration, is located at the company’s headquarters south of Denver, Colorado. Together, Baxa and the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) will host a series of courses in 2010 to be taught by industry experts and members of the USP 797 Sterile Compounding Committee.

The first ACPE-accredited USP compliance class will be held February 23 - 25, 2010 with subsequent program dates running through October, 2010. Attendance in STAR Center classes is limited to 24 participants to ensure resource availability, student teacher ratios and the opportunity for hands-on experience in the ISO 7 cleanroom.

Link to the PP&P January issue - New & Noteworthy

Baxa Corp announces 9-City Road Show & March 25th Webinar touting new DoseEdge

Baxa Corporation announces dates for a nine-city road show tour featuring the DoseEdge Pharmacy Workflow Manager. A related March Webinar is scheduled for customers who are unable to attend the live product demonstration programs.

“The dose preparation process is much simpler than it was before. It really gives the pharmacist the assurance that they're making the correct product, especially at the correct time” states Michael Culligan, Assistant Pharmacy Director at St. Francis Care in Hartford, CT. Beginning in Dallas, TX on February 17th, customers interested in gaining improvements in their pharmacy workflow management and medication safety are encouraged to attend one of the two-hour sessions planned for an exclusive hands-on product demonstration and intimate Q&A with pharmacy efficiency and product experts.

In addition to the road shows, Baxa Corporation is sponsoring a Webinar program on March 25th at 1pm ET entitled “DoseEdge: Changing Pharmacy Practice Through Dose Management.” Presented by Dennis Tribble, PharmD and Chief Technology Officer for Baxa Corporation, this one-hour presentation will provide a real-time product demonstration, for the customers who are unable to attend one of the nine scheduled road show dates, on how DoseEdge helps IV rooms run more efficiently by eliminating the most common reasons for drug preparation errors.

Reminder: Feb 15 Deadline for CID4 Letters of Intent

The Colorado Institute for Drug Device and Diagnostic Development (CID4) encourages life science entities in need of funding to submit letters of intent by February 15th deadline.

CID4 is in the midst of its initial technology solicitation and the interest from Colorado bioscience companies has been high. “We encourage all entities which are pursuing life science product technologies and are in need of funding and management support to submit a letter of intent by the deadline – February 15, 2010,” says Kevin M. Smith, CID4 EVP/COO and spokesperson.

“Details of CID4 participation in any individual technology development project will need to be individually negotiated”, says Richard C. Duke, Ph.D., CID4 President/CEO. “We would not want to miss an opportunity to add our support to an ongoing effort because an existing entity self-determined that they were not eligible for the program”’ Duke continued.

Link to complete information and the submission form

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

CID4 accepting proposals for technologies in need of funding

"A Colorado nonprofit is launching an initiative designed to assist life sciences technologies and companies through funding and active management.

The Colorado Institute for Drug, Device and Diagnostic Development, or CID4, is soliciting proposals for drug, vaccine, device and diagnostic technologies that are on the verge of clinical development and available to be exclusively licensed by the CID4, officials said."

Link to the Boulder Daily Camera article

Monday, February 01, 2010

CID4 Launches Today with a Statewide “Call for Proposals” From Colorado Life Science Technologies In Need of Funding and Active Management

The Colorado Institute for Drug, Device and Diagnostic Development (CID4) officially launches today with a statewide “Call for Proposals” from Colorado life science technologies in need of funding and active management. The announcement is made by Kevin M. Smith, CID4 Executive Vice President/COO and spokesperson, who says “CID4 is a private, not-for-profit entity, formed in 2009 to bridge the gap between basic research and successful product commercialization, thereby creating more Colorado jobs in the life science industry.”

The Institute’s mission is to advance the life science industry in Colorado through active management and funding of projects, resulting in the creation of new companies and new jobs. The need for CID4 was initially outlined in the ‘Colorado Bioscience Roadmap 2008,’ a study compiled by the national Battelle Technology Partnership Practice for the State of Colorado and its bioscience industry partners. Link to a copy of the study

"With more than 20,000 good-paying jobs in Colorado, the life sciences industry is one of our state's most important economic sectors today and it holds incredible promise for tomorrow," Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter said. "I'm pleased CID4 is now ready to advance to the next level as we lead Colorado forward on the road to economic health and recovery."

CID4 was formed through the collaborative efforts of all sectors of the Colorado Life Science community as reflected in the composition of its Board of Directors:

* David N. Allen – University of Colorado
* Denise Brown – Consultant & Former Executive Director of the Colorado BioScience Association
* John Collar – President and CEO, Colorado BioScience Association
* Richard C. Duke, Ph.D – President & CEO , CID4
* Terry Opgenorth, Ph.D. – COO NeoTREX®, CSU Ventures, Inc.
* Kevin M. Smith – Executive Vice President & COO, CID4
* The Honorable Edward J. Tauer – Mayor, City of Aurora & Chair of the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority

“We are very excited about this opportunity to continue developing Colorado’s life science sector. With initial financial support in the form of grants from the State of Colorado and Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority, we have been able to commence operations, recruit a highly distinguished Technical and Business Advisory Committee and reach out to sources of technology across the State,” Richard C. Duke, CID4 President & CEO, explains. “We are now poised to conduct the first of what we expect to be semi-annual solicitations for new technologies. And, the selection process will be rigorous, with only three or four technologies selected each year.”

Unlike a pure investment firm, CID4 will select technologies that have the ability to generate Colorado jobs, as well as financial returns. “We fully expect this new model will allow us to attract additional funding in the form of philanthropic contributions and targeted product investment by angel investors and venture capitalists,” Smith says.

“Bioscience companies can bring great jobs to Colorado’s families. By helping promising technologies in need of startup assistance to become great companies, CID4 becomes our secret weapon to growing more, higher-paying Colorado jobs” The Honorable Ed Tauer, Mayor of the City of Aurora and member of the CID4 Board of Directors, says. CID4 is headquartered at 12635 E. Montview Blvd., Suite 127, in the Fitzsimons Life Science District in Aurora.

About the First Solicitation

CID4 invites Colorado-based Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs), researchers and inventors from Colorado-based public and private not-for-profit research Institutions, independent researchers and inventors in Colorado, and private Colorado-based Life Science Companies to submit technologies for consideration. Deadlines for response to the solicitation: February 15, 2010, letters of intent due; March 1, 2010, final submissions due. Note, this proposal solicitation is for drug, vaccine, device and diagnostic technologies poised to enter clinical development and available for exclusive license to the CID4. Link to information and the submission form

Link to the PR Web newswire