Blackstone NC Sponsoring 16th Annual Southeast BIO Investor & Partnering Forum

DURHAM, N.C. & ATLANTA, GA. -- The Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network of North Carolina (Blackstone NC), a Triangle-based business cultivator focused on growing opportunity and strengthening economic development, is continuing its support of potential high-growth life sciences companies by sponsoring the 16th Annual Southeast BIO (SEBIO) Investor & Partnering Forum November 11–13 in Atlanta, Georgia. The event is co-sponsored by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center and is recognized as the Southeast region's premier life sciences and medical technology investor conference, providing a showcase for some of the most promising bioscience and medical technology companies in the organization’s seven-state region.

“Working with important regional partners like the NC Biotechnology Center we continue to support companies at various stages of development and in different markets,” Executive Director Bob Creeden said, adding, “We are pleased to support the conference and all that it does for the life sciences marketplace.”

This is the second straight year Blackstone NC has sponsored this event. Over the past three years Blackstone NC has been working with advocacy organizations like the NC Biotechnology Center as well as area universities, business leaders, and the innovation community at large as well as local and out-of-state capital sources to facilitate the development of a network of serial entrepreneurial leaders and solidify the connection between Triangle institutions and the entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

Currently, life sciences-related companies working with the Blackstone EIR team include:

Aquagenx, a spin-out from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health in Chapel Hill, providing low-cost, portable microbial water quality testing products that enable the monitoring of drinking water in low resource settings;

Dignify Therapeutics, a virtual drug development company focused on developing novel bladder and bowel drug therapies for spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis and similar patient populations with voiding dysfunction;

e-Nicotine Technology (eNT), a healthcare company committed to reducing the harm associated with tobacco products by combining clean nicotine aerosols for inhalation with empowering e-health tools to help individuals transition from smoking;

EpiCypher, developing and manufacturing novel bioreagents and tools used in epigenetics research;

Keona Health, developer of an online nurse advice solution to reduce time spent by health care providers on unreimbursed phone calls;

KinoDyn, Inc., a therapeutic cancer drug discovery company built around a proprietary technology, multiplexed inhibitor beads and mass spectroscopy (MIB/MS) developed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill;

MxBiodevices, which is commercializing an injectable bioscaffold, Dermagrid™ to treat diabetic foot, decubitus (bedsores) and venous stasis ulcers;

NIRvana Sciences, which develops and commercializes near-infrared fluorescent dyes for use in medical diagnostics and optical imaging;

Novocor Medical Systems, providing solutions that help Emergency Medical Service first responders save lives;

Path BioAnalytics (PBA), a spinout from UNC-Chapel Hill’s Department of Applied Mathematics and Curriculum in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, dedicated to reversing the trend of decreasing efficiency of pharmaceutical R&D;

Plex Diagnostics, an oncology diagnostic development firm focused on simple, cost-effective, multiplexed diagnostic tools;

And SEAL Innovation, delivering wearable safety, health, and medical products that maximize wellness and improve quality of life.

The SEBIO Investor & Partnering Forum is expected to draw nearly 350 attendees, including investors representing more than 30 regional and national venture funds. SEBIO's past presenting companies have raised more than $2.5 billion collectively in private and public funding since the inaugural conference in 1999.

The goal of Blackstone NC is to create a dense network of dealmakers who grow high-potential startups into the next generation of great companies. By increasing the density of active investors in the region and connecting them with promising technology-driven companies the organization is able to help contribute to private sector growth and faster commercialization of ideas, creating a vibrant economic impact.

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About the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network of North Carolina
The Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network of North Carolina (Blackstone NC) makes quality connections between promising young technology companies and experienced, successful professionals in an effort to grow opportunity and strengthen economic development. Launched in 2011 with a gift from The Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Blackstone NC is an important business cultivator in the state, with portfolio companies making over 700 connections and raising $48.8M in 2013. The organization helps entrepreneurs find their roles and works with them to understand what specific actions are necessary to lead to growth or revenue investment, then connects those entrepreneurs with individuals and resources to successfully commercialize their products. Blackstone NC focuses on a team approach to strengthening the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, partnering with area universities, advocacy groups, business leaders, investors, and the innovation community at large to provide unparalleled access to sought-after resources. Through its unique group of Entrepreneurs-in-Residence the organization provides participating companies with tactical and strategic guidance, connections to investment and invaluable insight, while the Blackstone Fellows program matches experienced university MBA candidates with EIRs and companies to provide resources on strategic projects. Learn more online at