Accelerating Pheronym: Bringing the first nematode pheromones to the market

The IndieBio accelerator experience made us realize that the accelerators have a unique function as a catalyst to bring the barriers down for biotech startups. Briefly, accelerators are short-term programs that can provide funds (very important), a network of investors, customers, business mentors and many other intangible perks. Furthermore, it can synergize with the other startup programs such as incubators and mentorship programs. Accelerator networks and support can last long after the program is over. Surprisingly, no two accelerators are alike. The ones we have participated in and the ones we plan to participate in are quite different. The way they are run, the things they offer, and the stages they support are all different. For example, IndieBio accelerator (San Francisco, CA) was the first accelerator we participated in while we were at the UF Innovate the HUB. It was a 4.5-month seed stage accelerator program with a wet lab space, science and business mentors, and $250K investment funding. At the end of the program, there was a highly publicized pitch event. For us, the accelerator lab space and funding synergized with the USDA-SBIR Phase I to develop our first dispersal pheromone prototype (NemaStim) and conduct proof of concept trials.

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