May 7, 2024
Accessing Venture Capital to Strengthen Philadelphia’s Life Science Ecosystem
Philadelphia, PA

Builds Bio+ 2024
Philadelphia Breakfast Forum
Accessing Venture Capital to Strengthen Philadelphia’s Life Science Ecosystem

May 7, 2024 • 8:30am to 11:00am

CYTO|PHL – The Cira Centre
2929 Arch Street, Suite 250. Philadelphia, PA 19104

Program Sponsored By



Like many other markets from coast to coast, Philadelphia is looking to tackle a VC shortage to ensure the health and longevity of its life sciences ecosystem. Not only would an infusion of cash help unleash greater deal flow, but it would greatly help the area secure and retain life science and biotech organizations looking for market environments conducive to growth.

In today’s economic climate, life science and biotech firms are seeking out affordable markets ripe with funding opportunities that can take them through all growth stages. While public sector support will play an important role in backing life sciences growth, a holistic approach is needed to ignite a substantial deployment of capital.

Builds Bio+ held a timely breakfast program in Philadelphia discussing strategies to attract VC and angel investors and secure equity and capital that allow startups to mature and flourish in the Philadelphia region.

Life science and investment experts will share critical insights on:

  • Securing funding opportunities for home-grown startups
  • Aligning public and private interests to attract investors
  • Preventing relocations to support full cycle maturity

Resources Related to Philadelphia’s Need for a Capital Infusion:



8:30 AM – 9:15 AM: Networking Breakfast

9:15 AM: Welcome Remarks

  • Nancy J Kelley, Nancy J Kelley & Associates and Builds Bio+
  • Mitchel Simpler, JB&B and Builds Bio+

9:20 AM: Macro-level View of Philadelphia’s Life Science Funding Trends & Deal Flow

  • Moderator: Nancy J Kelley Nancy J Kelley & Associates and Builds Bio+ 
  • Mike Defeo, JP Morgan Chase
  • Hilary Schultz, Persephone BioPartners and B+ Labs

9:45 AM: Case Studies of Successful Funding Rounds – A Deep Dive into What’s Attracting VCs & Investments

  • Louis Kassa, PABC | The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center, Baruch S. Blumberg Institute and Hepatitis B Foundation
  • Lorenzo Pellegrini, Hatch Biofund 
  • Melina Blees, BioLabs Philadelphia
  • Jennifer Griffin, Mission BioCapital 
  • Sarajane Blair, CIC Labs + Innovation Campus Philadelphia
  • George Davis, Wexford SciTech Venture Fund (Download Slides)

10:30 AM: Facilitated Q&A