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Life Science Tennessee Venture Forum 2013

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2013 marks the second annual Life Science Tennessee Venture Forum. The first of its kind, the forum is specifically designed to support emerging companies in Tennessee’s life sciences industry which includes the following sectors: pharmaceutical, medical device, research, biofuels and biologistics.

Life Science Tennessee is proud to partner with iStart for this year's competition. 

Venture Forum participants will compete for a cash prize and a host of in-kind start-up business services from partnering firms.


Participation offers the companies an opportunity to present in front of venture capital firms including the four TNInvestcos that regularly invest in the life sciences. They include Innova Fund, Limestone Fund, MB Venture Partners and Tri-Star Technology Fund. Investment decisions, however, are made independently from the Venture Forum selection and judging process.


Competition Structure

The Venture Forum is structured as a business competition (unlike last year, the Venture Forum offers only one category for participation).


Chosen company participants will be partnered with a mentor to review company fundamentals and to refine their pitch presentation in preparation for the Life Science Tennessee Conference to be held in Nashville, TN October 9-11.  The chosen participants will deliver their pitch presentations in front of the full conference audience.


A total of five companies will be chosen to present at the conference in October. At least one company from each of the State's major regions will be chosen.



To be eligible, companies may have recieved seed funding but no series A financing. Companies must be established (e.g. LLC, Inc.) and must be based in Tennessee.


Applications will be judged by Life Science Tennessee partners including venture capitalists, business advisors and life science industry executives.

Judging Criteria


Applications are reviewed by life science business professionals. They will include investors, entrepreneurs, commercialization managers, and executives who interact with life science and/or early-stage companies. The judges will consider specific criteria when evaluating applications; however ultimately, teams are usually are those in which the judges would most likely invest their own money.

This decision is influenced heavily by several factors, including but not limited to:


  • How compelling the product or service is
  • Commercialization plan


  • Size and scale of market
  • Understanding of the market

Business Model

  • Revenue model development
  • Clarity of business model


  • Management -Experience of the team
  • Clarity of regulatory pathway

Competition/Comparative Advantage

  • Awareness of competitors
  • How distinctive is the product vs. others or the status quo

Important Dates

Jul 1              Application Window Opens

Aug 19          Application Window Closes

Sep 3            Participants announced and paired with mentors

Oct 10           Pitch Presentations at the Life Science Tennessee Conference and Venture Forum


For more information contact Sally Parker at 615-242-8856 or sanderson@lifesciencetn.org.