Joint venture formed to fund life science start-ups
By Fred O. Williams
Buffalo News Business Reporter
Two area consultants have formed a joint venture to supply life science start-ups with the capital and management help they need to become successful businesses.
Buffalo BioSciences LLC, a biotech management consultant, has teamed with ECapital-Financing, whose expertise is lining up investments from individual "angel" investors and venture capitalists.
Working together, the consultants say they bring two critical ingredients necessary to leverage the area's scientific know-how into economic growth.
Area scientists "have some brilliant ideas that just need to be revised so they'll be viable business plans," ECapital-Financing principal Michael R. Koeppel said.
A CPA, Koeppel worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Lucas Varity Corp. and Barrister Information Services before launching his consulting business.
Buffalo BioSciences is led by a trio of former Invitrogen managers: Eric Cornavaca, Anthony Johnson and Vic Nole. It provides interim executives to steer fledgling biotech companies, and other management services.
Located in the state's Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, Buffalo Biosciences provides top management for two local start-ups: Empire Genomics, a provider of analytical services for research; and NutriCyte, a provider of cell biology supplies for researchers and biotechnology businesses.
The consulting firms may work with cash-poor start-ups on the basis of a success fee, taking a maximum of 8 percent of capital raised, Koeppel said. They expect to handle seed-capital deals of $500,000 to $5 million.
The consultants can also link inventors with area medical products manufacturers to commercialize their ideas, he said.