Billed as a revolutionary new space in Seattle to lower the cost of health care and promote new ideas, the Cambia Grove came to Portland last week for the Oregon Bioscience Association’s annual conference with an invitation: join us in making the Pacific Northwest the place for health care and life science innovation.
“In just six months we’re very excited about what we’re doing to provide free access for any health care innovator, free programming, desk space, strategy and programming to boost our region,” said Nicole Bell, Cambia Grove Executive Director. “Our goal is for more founders to establish companies in the region and more money to be invested here, with the intention of boosting the region – from Oregon to Vancouver BC.”
Nicole joined Seattle health care investors, Joe Piper of Point B Capital and Ky Calder, Angel Investor, to discuss what’s needed to make the Pacific Northwest a health industry powerhouse.
Regional resources and funding opportunities
- Portland and Seattle should not be seen as competitors in the health innovation space. Instead, they make up a region that has the potential to compete with Nashville, Boston and Silicon Valley.
- According to Joe, 20% of the region’s GDP comes from health care. It’s important to incubate the companies in the region to attract investment. Local incubation validates the companies and secures the minimum viable product.
- Oregon is a rising star with the $1 billion fundraising effort for the OHSU Knight Cancer Challenge. Washington has a strong base but needs better legislative support and less reliance on tech.
- If you’re starting a company, figure out if you’re a technology or a fully integrated company. Consider licensing what you develop to a bigger organization that has the sales and marketing resources to bring it to market vs using all of your investment. It could save you $500M in commercialization costs. “How rich do you need to be?” asked Joe.
How to get involved with the Cambia Grove
- Streaming events are coming in the future. In the meantime, said Nicole, the Cambia Grove is just a car-drive away, and more and more Oregon companies are taking advantage of the programs and opportunities to connect with potential first customers.
Joe summarized the panel by telling Oregon Bioscience attendees: “The missing element in Seattle and the Northwest has been convergence. The Cambia Grove is now plugging and matchmaking that science and technology.”