The Center for Defense Medicine, as formalized through this Venture Challenge, will accelerate the path to market for early-stage defense medicine technologies by evaluating, de-risking, and advancing commercial viability – yielding stable, high-growth ventures that catalyze economic growth. The Center represents a scaling of BioSTL’s robust Proof of Concept/Commercialization Center programs by tapping into defense demand to diversify the risk profile of early-stage technology commercialization through inherent aspects of defense medicine markets: large awards of non-dilutive funding to substantially de-risk product development; a significant, regular customer in the Department of Defense (DOD) itself; and global demand from the defense industry. The Center will leverage St. Louis’ unique strengths as a global center for bioscience R&D; an untapped wealth of military-relevant medical technologies; and staff relationships with DOD.
The Center will: 1) source innovation by raising awareness in St. Louis of defense-related demand and through connections to DOD decision-makers; 2) fund milestone-based proof of concept plans to advance technology readiness; 3) support business creation through business model development and financial modeling; and 4) counsel companies that solicit external funding from non-dilutive grant and contract sources.
The $1.5 million grant from EDA will be leveraged by a $1.8 million cash match from BioSTL. Funds will support personnel and contractor costs related to 1-on-1 counseling; building networks with DOD personnel; and executing proof of concept projects. Anticipated outcomes include 120 jobs created and $60 million in additional funding/revenue during the Project Period and 438 jobs and $219 million in funding/revenue over the reporting period.