BioOhio remembers Frank Samuel, President of VentureOhio

Posted by BioOhio on Oct. 21, 2014

Frank Samuel PICAll of us at BioOhio are saddened to share the news that Frank Samuel, President of VentureOhio, was killed yesterday afternoon in a single car accident in Northeast Ohio. Frank was one of Ohio’s most vibrant leaders, including serving as BioOhio’s second President.

Update:  The Samuel family has announced that a public memorial service will be held for Frank on Sunday, November 2nd, 2:00pm at the Kent State University – Geauga campus, 14111 Claridon Troy Road, Burton, Ohio. For those wishing to send cards of condolence, they can be mailed to Jacqueline Samuel at 14219 Claridon Troy Road, P.O. Box 283, Burton, OH  44021.

“Frank was a good man and a good friend to many, and he will be sorely missed,” said John Rice, Managing Partner at Triathlon Medical Ventures & BioOhio Board Member, “Please keep him, his wife Jacqueline and his family in your thoughts and prayers.”

BioOhio was fortunate to have Frank join us just weeks ago as a speaker at our Annual Conference in Cincinnati. He spoke with great passion about his newest endeavor, VentureOhio. Frank highlighted the need to build infrastructure around the investment community to support entrepreneurial efforts in Ohio.

“I am often asked, why create VentureOhio? Because the time had come. We need three things to succeed; capital managed in Ohio, from early stage through maturity; a robust ecosystem to support entrepreneurship; and effective storytelling about all the successes that happen in Ohio.”

A message from John McIlwraith, VentureOhio Chairman has been posted on the organization’s website, you can read it here, and we’ve copied the full message below. More information in the media is available from these sources:  Geauga County Maple Leaf, Crain’s Cleveland Business, WKYC3.

National advocacy group AdvaMed issued this tribute (pdf) in an upcoming issue of the Gray Sheet.

Our thoughts and sympathies go out to his family and everyone that knew him.

Frank Samuel was President of VentureOhio, Inc. an organization founded in 2013 to advance entrepreneurial business growth in Ohio. Prior to this position, he was founding President of the Geauga Growth Partnership, Inc., a business-led economic development organization in Geauga County (Northeast Ohio). He was Science and Technology Advisor to the Governor of Ohio from 2000 – 2007, when he was a principal architect of Ohio’s Third Frontier program. Frank worked to advance Ohio’s bioscience community as BioOhio’s second President. Samuel served on the National Advisory Council of the California Health Benefits Review Program and the Board of Directors of the Global Cardiology Innovation Center of the Cleveland Clinic. He served as Chair and Board member for Providence Hospital (Washington, D.C.), a member of Institute of Medicine advisory bodies on biomedical technology issues, a member of several biomedical company boards of directors, and President of the Health Industry Manufacturers Association (now AdvaMed).  A graduate of Hiram College and Harvard Law School, his paper recommending a venture capital strategy for the Great Lakes region was published in 2010 by The Brookings Institution (Washington, D.C.).


VentureOhio-312To VentureOhio Members and the Entrepreneurial Community:

It is with tremendous sadness that we learned of Frank Samuel’s passing on October 20, 2014. Among his many accomplishments and titles, he was the first and active president of VentureOhio and undeniably essential in its founding. He served as colleague, mentor, and friend to all of us.

Frank’s unique talents brought together Ohio’s diverse venture community into the first statewide organization dedicated to advocating for entrepreneurial businesses and sources of capital, building the association to over 90 members in just its first year of operations. Under his guidance the group advocated for public policy initiatives and conducted two important surveys; a capital needs survey and an investment activity survey, both of which were the first of their kind for Ohio.

Frank was a champion of Ohio’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem and his tireless and unyielding commitment to the entrepreneurial community will leave a lasting legacy.

He respected those who helped create the venture capital industry in Ohio and honored that heritage by establishing the VentureOhio David T. Morgenthaler Lifetime Achievement Award and recognition for those who are creating and supporting Ohio’s start-up companies.

At the time of Frank’s passing, he was working with VentureOhio’s Board of Directors on a succession plan for the organization’s day-to-day leadership. That plan will now be completed and announced to the membership in the coming months.

The Board of Directors is committed to continuing and building on the momentum created by Frank in VentureOhio’s first year, including the highly successful VentureDinner attended by over 250 in September and the recently published 2013 VentureReport, and will seek to honor Frank and his efforts as it carries VentureOhio’s important mission forward.

On behalf of Ohio’s entrepreneurial community, VentureOhio expresses our deepest condolences to Frank’s wife, Jacqueline, and the entire Samuel family. Frank’s talents and energy will be deeply missed by everyone at VentureOhio and in the entrepreneurial community.

John McIlwraith, VentureOhio Chairman

Two great events in Northeast Ohio!

Posted by BioOhio on Oct. 10, 2014

BioOhio is excited to host two events in Northern Ohio this Thursday! We hope to see everyone from the bioscience community represented at one or both of these excellent functions on October 16th!

BioOhio Annual Conference Road Show

BioOhio Regulatory Forum

The Annual Conference focuses on innovation and growth in Ohio’s bioscience community, and the Regulatory Forum features presentations by FDA and industry experts, as well as panel discussions for you to ask the experts your unanswered regulatory questions.

Both events offer content from dynamic speakers, excellent networking, and will bring Ohio’s bioscience community together to explore new opportunities and discoveries in research, innovation, tech licensing, financing, business development, partnerships, workforce & education, regulatory, advocacy and membership benefits.

The location is The Bertram Inn & Conference Center in Aurora. This beautiful venue will allow you to escape from routine surroundings for a day and focus on the root of your bioscience pathway, career, goals and challenges.

Visit the event pages on our website to view agenda and registration details: Annual Conference / Regulatory Forum


Higher Risk, Higher Reward Innovations are the Future

Posted by BioOhio on Oct. 06, 2014

AC2014-Andrew-CothrelBioOhio is glad to introduce a new contributor to micrOHscope, Andrew Cothrel, CEO of BioOhio member company NovoSource. Andrew has had a long career as a medtech/biotech executive, advisor, and consultant, covering diagnostics & patient monitoring, life science research tools, and medical devices including orthopedics, cardiovascular, and surgical tools.

Thanks again to BioOhio for inviting me to be part of its September 18th conference. I wanted to provide some follow-up to my comments during the panel discussion on innovation, because I received a number of questions after the panel adjourned that we ran out of time to answer.

In the panel, I spoke of how innovation is changing, and opportunities are moving in the venture model from reimbursement-driven incremental product innovation to business model innovation and step-change product innovation. To illustrate, I used some examples from orthopedics, although the comments apply to many other fields as well.

To clarify, I am definitely not saying that incremental innovation in orthopedics, even in areas as staid as total knees and total hips, is dead – far from it. What I wanted to communicate is that incremental innovation – whether it is an improved coating that better promotes bony ingrowth, or a design feature that makes future revisions easier, or whatever it may be – is no longer the province of the venture model. Those types of innovations will come exclusively from the large, established players, because the amount of clinical improvement those incremental innovations create does not justify the costs and risks (relative to the reward) associated with pursuing them in a venture model.

Where the venture model will turn (has turned) in orthopedics is to the higher risk, higher reward innovations that have the potential to make step-change improvements in patient outcomes. Whether it is in biologics, nano-materials, or other areas of innovation, this is the future of the venture model in orthopedics. To be blunt, the days of cranking up yet another set of (more or less functionally equivalent) designs for a spine product line (or knee, or hip…), pretending that is product innovation, and raising private capital around it are over.

What is really ripe for innovation is the non-product side of the orthopedic business. Risk sharing, pricing models, asset ownership, “repless” models, servicing of instruments, and more are beginning to experience disruptive approaches that can come from either venture-backed models or existing industry players. We are seeing signs that this is increasingly being recognized in the industry, and being part of this change as it plays out will be an exciting journey.

I hope that helps to address many of the questions I did not have time to address on the 18th. If anyone has additional questions on this topic, I can be contacted at or

And while I’m at it, I hope to see everyone at BioOhio’s Central Ohio Annual Conference Road Show on November 12th. I’ll be on a panel for a different topic this time – focusing on successful business strategies, including David Blauer of Bjond Health, Joseph Gardner of Aerpio Therapeutics and Neill Lane of Stirling Ultracold.

BIO Washington Update, October 2014

Posted by BioOhio on Oct. 06, 2014

CSBA BIO and Republic Consulting

October 6, 2014

Legislators worked efficiently to address key legislation in September before adjourning for the mid-term elections. Congress approved a continuing resolution (CR) to extend federal funding of government agencies through December 11, 2014. Both the Administration and Congress moved forward on some tax and transportation issues, while continuing to defer action on the expired tax extenders and a possible executive order on immigration. Much of the month was defined by events transpiring outside of the U.S., including the deteriorating situation in Iraq and Syria and the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa. Many of these issues will require additional consideration when Congress returns in November for the Lame Duck session.


With the clock ticking down, Congress agreed to extend funding for the federal government at existing funding levels before leaving for election season. The government had been operating on funding from a previous CR that was set to expire at the end of Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) on September 30, 2014. The new CR will fund the government through December 11, 2014.


BioOhio member NanoLogix making news at home and abroad

Posted by BioOhio on Sep. 30, 2014

Nanologix-200NanoLogix announced yesterday that UNITAID, based in Geneva, Switzerland and hosted by the World Health Organization, recently published their Tuberculosis Diagnostics Technology and Market Landscape – 3rd Edition. NanoLogix’s sandwiched membrane BNP rapid testing technology for tuberculosis is cited on pages 17 and 37, marking the second year it has been mentioned in the UNITAID report.

More good news from NanoLogix features a member-to-member connection as The Ohio State University joins the growing list of educational institutions ordering NanoLogix products. These include the University of Colorado-Boulder, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Cardiff University of Wales, UK. In addition, NanoLogix has sold product to Abbott Labs, personal care companies, food processing companies, soil testing companies, the US EPA, and others.

We are always excited to see bioscience companies in Ohio getting such great traction in the global market. Stay tuned for more news from NanoLogix!

Read the full press release here (pdf). Read the UNITAID report here.

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