INterview with Deanna Scott, Northern Colorado Bioscience Cluster executive director

Friday May 6, 2016 0 comments Tags: Deanna Scott, NoCoBio


Deanna Scott is executive director of Northern Colorado Bioscience Cluster (NoCoBio), an organization that was formed through a partnership with the City of Fort Collins, Colorado State University, University of Colorado Health, Colorado Bioscience Association and the Innosphere to help advance bioscience in the state.Deanna_Scott.FIXED

Scott has held that position since January 2013, previously serving as director of the Regulatory Affairs Interdisciplinary Program in the School of Biomedical Engineering at CSU.

Q: Tell us a little about your background and what helped prepare you for your current position.

A: My time at CSU laid the groundwork for my later work in new product development. First, with the Regional Centers for Excellence in Biosdefense and Emerging Infectious Disease’s Phase 1 clinical trial manufacturing group, BioMARC, and then as industrial liaison for the School of Biomedical Engineering.

Q: What exactly is the Northern Colorado Bioscience Cluster and what is its purpose?

A: Industry clusters are geographic concentrations of interconnected companies and institutions in a particular field. NoCoBio was formed through a partnership among the City of Fort Collins, University of Colorado Health, Colorado State University, CSU Ventures, the Innosphere and the Colorado Bioscience Association.

Building a foundation of greatest success stems from collaboration. NoCoBio brings together the region’s bioscience community. Scientists, physicians, leading innovators, and executive advisors are working together inside world-class research and business incubator environments in order to maximize the impact on Northern Colorado resources.

Investors tap into the new innovation pipeline, gain preferred positions with vetted opportunities, and get matched to investment opportunities based on their requirements. Stakeholders can capitalize on opportunities that stem from a repeatable, stable process designed to screen and consult with bioentrepreneurs on business, regulatory, clinical and reimbursement issues.

Q: How do your NoCoBio partners work together to support the economic growth of the state’s bioscience industry?

A: NoCoBio works with the Innosphere to help accelerate medical device and digital health companies' path to market by supporting entrepreneurs to build scalable businesses that are based on validated technological innovation. In 2015, Innosphere bioscience client companies raised $13.9M through the Access to Capital program, achieved $4.2M in revenue and created 121 full and part-time jobs.

Q: What do you believe are the greatest challenges facing medical device startups today?

A: Two key areas pose the greatest challenge for medical device startups – taxation and fundraising.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) medical device tax, which went into effect in January 2013, can have a very large impact on startup profitability and can make it more difficult to raise capital. Thankfully, in December the tax was temporarily frozen for two years, following a long effort by AdvaMed and med tech lobbying groups to repeal the tax. 

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, during the economic downturn U.S. venture funding for device companies dropped 27%. Although funding in other sectors has rebounded, total venture funding investment for medical devices has never recovered.