Site Links Biotech Interests On Web List

April 27, 2008
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GRAND RAPIDS — There’s a new Web site in town that aims to bring together biotech and life sciences players from around the world.

BioTechConnections.org is the brainchild of local entrepreneur Gary Burmeister, CEO and founder. Burmeister was previously Pfizer Inc.’s sales and marketing manager for Michigan. At Pfizer he worked as a consultant to a number of small biotech startups and medical device companies and found that a lot of them were frustrated in their attempts to find the latest industry information on the Internet, as well as information about what other companies in the field were doing.

There are numerous biotech and life sciences Web sites available, and while they’re very complete in terms of content and detail, they cover a particular area of expertise rather than the entire spectrum, Burmeister said. He decided to create a new networking vehicle to fill the void.

“What I’ve done is taken all of the aspects of biotech and life sciences and enhanced them, so everything is included on the research side,” he explained. “Everything is on there, with one caveat — the information is not as in-depth as it is on the individual Web sites. If people want that depth but aren’t familiar with those specific Web sites, they can come to our site, and within two or three clicks they can access them.”

The comprehensiveness of the Web site is very unique, Burmeister said, and for the time being, it’s unmatched by any other Internet portal. The Web site is in the ramp-up stage and is about 65 percent complete. He expects the content will be fully loaded within the next couple of weeks.

Burmeister said the optimum goal is to provide quality connections for BioTechConnections’ members and to provide potential customers for its partners and sponsors. Membership is free. Those who choose “partner” status pay $500 a year, which entitles them to have a link on the Web site that includes a description of their organization. Gold sponsors pay $2,400 a year, which entitles them to also have their company logo posted on the site. Platinum sponsors pay $5,000 a year, which gets them a large logo on the Web banner, as well as the benefits of partner and gold status.

The site covers 120 categories and includes listings of biotech and life science companies, organizations and vendors, industry news, a worldwide events calendar, job postings, and a forum that allows members to publish articles in their area of expertise for all the world to see. The company is also in the process of setting up connections by state. Michigan and California will be the first to have company and organization listings by state, Burmeister noted, but as membership grows, he hopes to put together listings for every state.  

He said the advantage to partners and sponsors is that they get visibility in each category or subcategory on the Web site. The other advantage, he said, is the fact that the site includes all the business elements that could conceivably be needed by a biotech or life science business, such as sections on finance, patent law, business support services, business supplies, biotech real estate, lab services, executive recruiters, consulting companies, grant writing, regulatory news, and media and lobbying services.

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