Need for “passion capital” investors to crowdfund new cures

The 2013 Milken Institute Global Conference, held April 28 – May 1, brought together over 600 speakers.

The 2013 Milken Institute Global Conference, held April 28 – May 1, brought together over 600 speakers.

The future of bioscience funding, and the search for important new cures to serious diseases, requires a triad of investment that includes public funding, philanthropy-supported research, and passion-based crowdfunding, according to Gregory Simon, CEO of Poliwogg, an online platform that matches young companies with accredited investors.

Speaking this week on a Milken Global Conference panel, Financing the Future of Bioscience and Pharma, Simon asserted to his co-panelists that US healthcare innovation is stifled by a funding gap.

“Many emerging companies are viewed as too early stage for venture capital. Yet the drive for new cures – and the strength of the healthcare sector in the United States – relies on our ability to fund and nurture these companies from their inception,” said Simon. “Public funding and non-profit foundation support will play a crucial role at the earliest stage, but from there, healthcare and life sciences companies need a way to tap committed accredited investors who have a vested interest in seeing them succeed.”

Simon explained that one way to access this “passion capital” is through crowdfunding, to foster and encourage investment in a way that would not be possible through traditional venture financing. “Crowdfunding is a positive source of capital for these enterprises; it involves patient, high-net worth investors who are determined to support scientific advancement toward cures of specific illnesses.”

Bringing investors together for crowdfunding, via online portals, is now legal under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which passed Congress in April 2012 with bipartisan support. The JOBS Act allows accredited investors to participate directly in the private economy and crowdfunding. Once the SEC adopts portal funding rules and approves regulations, Poliwogg will go live with its online marketplace, which matches emerging privately held companies with individual accredited investors.

In addition to Simon, the Bioscience panel consisted of executives from the National Institutes of Health, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Fidelity Investments, BVF Partners and FasterCures.

About Poliwogg
Based in New York, Poliwogg fosters and encourages capital formation through the use of crowdfunding and other internet-based methods. The company offers an online investment platform that enables accredited investors to have meaningful participation in early and mid-stage financing of new enterprises, particularly in healthcare and the life sciences, alternative/green energy, and community enterprise. For more information, visit www.poliwogg.com. Follow Poliwogg on Twitter @poliwoggpond, and on LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Patty Buchanan
Fastlane Communications for Poliwogg
(973) 670-1203 | pbuchanan@fast-lane.net

Poliwogg Contact: Gregory C. Simon, CEO Poliwogg
(212) 370-0535 | gsimon@poliwogg.com | www.poliwogg.com

Source: CFBeat.com – Fastlane Communications for Poliwogg

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