The opportunity to have one- on-one mentorship from established individuals in this ecosystem was invaluable.

Spencer MacDonald

Co-Founder and VP Product Development, Avivo Biomedical

Success Story for Spencer

I am the Co-founder and VP, Product Development for Avivo Biomedical, a pre-clinical biotech company that converts all blood types to the universal donor O-type. Our technology has the potential to double the supply of universal donor blood and give those in need of a life-saving organ transplant a second chance at life. My background is in biochemistry, with a MSc in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a PhD in Genomics from the University of British
As I was completing my PhD, I had grand ambitions to start my own biotech company based onthe technologies emerging from my supervisor's lab. However, I had no idea how to bring those technologies into the commercial space. I quickly realized I needed to leave my comfort zoneand learn how to start a biotech company.
That's where the IBE (Institute of Biomedical Entrepreneurship) program came in. The IBE helped me develop the skills necessary to bring my idea from lab to launch. The most important thing I learned from the program was the importance of telling the story of my venture to non-scientists. This seems obvious in retrospect, but it is a critical skill that is often hard for
scientists to learn. Additionally, I learned the importance of "testing my ideas in the real world" and the "fail fast" principle. Time is a valuable resource when starting a new venture and the IBE helped me use my time wisely.

As a result of attending the IBE, I was able to start Avivo Biomedical, which has raised $5 million in private equity and over $5 million in non-dilutive grant funding. We are currently undergoing our first institutional, series-A raise.
The IBE program differs from other programs I have participated, in that it is located in one of the major biotech hubs on the planet, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The opportunity to have one-on-one mentorship from established individuals in this ecosystem was invaluable. The curriculum was intense and rewarding, leaving me with a sense of confidence in my ability to execute my ideas.

I highly recommend the IBE program to others who are looking to bring their ideas from lab to launch. The IBE not only provided me with the necessary skills, but also plugged me into the IBE network in Cambridge and around the world that I otherwise would not have had access to.
The IBE program was a turning point in my career. It not only provided me with the skills and knowledge to start my own biotech company, but also connected me to a network of individuals who have been instrumental in my entrepreneurial success. If you are an entrepreneur looking to bring your ideas out of the lab into the commercial space, I highly recommend attending the IBE program.

The IBE Difference

The IBE brings the specialized know-how and the funding required for translational development success.

The IBE is a lean operating company that uses disciplined processes, leverages existing resources (incubators, CROs), and taps into expert networks to work on many product opportunities in parallel, rather than trying to build one startup at a time.

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