Indiana Health Industry Forum Receives Grant to Support MOMENTUM: Mentor Networks

Contact: Kristin Jones, IHIF

Tel:317-686-0994

kjones@ihif.org

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(Indianapolis, IN – July 21, 2015) The Indiana Health Industry Forum (IHIF) is pleased to announce it has been awarded a grant from the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) to support its MOMENTUM Mentor Networks program.  The MOMENTUM program was formally launched in May of 2014 and currently has over 25 accepted mentors enrolled.

MOMENTUM is intended to better tie industry, Indiana’s research community, and our entrepreneurs together.  The programs will encourage earlier interaction between industry and investigators, provide earlier feedback on ideas and company development, and encourage later stage entrepreneurial growth and development.  The program works across three functional areas and is intended to compliment the work done by existing university programs.  The areas include:

1) Connect the research and discovery interests of large industry with faculty members in the state’s research universities. Discovery Days programs will help industry become more familiar with members of Indiana’s research community and help give investigators more direct context and applications for their discoveries.

2) Provide individual investigators who would like to commercialize their discoveries with access to a customized network of industry mentors. The PRIMER program will provide guidance and feedback at the earliest stages of discovery and contemplated company formation.

3) Work with established entrepreneurial companies to enhance their business skills and build their networks.  The Team Mentorship program will work to prepare entrepreneurial companies to compete more effectively for funding.

IHIF President Kristin Jones said, “As Indiana’s health science sector has grown and developed, we have cultivated a rich resource of individuals with a variety of experiences in starting and guiding companies, raising funds, managing teams, and building business networks. To truly advance life sciences in Indiana we need a market differentiator – a program that will put us in league with other major life science clusters and allow us to tap into both our local expertise and engage large industry through more effective and efficient dialogue.  In Indiana, IHIF is uniquely positioned to be a communication bridge between large industry, the state’s business leaders, and health science entrepreneurs – making sure that the needs of each group are met through facilitated interactions and a variety of targeted programming”.

The need for a well-developed mentor program was first identified in IHIF’s Statewide Strategic Plan for Indiana’s Health Science Sector 2012-2017.  MOMENTUM specifically supports recommendations around developing statewide support infrastructure for the sector, providing tools to help familiarize investors with Indiana companies and researchers, facilitating research-based interactions between industry and universities, and providing ongoing support for CTSI’s mission and activities.

The core of the program is the team mentorship initiative, a dedicated 10-week cycle for mentee companies.  Selected businesses will be asked to present to an audience of prospective mentors in a First Pitch event.  Mentors will be asked to select companies they would be interested in mentoring.  While Mentor interest will be considered in the selection process, the program Steering Committee will organize mentor teams, working to meet the needs and interests of the mentee company.  Once matched, the teams will begin a 10 week series of weekly, 1-2 hour meetings to discuss a variety of business preparedness issues.  IHIF will provide discussion guidelines and support materials but expect teams to help mentees to think critically about these issues and how they apply to their business, not necessarily completely resolve each topic.  Additional time and discussion may be allocated to other issues as needed.  Mentee companies will also participate in a one-day training session to hone their presentation skills and will then be asked to present their new slide decks to the members of the mentor network in the Final Pitch event.  IHIF expects to organize two cycles of 3-5 mentee companies per year.

The Discovery Days Program was launched in June of 2014.  The CTSI grant was provided to support further development of the Program to connect Relevant Industry Mentors and Entrepreneur-Researchers (PRIMER).  PRIMER will be a key part of the network to encourage investigator/mentor interactions and to attract and grow the mentor resource network.

An open call for mentee company applications has been issued.  For anyone interested in learning more about team mentoring or becoming a program mentor, mentee company, or program sponsor, please visit www.ihif.org/pages/mentorship.

Funding for this program has been made through the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute with partial support from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation Twenty-First Century Research and Technology Fund (Grant ID: A293-5-21Fund-14).

About IHIF

The diverse corporate members of the Indiana Health Industry Forum (IHIF) generate the collective voice of the state’s health and life science industry. Our mission is to connect key stakeholders to enhance members’ business networks, advocate for member interests, develop workforce skills, and provide strategic vision and leadership in the interest of growing the state’s health industry economy and reputation.  To learn more, please visit www.ihif.org

About CTSI

The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) is a statewide collaboration of Indiana UniversityPurdue University and the University of Notre Dame, as well as public and private partnerships, which facilitates the translation of scientific discoveries in the lab into clinical trials and new patient treatments in Indiana and beyond.

Established in 2008, the Indiana CTSI is supported by a $55 million Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) of the National Institutions of Health, supplemented by nearly $60 million from the state, the three member universities, and public and private partnerships. The Indiana CTSI is a member of a national network of 61 CTSA-funded organizations across the United States.

Want to learn more about how the Indiana CTSI can benefit your department or unit? Schedule a visit.

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