Middle Bit: Viewpoint Molecular Targeting awarded $2 million SBIR grant

Coralville-based Viewpoint Molecular Targeting has been awarded a $2 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Viewpoint is a University of Iowa start-up pharmaceutical company that has developed novel therapy and companion diagnostics for cancer. The award will support preclinical development and a Phase 1 clinical imaging trial of it’s VMT01 companion diagnostic in advance of therapeutic trials.

“We value the NCI’s continued recognition of the importance of our products and its support of our development program,” said Edwin Sagastume, Viewpoint’s lead engineer. “We are excited with the progress we are making to bring our products forward.”

“This award is an excellent next step in advancing Viewpoint’s new therapy to the clinical stage,” said Viewpoint’s Chief Science Officer Michael Schultz. “We could not be more excited about our progress and to expand our clinical trial sites.”

Coe College partners with NewBoCo, hires ‘entrepreneur-in-residence’

Coe College has partnered with NewBoCo to create new “entrepreneur-in-residence” position on the college’s Cedar Rapids campus.

David Tominsky, NewBoCo’s Chief Relationship Officer will fill the new positions, which officials expect will be a permanent campus installment. The new position comes with an on-campus office, where Tominsky will offer one-on-one counseling to students year-round.

The new position grew out of the inaugural Kohawk Startup held last year. The event, sponsored by NewBoCO, was a 24-hour event where Coe students worked in teams to transform their startup ideas into business plans.

Coe College and NewBoCo will be holding the event again this year on Nov. 8 and 9.

BrokerTech Ventures announces four new investment partners

 BrokerTech Ventures, the industry’s first broker-led investor group and accelerator program, has announced four new⁠ investor partners—Assurance, Graham Company, InterWest Insurance Services and Hylant Insurance.

“With the addition of these four agency partners, the BrokerTech Ventures network now spans the country, allowing us to be the first to stake our position in cultivating, curating, and fostering innovation for brokers,” said Dan Keough, Holmes Murphy chairman and CEO and BrokerTech Ventures co-founder. “These BrokerTech Ventures partners are agency leaders with a commitment to innovation and thought leadership, and we’re excited to have their cutting-edge ideas at the table.”

BrokerTech Ventures’ accelerator curriculum will include seed funding for a portion of the chosen startups’ research and testing, a veteran mentoring network and a distribution platform to deploy new technologies.

“With these recent developments, we are celebrating the fact that we can move farther and faster down the innovation curve,” said Mike Victorson, M3 Insurance president and CEO and BrokerTech Ventures co-founder.

The window for startup companies to apply for a spot in the first BrokerTech Ventures cohort will open in late October of this year, with program schedule to launch in February 2020.