Oklahoma Makes Strong Showing at BIO Show

More than 60 Oklahomans take the floor of the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, providing a big presence for the state at one of the world’s largest industry networking events, the BIO 2009 trade show.
The Oklahomans will be seeking to connect with potential business partners, clients and investors among the anticipated 20,000 people at the annual convention of the Biotechnology Industry Organization.
The convention, kicking off Monday, continues through Thursday afternoon.
The Oklahoma contingent is a mix of economic development officers, researchers and entrepreneurs from across the state.
Their goal? Showcase Oklahoma’s flourishing life sciences community in front of a vast industry audience.
“It’s an opportunity for Oklahoma scientists and early stage companies to find people to collaborate and partner with,” said Robin Roberts-Krieger, executive vice president of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. “It’s very unusual in an industry where you can go to one place and bring everyone together.”
The show will feature more than 170 breakout sessions, partnering forums and a keynote speech by Elton John and a giant trade show that opens Tuesday with more than 2,000 exhibitors.
The Oklahoma contingent will operate under the OKBio banner and greet visitors to the state’s large exhibition space on the convention center floor.
“It’s all about the contacts you make at this event, and the most important ones are the ones that our businesses make,” said Sheri Stickley, Executive Liaison for the OKBio Organization and Deputy Director for Strategic Planning and Initiatives at the state Commerce Department.
“I think it is important that we be there so we get noticed, so that we’re in a position where people who might not have thought about what’s going on with biotechnology in Oklahoma will be able to see the exciting things that are happening in the state and make contacts with the experts we bring with us to BIO,” Stickley said.
The Oklahoma group also will host more than 200 invited guests Tuesday night at the Hard Rock Café in a networking event sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce and the Oklahoma Business Roundtable.
In addition, Oklahomans will participate in many of the partnering sessions throughout the show that bring potential collaborators or business partners together in face-to-face meetings.
“We all have our agendas, but it can come together at the BIO show,” Roberts-Krieger said. “It really is amazing, some of the opportunities that have arisen just because of that collaboration.”



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