October 13, 2016
2 minute read

​Upcoming “Foundations are the New VCs” to Educate NJ Biotechs on Alternative Funding Sources


Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research Chief Executive Officer Dr. Todd Sherer among headliners at the EDA's "Foundations are the New VCs Funding Panel" on Oct. 18.


North Brunswick, N.J. (October 13, 2016) – The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) Chief Executive Officer Dr. Todd Sherer and Andrea Yonah of the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation will headline a funding panel discussion at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (EDA) Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies (CCIT) on Oct. 18. The event is being held in partnership with BioNJ.

Entitled “Foundations are the New VCs,” the free event will encourage New Jersey biotechnology companies to explore alternative research and development (R&D) funding sources from foundations like MJFF and BIRD. It will also address questions such as:

  • How will the next generation of drugs, diagnostics and devices be funded?
  • What new funding models might change the paradigm?
  • Is there an alternative way to fund early and emerging commercial biomedical research?


Dr. Sherer directs MJFF’s research strategy and is responsible for the Foundation’s overall scientific and fundraising direction to speed development of treatment and a cure for Parkinson’s disease. In 2015 alone, MJFF funded $87.8 million in research programs.

The BIRD Foundation works to encourage and facilitate cooperation between U.S. and Israeli companies in a wide range of technology sectors and offers funding to selected projects. Yonah noted that a pair of companies, one from the U.S. and one from Israel, can apply jointly for funding of up to 50 percent (maximum of $1 million) of the combined project budget. Since January 1, 2015, the BIRD Foundation has approved $23 million in funding for 28 projects, 11 of them in the life sciences sector.

Dr. Lisa Hague, Associate Manager of Technical Support at GENEWIZ, will also participate in the panel and will focus on how GENEWIZ benefited from the BIRD Foundation’s support. GENEWIZ is a CCIT graduate.
Biotechnology companies interested in attending can register online at

The event, which will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., is part of the EDA’s ongoing efforts to provide exposure to funding opportunities for New Jersey’s technology community.

“We often hear from the technology community how critical funding is to continuing development,” EDA CEO Melissa Orsen said. “That’s why the EDA frequently hosts opportunities, like the event on Oct. 18 and our New Jersey Founders and Funders event later this month, through which entrepreneurs can connect with those who can guide them to much needed capital.”

The event will also give biotechnology companies the chance to visit CCIT, a 46,000-square-foot incubator that is home to nearly two dozen businesses. With 27 wet labs and access to offices, conference rooms, a supportive staff and a variety of additional resources, CCIT is ideal for emerging companies looking to grow in the Garden State. CCIT is located within the Technology Centre of New Jersey, a 75-acre research park that houses such companies as Chromocell and Orthobond (both of which are CCIT graduates), Allergan, and Merial.  Companies interested in touring CCIT should visit or contact Lenzie Harcum at

For more information about resources available to support New Jersey’s technology industry, visit and follow @NJEDATech on Twitter and LinkedIn.