Montana throws its hat in–

I wonder if every state in the union will eventually form a partnership to pursue the promise of big bucks in bioscience? Montana’s governor hails the formation of the state’s bioscience trade association, which makes them automatically a member of BIO, the national trade organization. BIO represents “more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in all 50 U.S. states and 33 other nations.”

It’s so strange to see cities, states and governments of all descriptions jumping all over the potential in this industry, even while many local investors shy away because the risks inherent in the business of experimenting with living things makes the payoff–which can easily be huge–seem perhaps not as worthwhile. After all, they might be saying, who wants to lose everything when someone sues a biomed company, claiming its products have caused severe physical damage, serious illness, or even death?

Catch-22. Risk / reward. Is there any way to protect investors? Well, the North Carolina people (surprise), who, by the way, call themselves “one of the top biotechnology regions in the United States and the world,” claim they work constantly to expand public investments in bioscience companies and life-science venture funds, loans for bioscience businesses, and tax incentives for investments and research.

Is the rest of the world doomed to imitate this self-styled leader (N.B., North Carolina’s self-confidence and its flare for marketing seem to inspire a lot of jealousy among certain other states)? Perhaps reading some tips to bio-entrepreneurs could help us learn better how to inspire confidence in investors… The Tech Council of Maryland (another contender) offers this interesting read: Financial FAQs for bioscience companies.

Anybody want to invite insurance companies to throw out some ideas?