Innovation Competition (Boston, MA)

kwiKBio to help doctors and scientists test better ideas faster, pursuing a $1B+ revenue opportunity

Concept or business name.
kwiKBio -- from research guidance to CRO services
What general market sector best fits your opportunity?
Research tools or services
Please describe the experience and role for key members of this opportunity.
Combining CRO research business development with advanced semantic-web bioinformatics in an e-commerce biomedical research portal, two cofounders have strong relevant experience. Greg Erman and Justin Lancaster are serial entrepreneurs, strong managers in the Internet/bioinformatics space and experienced mentors and coaches. Greg (BSEE/MBA,Rutgers) built 4 med-tech cos. from scratch and headed 2 others, raising $100M and successfully exiting with up to 12X ROI. Justin (MS/PhD,UCSD; Postdoc,Harvard; JD,VLS; Reg. USPTO) founded and led a SaaS web co. (patent acquired by Sony) and headed sales, BD and strategic marketing in 5 VC-backed CRO startups. Justin is currently lead the web application/product design. Key members needed are additional programmers (Javascript, Java, PHP, node.js, Web 3.0, and AI) and part-time CFO.
Please describe the key problems your opportunity addresses, such as unmet customer needs, diseases, or other market needs.
2.0 million doctors and researchers (university, government and industry) are wasting 20-30% of their resources repeating lab experiments previously conducted [pers.comm., D. deGraaf, CEO, Selventa]. Results and information are mounting faster than researchers can follow and absorb. Pain points in outsourcing research include sales and marketing cost-burdens on CROs and logistics and time costs for researchers finding and scheduling services and closing services contracts that manage IP and risk.
What is the size of the market opportunity addressed by your product or solution?
Biomedical research outsourcing will be a $58 B industry segment in 2017. Solving significant pain points in this research and transactional space presents us a $1.4 B revenue opportunity. kwiKBio trades efficient outsourcing for transaction fee and valuable research guidance for monthly or annual subscription. By 2017, we estimate 5% fees on $200M in transactions (purchases ranging from $50 to $50k) plus 145k user subscriptions at $9/mth; combined this yields annual revenue over $20M. Primary costs are taxes (5.5M), marketing (2M), Mngmnt/Ops (1.8M), R&D(1.5M), and content in-licensing (1.2M), totaling $12M. Margins at about 40% in 2017 increase to 60%+ at revenues > $100M.
Describe your solution or technology and how it addresses the market needs presented above.
We integrate an ecommerce portal with Web 3.0 research guidance to accelerate outsourced research cycles and gain competitive advantage. A freemium model gives access to public data and vendor lists, while subscribing researchers gain access to proprietary content, hypothesis generation, value-of-information analysis, advanced vendor matching and sequencing, on-the-fly service contracting that manages IP and risk, and knowledge-model updating. Vendors list free for modest transaction fee. Accelerating outsourced research 10-fold will produce major societal benefit and grow jobs. In 1 year post-launch, we expect to double research achievement for participants (more CROs operating at full capacity and more researchers served by faster contracting cycles). By 2018, we anticipate $45M+ in revenues by accelerating a significant fraction of a $64 B outsourcing industry, increasing cost-effectiveness and enabling many more small pharma companies and CROs to emerge and thrive.
What is unique about your solution from the technology, intellectual property or business strategy perspectives?
Our Web 3.0 research guidance engine will add value to draw customers to the e-commerce portal. Our on-the-fly service contracting, advanced shopping matrix and multi-service sequencing will distinguish the portal from competitors. We own full rights to patented business method for biomedical ecommerce portal (USP 8,099,297;; see claim 1) and to pending U.S. Patent App. No. 12/290,731 (US covering our research guidance architecture integrated with outsourcing lab selection and on-the-fly contracting. This IP gives significant competitive advantage over competitors. Our business model is free of regulatory hurdles, which are handled by the contracting customers and vendors.
How well does your solution compete against other solutions in development and on the market?
ContractLaboratory, GoBalto, AssayDepot, ScienceExchange and OnDeckBiotech are in this ecommerce space. None of these offers a research guidance engine to aggregate customers. The major CROs (Quintiles, PAREXEL, Covance, PPD, etc.) each have online marketing, but no sales portal; one or more could launch ecommerce. Two commercial companies have research guidance using semantic knowledge bases (Ingenuity and Selventa); however, neither of these companies offer a solution integrated with an e-commerce portal for multiple 3rd-party CRO labs.
Describe your company funding status.
Describe the key milestones for the opportunity and the challenges and risks associated with meeting these milestones.
First milestones achieved include award of business method patent for e-commerce for biomedical research services (2012) and nearing end of prosecution of patent for research guidance engine integrated with choosing such services from an e-commerce library. We have completed many steps of market research and have CRO vendors and beta-testing teams at pharma and biotech sites waiting to test our prototype. We have followed and analyzed our e-commerce competition and have engaged Genstruct/Selventa and Qqiagen/Ingenuity regarding being channel for their content, as well as building relationship with BIO2RDF and the NLM knowledge base. Next key milestone is completion of the alpha prototype for the research guidance engine, currently being developed in JS, AWS, node.js, heroku, git-hub web-app stack/framework, coupled with testing of Open-BEL, IPA APIs and wrapping SPARQL queries. Next milestone is beta-launch and integration of the research guidance engine with prototype of an e-commerce engine. Following launch of the portal would be rapid partnering (or roll-up) with one of our e-commerce competitors and one of the knowledge base content providers, utilizing our IP position as inducement. Risks are extremely LOW with each of the above milestones, as these are merely nose-to-the-grindstone execution steps. We are combining many existing methods and capabilities, leveraging open-source software modules, and providing solutions that have proven value to customers. We have waited six years from first filing patent applications on this approach for the market to ripen, which is now exhibited by the IPA APIs and Open-BEL, and by the emergence of our e-commerce competitors. The market opportunity of over $1.5 B is enough to sustain numerous entrants in this space. Our unique combination of value solutions makes us a motor-sailing yacht competing against smaller sailboats.
What are your immediate needs that can be addressed by the BiotechTuesday community?
  • Team members
  • Advisors
  • Funding, Corporate partnerships
Additional details on specific immediate needs, if necessary (e.g. Amount of funds required, etc.).
$50k in seed funding will accelerate prototype bootstrapping (from 6 months to 2 months), and $250-$500k will enable completion of the web application and the site launch.