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BIO 2006 is going to be big enough that no one is likely to see everything it has to offer. So WTN asked Wisconsin attendees where they'll be during the marathon event that promises to draw around 20,000 people in Chicago this April 9 through 12. Here's a sampling of their responses:Sal Braico, COO of ConjuGon
: We applied to present as part of the Business Forum, which is part of BIO. They have companies presenting and opportunities for companies to meet with each other. We've presented at the last two BIOs ... we've found those to be a great place to both meet and connect with venture capitalists and also with other, larger drug companies.
I don't think enough Wisconsin companies take advantage of the Business Forum. I don't think we're the only one, but there aren't many others. It's an excellent opportunity, even if you're not presenting. Just to have a booth or something on the big floor, I don't think that's enough.Deven McGlenn, CEO of NeoClone Biotechnology
: We are part of the bio-business partnering forum. That is orchestrated through BIO, and it's a tool to be able to link up business both that we're interested and meeting and companies that are interested in meeting us. We anticipate that will generate probably about 20 individual meetings.
In addition, we are working with Brad Schneider from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce who is helping with international business matchmaking services in various countries. It's not a relaxing show. These meetings, they're so big that the only way you make them really valuable is to work on lining up meetings ahead of time.
Kurt Zimmerman, associate director of the UW-Madison Master of Science in Biotechnology program
: I'll be working in the Wisconsin pavilion, and I think by and large the exhibit hall is a very good place to focus somewhat, because it's a showcase of what all the states are doing in biotechnology, and more than that, how aggressively they're going about presenting themselves.Brian Thompson, managing director of TechStar
: I'm going to spend a little time at the Wisconsin pavilion. ... I'm actually kind of interested to see what those companies have to say. Some of them I know about, some of them I don't. It's a good opportunity to see what's going on locally, and hopefully those guys have invited people to come in nationally and see their pitch. I think the most value for me is just walking the floor, so that's where I'll be spending the rest of my time.Trevor D'Souza, managing director of Mason Wells Biomedical Fund
: I'm probably going to be looking at a lot of the exhibitors that are there, looking at what they're doing and what they have to offer.
I've actually attended [BIO] since it was a very small conference of maybe a thousand people in the 1990s. At that time, pharma was much bigger than biotech, and bio was just an emerging organization. There were a bunch of state organizations ... and they all sort of lumped themselves up into BIO.Talk Back: Where will you be at BIO? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you plan to get out of the conference.