Animal PHARM - 2012 Animal Health Investment Forum- September 11, 2012
Homecoming celebrates strengthening influence of Kansas City AnimalHealth CorridorSeptember 11, 2012Joseph HarveyAround 800 members of the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor (KCAHC) were in attendance at the 7thAnnual Homecoming Hoedown, not only to welcome a new company to the fold but also to honor anindustry veteran who was a key supporter of the growth of the regional animal health sector.The event was staged at the cavernous Hale Arena in Kansas City, Missouri, and saw the great and thegood of the local animal health industry don cowboy hats and boots to pay tribute to the city’s ‘cowtown’ past.Craig Wallace, chief executive of Ceva Animal Health and advisory board chair of KCAHC, hosted theevent and outlined the historical importance of the region in cultivating a thriving animal health industry.Just south of downtown Kansas City, the Hale Arena is situated amongst the former grounds of thesettlement’s stockyards. The prosperity of these stockyards in turn prompted the need for of the increasedavailability of animal health products such as vaccines as a way of protecting a major source of thenational food supply. It is this history that supplies the KCAHC with the focus of its ‘Homecoming’celebrations.Mr Wallace handed over to Bob Marcusse, president and chief executive of the Kansas City AreaDevelopment Council, who announced the continuing growth of the Corridor’s member roster. MrMarcusse told the audience that the new professional development firm Animal Health Training Solutions(ATS) is to locate its US corporate training center in Kansas City, within the Animal Health Corridor.The firm, which specializes exclusively in training and development for animal health industryprofessionals, will be based at the Ambassador Building at Kansas City International Airport. ATS offerstraining in field sales, sales management, inside sales, leadership development and strategic marketing.The company will begin operating from the new offices in October but begins working with animal healthcompanies this month. It has established a team of five executives who have experience in the animalhealth sector. Led by veterinarian and former Merck Animal Health executive Eric Alsup as president andhead coach, the company hopes to cut a niche in the market when US animal health firms have beencutting back on their training budgets. The other four members of the ATS team are David Solberg, TerrySheehan, Todd Brodersen and Travis Meredith.“The broad-based training curriculum offered by ATS is designed to assist entry-level and advanced salesrepresentatives, sales managers, marketing professionals and senior executives in meeting theirperformance objectives as well as to identify and address opportunities and challenges specific to theanimal health industry. By combining this industry-specific expertise with the best practices for sales,telesales, marketing and general managerial executives, ATS offers the most comprehensive and relevanttraining experience available for animal health professionals,” the company stated.“ATS chose to locate in Kansas City near the airport due to the location’s ease of access for travelers andlow operating costs,” explained Mr Alsup. “The culture of Kansas City and concentration of animal healthcompanies here made the selection fairly easy. There is no place like the KC Animal Health Corridor for acompany looking to serve the animal health industry.”Mr Marcusse added: “Due to the KC Animal Health Corridors globally unique animal health industryconcentration offering a mix of companies, higher education, research and service providers, the KansasCity area is an ideal location for ATS to grow and succeed.”
Iron Paw AwardProceedings then focused on the hard work put into establishing the KCAHC as Pat McCown, chiefexecutive of McCownGordon Construction, introduced the winner of the 2012 Iron Paw award – GeorgeHeidgerken.This accolade recognizes an individual’s contribution to supporting and assist the development of theKCAHC. Mr Heidgerken is currently corporate senior vice president of Boehringer Ingelheim and globalhead of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health. He has been a fervent backer of the Corridor since itsinception and was instrumental in the establishment of the Workforce Development Taskforce, aninitiative that has sought to develop curricular solutions to the needs of animal health companies.Mr Heidgerken has served as advisory board chair of the KCAHC, chair of the Canadian Animal HealthInstitute and the Board of the Animal Health Institute in the US.Previously, he was president and chief executive of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica and was responsiblefor sales and marketing, research and development and manufacturing in the US. He began hisBoehringer career in 1997 at the firm’s Vetmedica division of Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada). Prior tojoining Boehringer, Mr Heidgerken worked in Canada in a number of sales and marketing roles forMallinckrodt Animal Health, Syntex Animal Health and Pfizer Animal Health.Investment ForumThe Homecoming dinner was scheduled the day before the KCAHC’s annual Animal Health InvestmentForum – a unique event that also highlights the increasing geographical importance of the Kansas Cityregion to the animal health market.The Investment Forum provides an opportunity for businesses with a technology, product or service inanimal health and nutrition to pitch their innovation before an international audience of venture capitalistsand animal health industry executives. The event is open to companies aiming to raise between $500,000and $20m with revenue projections of $20m within five to seven years.Advanced Animal Diagnostics (AAD) won the inaugural Innovation Award at the Investment Forum. Thefirm was selected from a group of 13 companies that were presenting at the Forum by a panel of industryexperts. AAD’s president and chief executive Joy Parr Drach accepted a cheque for $2,500 from JeffBoily, the president and chief executive of the Center for Animal Health Innovation. Morrisville, NorthCarolina-based AAD is currently developing on-farm diagnostic tests. The most advanced of itstechnology platforms uses differential cell counts to identify white cell blood cell types that have a role infighting animal infection. The 2012 Innovation Award included a $2,500 check presented by Jeff Boily, CEO for the Center for Animal Health Innovation.The award was focused on the best presentation carried out by the 13 firms, who were attending theForum to raise their profiles in the animal health investment community and reach out to potentialpartners.
Ms Parr Drach’s speech to the delegates began with: “By the time I finish this presentation, the dairyindustry will have lost $1 million.”This presentation caught the eye of the Forum’s judging panel which included: Mr Boily; Jake Halliday,president and chief executive of the University of Missouri Life Science Business Incubator; KostasKontopanos, president at Hill’s Pet Nutrition US; Mike Peck, managing partner at Open Prairie Ventures;Steven St Peter, chairman of Kansas City-based animal health drug development firm AratanaTherapeutics; Rick Vaughn, vice president at the Business Development Enterprise Center of JohnsonCounty and Craig Wallace, chief executive of Ceva – the US operations of French company Ceva SantéAnimale.In the coming months, Animal Pharm will bring you full coverage of the Animal Health InvestmentForum, as well as an exclusive interview with Ceva chief executive, Homecoming host and InvestmentForum judge Craig Wallace.What is the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor?The KCAHC represents around one-third of the global animal health industry within a 300-mile regionthat straddles both Kansas and Missouri. The Corridor travels from the Kansas State University Collegeof Veterinary Medicine in Manhattan, Kansas, to the University of Missouri College of VeterinaryMedicine in Columbia, Missouri.Within the Corridor there are around 220 animal health and related companies, with 20,000 employees ofthose companies as members. As well as a host of animal health-focused start-ups, the region also boastsa range of industry leaders. Boehringer Ingleheim Vetmedica has begun work on a $79 million expansionof its St Joseph, Missouri headquarters operations, while Bayer, Ceva, Elanco, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Merckand Pfizer also have a presence in the Corridor.