Oklahoma City businessman unveils new online marketplace at annual Biotechnology conference
By Jim Stafford
Copyright © 2016, The Oklahoma Publishing Company
SAN FRANCISCO — Oklahoma City’s Max Doleh brought a new online concept that connects buyers and sellers of biotechnology services to San Francisco on Tuesday amid the world’s largest biotechnology conference that is designed just for that purpose.
As an estimated 15,000 scientists, university researchers, business executives and economic development professionals gathered for the annual Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) convention at the Moscone Center, Doleh proposed a more efficient way of showcasing technologies or service.
Doleh unveiled BioMarketplace.com, a Web-based business that he described as a “business relationship facilitator” that encourages direct communication between buyers and sellers.
Doleh is a serial Oklahoma City entrepreneur whose Sigma Blood Systems sells a quality assurance software product that is used by about 35 percent of the nation’s blood collection agencies.
BioMarketplace.com was launched to fill what Doleh sees as a biotech industry need. Connections can be limited by travel budgets or even by what professional journals they are reading.
“You see right here in this conference, people come here to share their services or looking to do purchasing, such as the researcher or the scientist who is seeking to supplement their manpower or their equipment needs,” Doleh said. “BioMarketplace.com is also connecting buyers and sellers in the biotech industry.”
Doleh’s new online business allows biotech providers to post services such as blood testing, DNA sequencing, assay development, cell line development and any number of professional services such as consulting or quality control. BioMarketplace collects a fee only when a transaction is completed.
Doleh isn’t the first to the biotech space, but he said his competitors segment the market rather than facilitate industrywide transactions. BioMarketplace features individual marketplaces, which include its own BIO Blood Exchange, a Lab Services marketplace and Professional Services.
Biotech industry leaders at the BIO show this week have filled Doleh’s agenda this week with partnering meeting requests as they want to see how it might fit their operation.
On Tuesday, Doleh operated out of one of several private meeting spaces in the OKBio exhibition booth on the floor of the convention. The private rooms were so booked that some Oklahomans met potential business partners at tables set up in open space at the OKBio booth.
The meeting space offered by the Oklahoma booth was another example of how the industry and the state have supported his businesses over the years, Doleh said.
“Being able to come here and be part of the Oklahoma pavilion is a huge blessing for us to get the message out with the support of the Department of Commerce, the OKC Chamber and the fellow biotech companies in Oklahoma,” he said. “It’s a big advantage for us to be a part of the bio ecosystem in Oklahoma.”
Other Oklahomans were just as busy Tuesday meeting potential investors, partners and customers.
Tom Kupiec, CEO of Oklahoma City’s ARL BioPharma and DNA Solutions, said he has about a dozen partnering meetings set up during at the BIO show. He said his mission is to bring revenue into Oklahoma from around the world.
“I think now more than ever it’s crucial to diversify our economy, especially with the decreased revenue from oil and gas,” Kupiec said. “This technology, whether it be biotechnology or other technology, is crucial to the economics of Oklahoma.”
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