As the local life science industries continue to grow at a tremendous rate, it can be hard keeping track of all of the advancements, developments, events, and opportunities. Cue this month’s Partner Spotlight: BioBuzz
Bio Buzz is local organization dedicated to gathering, curating, and connecting all things bio-related within the BioHealth Capital Region.
For the person that knows nothing about Bio Buzz … break it down & tell us what your group is all about:
BioBuzz launched in 2010 as a networking event to bring together members of the life science industry to build stronger relationships and foster a sense of ‘community’ in the region. A strong culture and connected community are two important elements for a vibrant innovation ecosystem. We have hosted more than 90 events that have been attended by nearly 10,000 people. In 2018 we transformed the organization by launching www.biobuzz.io, which is the only media publication that is 100% dedicated to telling the stories of the amazing people and companies across the whole biohealth capital region. Our new mission is to create experiences that connect people and companies across the region. In just one year, the website is now attracting over 12,000 visitors per month who are reading unique stories about the amazing things that are happening here, utilize our regional events calendar to stay in the know, or search our directory to find information on a local company.
Who is your target audience and participants?
We broadly target anyone in the biohealth industry across the region who is looking to plug into the local industry, stay on top of what’s happening and build their network. We get a lot of job seekers, entrepreneurs, managers from companies that are looking to hire, as well as vendors and even students. I believe that our events are truly one of the most broadly attended that you’ll find in the area. Our online audience is mostly DC/MD/VA but about 30% of our readers are from outside of the area, mainly from NY, NJ, MA, PA and CA.
What services and opportunities do you offer or provide Frederick businesses?
BioBuzz has two operating divisions; the publication is one, and the other is a full-service marketing agency. Through the publication, we offer advertising and PR distribution to provide Frederick businesses with an opportunity to get visibility with the broader biohealth market and grow their employer brand. Our writers are always looking for new stories that will appeal to our audience so I encourage companies to reach out to us (firstname.lastname@example.org). Our agency works with biotech companies who are typically seeking to expand their market and convey their value proposition to generate more customers, expand their company by attracting new employees, or help to better tell their story to share their culture.
What current project, program, or topic is your group is passionate about?
There are 2,000 open jobs in the BioHealth Capital Region …and not enough people to fill them
The recurring theme that we talk about among our team is the dire need that the growing biotech companies in our region have for talent and new employees. There are 2,000 open jobs in the BioHealth Capital Region and there are simply not enough people to fill them. You can’t expect local companies to just keep pulling employees from one another. The only way to meet this demand is to do a better job of attracting people to relocate to the area. We believe that by sharing good stories about the regional industry growth, the great companies, the great people and the plentiful resources available to support the industry, we are helping to attract more talent to the area. Knowing how important this is to the companies we work with really drives our team and is something that we are all passionate about.
Have you recognized any current trends in the Bio industry you can share with us?
In our region, there is a very clear trend around cell and gene therapy companies emerging or relocating here. We have a unique set of assets and that really support this industry. It’s not only the talent pool and proximity to cutting edge research at NCI, NIH, JHU and University of Maryland that are fueling this trend. Logistics and proximity to the massive East Coast patient population has also made this an attractive hub.
We’re also seeing an emerging trend in the importance that Biotechs are placing on things like company culture and employer branding. More and more Biotechs are starting to adopt elements from the software and tech industry. Things like free lunches, gourmet coffee bars and beer fridges, weekly happy hours, company volunteer outings, biotech co-working or community-oriented facilities, and a more dynamic website and social media presence are all becoming more and more common in today’s biotech market.
Do you see any trends specifically in regards to Frederick?
Biotech companies are looking to attract and retain the best talent so they are beginning to evolve their thinking beyond the “our technology speaks for itself” mindset. Since the competition for talent is so great, companies are really investing in creating a workplace culture that makes them attractive to new employees and retains their current ones.
As a location, Frederick really offers one of the best all-around employee-friendly environments. Cost of living, quality of life, great schools, lots of good jobs and avoiding the i-270 commute are all very attractive elements that companies in Frederick have to offer. In addition, there is a strong cell and gene therapy hub that is really taking shape in Frederick. Companies like RoosterBio, Lonza and now Kite Pharma, in addition to the Frederick National Lab for Cancer Research are part of what is becoming a very strong ecosystem that I think will continue to expand in Frederick.