Welcome to the NC BIONEER Venture Challenge, for Biotech Pioneers bringing life sciences innovations to the marketplace in North Carolina.

The North Carolina Biotechnology Center launched this life-sciences-based, innovation-focused venture challenge to raise the profile, increase the volume, and enhance the successes of life science commercialization, innovators, entrepreneurs, and companies in every region across North Carolina


The NC BIONEER Venture Challenge benefits for the selected finalists include the following:
  • A 2-month period of intense mentoring assistance and networking opportunities.
  • Public and private networking and educational events to enhance our connected networks of entrepreneurs, investors, and others in the region and beyond, especially as they relate to biotech innovation and commercialization.
  • Targeted assistance from the NC Biotechnology Center Life Science Intelligence team--e.g., industry and market research.
  • pitch challenge at the end of the assistance process, which will yield significant monetary awards, in addition to the invaluable mentoring and networking each venture will experience during the assistance phase.
  • Monetary Awards Totaling $40,000 IN EACH REGION: Top Award, $20,000; Second and Third Awards, $10,000 each. (Total: $200,000 across the state)
  • Incubator tenancy and/or support partnerships with local incubators, accelerators, and support providers where applicable. 
  • Promotion in the region and beyond of our impressive community of biotech innovators, entrepreneurs, and ventures.

Statewide Challenge: The winner from each of the 5 regional challenges will continue to the statewide challenge for additional mentoring assistance, NC Biotechnology Center Life Science Intelligence team support, promotion, public appearances, and monetary awards.

Application Period

February 1 – February 25, 2022 5:00 pm

Mentoring, Networking, and Awards Events

Because building professional networks to strengthen our entrepreneurial ecosystem is critical to venture success, selected finalists and mentors will be expected to attend the following events:
      • March 3, 2022 Kickoff Celebrations – Regional (All applicants, mentors, presenters, others)
      • March 10, 2022 Notifications to Candidates and Selected Finalists

Regional Assistance Period: Mar–May 2022

      • March 17, 2022 Networking and Mentoring Session #1
      • April 21, 2022 Networking and Mentoring Session #2
      • April 25 – April 29, 2022 Pitch Coach Individual Venture Team Sessions 
      • May 19, 2022 Networking and Mentoring Session #3
      • May 23, 2022 Judging Phase – Regional (Private meeting with pitches to judges)
      • May 24-26, 2022 Regional Venture Pitch Showcase and Winner Reveal (Public event)

The winner from each of the five regional challenges will continue to the state-level challenge for additional mentoring assistance, NC Biotechnology Center Life Science Intelligence team support, promotion, public appearance, and monetary awards.

Statewide Assistance Period: June 2022

    • June, 2022 Additional Mentoring, Networking, and Pitch Coaching
    • June 23, 2022 Statewide Judging Phase (private meeting with pitches to judges)
    • June 23, 2022 Statewide Finals Venture Pitch Showcase and Winner Reveal at Triad BioNight in High Point, NC


From the 2020 NC BIONEER Top Award Recipient:

"NC Bioneer is a unique opportunity for early biotech entrepreneurs to refine their pitch presentation, and pressure test the assumptions of the business model. The venture challenge provided access to Life Science Intelligence Team at NCBiotech which offered the latest market research reports to help define our total addressable market, trends, and competition. The strongest benefit for Isosceles was the mentorship program and networking resources including pharmaceutical specialists that were later critical to the company’s success in the challenge and beyond. I encourage all serious biotech entrepreneurs to apply for the 2022 Bioneer Venture Challenge, take full advantage of the top-notch resources it provides, and use the opportunity to become a part of the vibrant NC biotechnology community."

– Brett Lanier, President, Isosceles Pharmaceuticals


To be considered for the NC BIONEER Venture Challenge, applicants must meet the following criteria:
  • Physical presence in a North Carolina county represented by a NC Biotechnology Center Regional Office (Eastern, Greater Charlotte, Southeastern, Piedmont Triad, Western).
  • Life Sciences/Biotech-related business ventures, including ventures that support life sciences and biotech through equipment, technology platforms, and software applications. For example, ventures may be related to a broad range of biotech-related innovations and applications including agriculture, bioenergy, health/nutrition, advanced materials, industrial biotech, regenerative medicine, diagnostics, medical devices, biomanufacturing, biopharmaceuticals, technology, or marine biotech.

How To Apply

Applications must be completed and submitted online via the following link, NC BIONEER Venture Challenge APPLICATION FORM, no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on February 25, 2022.

An expert panel of reviewers will select finalists to participate in the mentoring assistance process, which begins March 17, 2022 and the pitch competition in May 2022.

To APPLY to be a MENTOR for the challenge, complete the application at NC BIONEER Venture Challenge Mentor Application.

For questions or issues, please contact NCBIONEER_@NCBiotech.org or your NC Biotech Center Regional Office.

NC BIONEER Questions and Ideas

Lead Sponsor

Additional Partners

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