BioNTX iC3 Summit to Fuel North Texas Life Science Ecosystem, Honor 8 Rising Stars

The North Texas bioscience organization, a driving force for growth in the regional ecosystem, will convene leaders at its flagship conference to catalyze industry opportunities, spotlight emerging companies, and make connections.

See who made this year's Rising Stars list—and how you can attend the summit.

North Texas is staking its claim as a biotech hub, with BioNTX serving as a vital convener of the region’s growing ecosystem.

On September 28-29, the nonprofit life science trade organization will again bring together top minds in North Texas biotech and healthcare at its 9th annual iC³ Summit in Irving.

With a theme of “Innovation, Capital, Collaboration, Commercialization”—or iC³—the summit unites researchers, entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, and support organizations to forge the relationships that drive progress.

Over two days, participants will exchange ideas, network, learn about new technologies and trends, and discuss the future of bioscience and healthcare.

Kathleen Otto

Kathleen Otto, CEO of BioNTX sees a “dynamic bioscience hub” flourishing in North Texas. The CEO says the Dallas-based nonprofit serves as a connector and catalyst for the region’s life science industry.

“We urge you to play a pivotal role in shaping this ecosystem,” she said.

Intentional gatherings like iC³ and other networking events drive the organization’s goal to help establish North Texas as a major player in the global bioscience industry.

This year’s summit will cover cell and gene therapy, biopharma manufacturing, AI in biopharma, resources for startups, regulatory issues, tech transfer, and more. It will also feature eight rising stars in North Texas bioscience, a showcase of technologies from regional research institutions, and networking receptions.

A scene from last year’s BioNTX iC3 Life Science Summit [Video still: BioNTX]

BioNTX to honor rising life science innovators in North Texas 

As part of the iC3 Summit, BioNTX recognizes exemplary early-stage companies as Rising Stars. The companies were nominated by the community as standouts with high growth potential. This year’s honorees are:


According to Chad Ronholdt, Managing Director of NVB Ventures and Chair of the iC3 Tech Transfer Showcase, “The Rising Stars program is critical to the future success of life science in North Texas, because it fosters the ecosystem we work in. Investors see the vibrant company formation taking place, knowing research today becomes future standards of care.”

Growing influence

The North Texas nonprofit now counts more than 1,000 members across the state and country. Its programs nurture startups, connect researchers to resources, and ensure the region has a talented workforce pipeline.

Annual events like the iC3 Summit convene hundreds of the region’s top scientific minds to network and explore new innovations. BioNTX’s partnerships with industry leaders like Swiss American CDMO and academic institutions like Dallas College strengthen the ecosystem.

The organization also works to strengthen the region’s position as a rising biotech hub. It’s been a busy year, CEO Otto says.

Helping cultivate tomorrow’s workforce today

In June, BioNTX announced a collaboration with Dallas College, and the DFW Hospital Council Foundation, along with Swiss American CDMO, to launch the Biotechnology and Healthcare Industry Alliance of North Texas (BHIANT).

The collaborative convenes biotech, biomanufacturing, hospitals, and healthcare employers to champion industry-led workforce development. The alliance was created to ensure North Texas companies have access to diverse, skilled talent. At the same time,  to pathways to quality jobs and upward mobility in biotech.

The unique alliance was the result of a United States Economic Development Administration job grant and was unveiled at the Swiss American CDMO plant in Carrollton.

BioNTX’s Dr. Aaron BenComo (left) and Swiss American CDMO CEO Komel Grover [Courtesy photos]

Komel Grover, president and CEO of Swiss American, celebrated the alignment between diverse industry stakeholders. “Our company has been in the DFW area for over 30 years, and this alignment between trade group, advocacy, university systems, healthcare institutions, and business, specifically addressing biotechnology in North Texas, is a remarkable opportunity that has long been our vision for advancing our life sciences ecosystem.”

Aaron BenComo, director of business and industry for BioNTX, emphasized the need for creating both entry-level and long-term career paths in the industry.

The industry-led partnership “will help develop pathways to ensure equity and diversity in the life sciences and biotech manufacturing industry. As the industry scales and grows, new jobs will grow with it,” CEO Otto said at the time.

North Texas in running for national ARPA-H Hub

In May, BioNTX announced its collaboration with three major Texas cities — Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio. Their collective ambition? To secure Texas a spot as one of the three national program centers for the pioneering Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H).  The $2.5 billion initiative aimed at revolutionizing medical research and developing breakthrough treatments for diseases.

If the pursuit is successful, the CXARPA-H Hub will be located in Texas at Dallas’ Pegasus Park. It would be among three pioneering national hubs, all devoted to ARPA-H’s core vision: propelling superior health results for everyone.

The decision is expected to be made by early fall 2023.

For more about the iC³ Life Science Summit, including ticket information, you can go here.

The story was updated with additional information on Friday, September 15, 2023, at 3:30.

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