ACS Entrepreneurial Resources Center

ACS Entrepreneurial Resources Center logo

October 13-14, 2014 | Washington, DC

The ACS Entrepreneurial Resources Center™ is an accelerator that helps chemistry-based startups bring their innovations to market. We:

  • Empower entrepreneurs with access to ACS’s resources
  • Help them develop a viable business plan, and
  • Have them showcase their venture to potential investors or commercial partners for rapid scale-up or acquisition.

Startups advancing new materials, energy, pharmaceuticals, biotechnologies, instruments, or medical devices, and other chemistry-based products or services are invited to take advantage of our unique program offerings.

For a six month period beginning in January and July of each year, program participants can benefit from:

  • Technical expertise, business advice, mentoring, customer development reviews, and discounted professional and legal services
  • Access to ACS Publications and Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) SciFinder®
  • Introductions to sources of private capital and commercial partners
  • Pitch competitions
  • Educational events featuring world-class innovators and chemical entrepreneurs

Are you a small chemistry-based business looking to...

  • Align your product development strategy with the market’s needs?
  • Connect with leading executives in the chemical industry?
  • Strengthen your business’ overall value proposition?
  • Enhance your understanding of the customer’s need for your product?
  • Refine your product’s competitive advantage?
  • Capture the attention of potential investors or commercial partners?

If so, apply to the ERC today!

Please note: You must be have ACS membership.

Past ERC participants include:

  • DeNovX -- Process for improving pharmaceutical/API crystallization
  • Chemville -- Web-based platform for purchasing and sales of unused chemicals
  • Molecular Targets -- Portable nanochips to detect chemical and biological pollutants
  • PopTest -- Noninvasive, inexpensive saliva-based diagnostic

Email us at

or download the brochure

The Entrepreneurial Services Center holds two events for entrepreneurs in our program and investors alike.

The Entrepreneur Summit is an annually held two day series of speakers, panelists, lecturers, and workshops meant to provide entrepreneurs with a deeper understanding of interplay between start-ups, government, and investors as they work towards market commercialization. See the 2013 Summit tab above to learn more about our last summit.

The Showcase gathers both the entrepreneurs in our accelerator program as well as investors in order to facilitate connections between the two groups. Two Showcases are held a year: Showcase West and Showcase East, so companies and investors have an opportunity to tap in to the thriving business potential on both coasts.

Past Showcases:

  • 2014 Showcase East (Waltham, Massachusetts) [Digest]
  • 2012 Showcase West (San Diego, California) [Digest]
  • 2012 Showcase East (Philadephia, Pennsylvania)

Chemical Heritage Foundation – Philadelphia PA March 27-28, 2013

Theme: Challenges to Chemical Entrepreneurship

Provide entrepreneurs with a deeper understanding of commercialization challenges and the interplay between start- ups, government, financiers, and partners toward the successful commercialization of chemistry-based technologies.

Summit Opening & Welcoming Remarks - Livestream Video [On Demand]

ACS’s Executive Director & CEO, Madeleine Jacobs, will open the Summit with welcoming remarks. These will be followed by the remarks Thomas Tritton, President & CEO of the Chemical Heritage Foundation.

Will America Remain Entrepreneurial? - Livestream Video [On Demand]

Dane Stangler, Acting Director of Research & Policy, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, reports on the current state of entrepreneurship and the prospects for its near-term future.

Intellectual Property & Business Challenges for the Chemical Entrepreneur - Livestream Video [On Demand]

This session explores the importance of blending intellectual property considerations with business strategy with a view towards positioning product opportunities for market entry.

Moderator: Dr. Sadiq Shah,Vice Provost for Research & Sponsored Projects,The University of Texas – Pan American

Panelist: Raymond Stewart, Esquire, Thompson Coburn, Washington, DC

The Investor’s Perspective of the Pitch - Livestream Video [On Demand]

This session discusses the challenges facing entrepreneurs when pitching to investors. Panelists will offer investor viewpoints of the pitch, and pointers during mock pitches.

Moderator: Dr. Mukund Chorghade,President of Chorghade Enterprises

Panelist: Dr. Dan Daly, Director of the AIME Center, University of Alabama

Panelist: Dr. Stephen F. Flaim, Past Chair, Board of Governors, Tech Coast Angels

Advancing Chemical Innovation through Government Partnership - Livestream Video[On Demand]

This virtual session will describe the various federal agencies programs that facilitate and enable the commercial potential of laboratory innovations to the market. Attendees will learn about the latest efforts of NIH, NSF, and ARPA-E that can be leveraged to advance chemical innovation.

Moderator: Dr.Stephen F. Flaim, Past Chair, Board of Governors,Tech Coast Angels

Panelist: Dr. Jodi B. Black, Deputy Director, Division of Extramural Research Activities, National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health

Panelist: Peder Maarbjerg, Assistant Director for External Affairs, Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E)

Panelist: Kurt Marek, Program Director and SBIR Coordinator, National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Office of Translational Alliances and Coordination

Panelist: Dedric Carter, Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives at National Science Foundation

Validating the Technology – The Role of Proof-of-Concept (POC) Centers - Livestream Video [On Demand]

Proof-of-Concept Centers play a crucial role in validating the value proposition. The ability

to create a prototype of the invention and test the prototype in a statistically designed experiment in which the differentiating qualities of the innovation can be demonstrated against competitive technologies is of great value to potential investor’s assessment.

Moderator: Dr. Dan Daly, Director of the AIME Center, University of Alabama

“How POC Centers are aiding entrepreneurs with validating and enhancing technology”, presentation by Marc Singer, Analyst, Osage University Partners. This presentation is followed by a panel discussion on the “ins-and-outs” of working with a POC Center.

Panelist: Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D. MBA, President & CEO, University City Science Center

Panelist: Stephen G. Nappi, Associate Vice Provost for Technology Developmentand

Commercialization, Temple University

Panelist: Marc Singer, Managing Partner, Osage University Partners

Challenges & Fortune – Lessons from an Entrepreneur - Livestream Video [On Demand]

Dr. David Harwell, ACS’s Administrator for the ACS Entrepreneurship Initiative, interviews Michael Lefenfeld, President & CEO of SiGNa Chemistry and ACS’s Entrepreneurship Initiative Advisory Board Chair, about the challenges that budding and seasoned entrepreneurs collectively face and role that fortune plays in success or failure.

Venture Mentoring – the Good, the Bad, and the ??? - Livestream Video [On Demand]

This presentation will provide entrepreneurs with an overview using external voices to help grow your business – from informal mentors to investor partners.

Dr. Mark deGrandpre, Director of Investments, Physical Sciences, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA

Welcoming Remarks - Livestream Video [Welcome, Keynote & Exit Strategies - On Demand]

ACS’s Executive Director & CEO, Madeleine Jacobs, welcomes Summit attendees with an overview of Day-2’s program.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Pat Confalone, V.P., Global R&D, DuPont Crop Protection

Innovation, Chemistry, and Jobs: Meeting the Challenges of Tomorrow

Exit Strategies – Financing to the End Game

This session discusses the options for achieving funding from angel investors, VCs or corporate venturing and how funding links with funders’ expectations regarding their roles and how a venture exits roles.

Moderator: Dr. Judith Giordan, Principal ecosVC; co-founder Chemical Angels Network

Panelist: Dr. Stephen F. Flaim, Past Chair, Board of Governors, Tech Coast Angels

Panelist: Dr. Scott Lockledge, Partner, Fairbridge Venture Partners

Panelist: Dr. Edward C. Greer, Manager, Scouting and Exploration Network, Ventures and Business Development Group, The Dow Chemical Company

Commercial Partners – Let’s Make a Deal - Livestream Video [On Demand]

This session discusses the driving needs for Big Pharma to collaborate more with external academics, entrepreneurs and biotechs on the deployment of novel chemistry platform technologies, development of novel therapeutic compounds and lower cost pharmaceuticals. It will discuss the ins-and-outs of how to successfully develop collaborations with Big Pharma from a myriad of possible arrangements, and provide vignettes from the personal experiences of the panelists in this endeavor.

Moderator: Dr. Avi Spier, Director, Strategic Alliances, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Inc.

Panelist: Dr. Michael K. O’Brien, Head of Pharmaceutical Sciences Technology & Innovation, Pfizer, Inc.

Panelist: Magid Abou-Gharbia Ph.D. FRSC, Associate Dean for Research, Temple University

Case Studies in Entrepreneurship – 3M’s Perspectives - Livestream Video [On Demand]

Dr. Gabi J. Sabongi, Vice President, 3M Corporate Ventures.

Thoughts from an Innovator - Livestream Video [On Demand]

ACS Executive Director & CEO, Madeleine Jacobs, interviews Dr. Charles Camarda, NASA Senior Advisor for Innovation & Astronaut, about his experiences at NASA and the pressing concern of challenging our youth to solve the world’s greater scientific challenges.

Challenges Roundtable – Stakeholders Weigh In - Livestream Video [Roundtable & Closing - On Demand]

Kenneth Polk, Special Assistant to ACS’s Executive Director & CEO, Madeleine Jacobs, leads this roundtable discussion of various stakeholders to the chemical innovation process on topics that involve recurring and pressing challenges that face chemical innovators.

Entrepreneur: Edward M. Olano, Co-Founder, Molecular Targets, Inc.

Key Professional: Raymond Stewart, Thompson Coburn, Washington DC

Angel/VC: Dr. Stephen F. Flaim, Past Chair, Board of Governors, Tech Coast Angels

Large Pharma: Dr. Avi Spier, Director, Strategic Alliances, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Inc.

Biotech: William Armiger,  Executive Director of Society for Commercial Development of Industrial Biotechnology, SOCMA Affiliate

POC Center: Dr. Dan Daly, Director of AIME, University of Alabama

University: Dr. Victor McCrary, Vice President, Research & Economic Development, Morgan State University

Chemicals: William D. Provine, Director, Science & Technology External Affairs, DuPont

BD/Sales: Gerry Nuovo, Director of Commercial Development, Segetis, Inc

Summit Closing & Concluding Remarks

ACS Executive Director & CEO, Madeleine Jacobs, concludes the Summit with her closing remarks.

Past sponsors have included:

  • Nova Biomedical
  • The San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange


See more on the ACS Webinars page.


Photo of two scientists
Providing Resources to Help Startups Succeed

Calendar icon

Upcoming Events

October 13-14, 2014

Entrepreneurship Summit
Washington, DC

November 19, 2014

Entrepreneurial Showcase
San Francisco, CA