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PharmOptima

Kalamazoo, Mich.

A. Christian Schauer, Roger Poorman, Stephen Buxser, Patrick Delehanty, Allen Buhl, Douglas Decker, Stephen Humphrey, J. James Vrbanac, Ronald Stryd and Michael Wynalda, founders

Incubator: Southwest Michigan Innovation Center, Kalamazoo, Mich.

Revenues: $3.5 million

Employees: 35

www.pharmoptima.com

After three years at the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center, PharmOptima — a pre-clinical pharmaceutical research and discovery company that provides consulting and laboratory services — outgrew SMIC lab space and moved into its own 10,000-square-foot facility. That growth didn’t come overnight, though. Even though the company boasts more than 300 years of research experience, 325 publications and inventors on 14 patents, it needed help sharing its story. "The marketing and sales advisors at the Innovation Center assisted us in preparing a professional story to present to potential clients, capitalizing on the depth and breadth of our scientific team and de-emphasizing the ’newness’ of the business entity itself,"says Chris Schauer, PharmOptima CEO.

Incubator role: In addition to providing PharmOptima with sales and marketing assistance, SMIC — in conjunction with a major pharmaceutical company, Western Michigan University and local economic development group Southwest Michigan First — also helped PharmOptima locate and purchase needed equipment. "The center’s leadership team negotiated very favorable equipment giving and/or purchase terms,"Schauer says. "Without that equipment, we never would have gotten off the ground."In 2007, PharmOptima was named one of Michigan’s "50 Companies to Watch"by the Edward Lowe Foundation.

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