Ty Kourlas posted an articleS.C. life science group, SCBIO, names new leader as young industry gains attention. see more
A longtime booster of the Upstate's economy is taking on a new challenge with a broader reach and a narrower focus: growing South Carolina's nascent life sciences industry.
SCBIO - a trade group representing biotechnology companies - has named Sam Konduros its next president and CEO, a move that comes as state officials increasingly eye the business as a target for South Carolina's economy.
Konduros, a former SCBIO board member, comes to the group from the Greenville Health System, where he ran an office that helped doctors take their inventions to market. Previously, he was the first president of the Upstate SC Alliance, the region's economic-development agency.
At Greenville-based SCBIO - short for the S.C. Biotechnology Industry Organization - he'll be tasked with helping to grow an industry that's only recently taken shape here.
The life sciences cover a broad mix of companies, from firms developing new drugs and researchers inventing medical devices to the manufacturers that make them. And while the state has a toehold into most corners of the sector, it's still relatively small here, employing about 17,500 workers statewide.
"It's a young industry that has the opportunity to grow into a powerful economic bookend for South Carolina," Konduros said.
The group's outgoing president, Wayne Roper, is credited with helping to map out its extent. His last task in the role is to finish a study backed by the S.C. Commerce Department outlining what life science companies are in the state, and where it's best poised to grow.
When he starts next month, Konduros's job will be to take those findings and bring them to fruition. The issues facing the life sciences industry, meantime, aren't so different from the state's technology sector as a whole.
New companies face challenges finding investments to fund their early operations before revenue rolls in. And the state is often overlooked amid regional powerhouses like Atlanta and North Carolina's Research Triangle.
Konduros says he'd like to turn that tide by marketing South Carolina to investors and industry executives - to sell them on the state's research universities and its emerging startup community. And he expects to take that message to the state's General Assembly, too.
Meantime, economic-development agencies have warmed to the sector recently. At the Commerce Department, the state Council on Competitiveness is now targeting biotech as a growth area for the state. And in the Lowcountry, the Charleston Regional Development Alliance is studying the sector as well.
"We're at a critical time for that growth," said Erin Ford, SCBIO's board chair. "When you have change it's an opportunity to really listen and take stock."
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Ty Kourlas posted an articleSCBIO named Sam Konduros, as the new president and CEO of the statewide not-for-profit entity see more
The South Carolina Biotechnology Industry Organization (SCBIO) named Sam Konduros, a business leader and biomedical and economic development consultant, as the new president and CEO of the statewide not-for-profit entity. SCBIO represents and catalyzes innovators in medicine, medical devices and biomaterials.
Konduros, a member of the SCBIO board, is the founder of SK Strategies LLC launched in 2004, and has led or consulted numerous state economic development efforts. He also served as executive director of Greenville Health System’s Research Development Corporation from 2014 to 2016.
“Sam’s strengths in knowing the biotech sector and his deep experience in business and economic development were compelling,” said Erin Ford, Chair of SCBIO. “The board was won over by his vision for the growth of SCBIO.”
As executive director for the GHS RDC, Konduros worked to facilitate tech transfer, attract new biomedical companies and grow collaborations between clinicians, researchers, and health educators while nurturing startups in shared lab space. He also chaired the healthcare system’s IP Committee, and helped develop the concept for a new life sciences innovation district referred to as the IMED Innovation Corridor.
“I greatly appreciate the SCBIO board’s passion for serving and advancing South Carolina’s rapidly growing life sciences community and industry sector, and for their vote of confidence in my leadership capabilities for the organization going forward,“ Konduros said. “I am highly motivated to get officially started in this exciting new role in late April, and I am confident we will have some dynamic and innovative new initiatives to announce by the time our annual conference takes place in Charleston Oct. 25-26.”
Konduros also served as a multi-year consultant to help forge the Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). He was the founding president and CEO of The Upstate SC Alliance. Konduros is a former Cancer Society chairman, Greenville Chamber chairman, and SC Chamber of Commerce executive committee member. He has a law degree from the University of South Carolina and undergraduate degree from Clemson.
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