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Wilmington Biotech Startup Gains Investor From Raleigh Pitch Event

By Audrey Elsberry, posted Mar 12, 2024
Co-founder and CEO of Boreas Monitoring Solutions, William Baird (right) was one of two startup founders selected for a Raleigh investor event. (Photo by Jack Fleming)
Boreas Monitoring Solutions, a Wilmington biotechnology startup, has secured a verbal confirmation of investment from the CEO of Raleigh life science company Kymanox, Stephen Perry.

The investment from Perry stemmed from an unconventional investor event in Raleigh on Feb. 29. William Baird, co-founder and CEO of Boreas Monitoring Solutions, was selected as one of two founders to present at Seed 2 Table, an event that aimed to turn a traditional startup pitch event on its head.

Instead of dozens of startup founders pitching to a room of investors with only a few interested in their market, Seed 2 Table event organizer Caleb Thornton wanted to build a room of investors in one market, catering to only two startups. The founders were allotted 25 minutes each to pitch their business.

“At a lot of these events, you’re supposed to condense everything you’re trying to say into three to five minutes, which is extremely difficult,” Baird said. “Then afterward, we all sat down and had dinner, which was a unique opportunity to break down into smaller groups and talk.”

Perry committed to invest in both startups at the event, Boreas Monitoring Solutions and Abbatia Labs, which hails from Switzerland, Baird said.

Baird did not disclose the exact amount of capital he expects to receive from Perry, but he described the investment as a "good check." The startup is in the process of closing a $500,000 seed funding round in the next 45 days, he said. Perry’s investment will help the company close the round, which stands at about $300,000 including Perry's contribution.

According to financial filings from the Securities and Exchange Commission, Baird disclosed the seed round on Jan. 3. At that point, the startup had secured $85,000 of the raise, which began in June, according to the filing.

“Hopefully more [investment] will come in,” Baird said. “It’s one of those things, the more money you get, the easier it is to get that money.”

The raise is taking longer than he thought, Baird said, he described where it stands now as a “tipping point.”

Perry's investment is expected to be granted through the WALE Angel Network, a local angel investment organization run by Jim Roberts, an active member of Wilmington’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

The CEO of another life sciences company giving a stamp of approval to a Wilmington startup serves as a source of validation for his company, Baird said. He can leverage Perry’s experience to continue expanding into the IVF space, he said — Boreas makes a weight-sensing system designed to monitor cryogenic tanks that refrigerate biologic materials.

This is exactly the kind of connection Thornton hoped to create through Seed 2 Table. He was not happy with the current standard of pitching events and wanted to create an environment where founders and investors could have more curated connections, he said.

The event consisted of a 25-minute pitch from each startup, a cocktail hour and a sit-down meal between the founders and the investors. The second annual event was held at Car Space, a luxury car showroom and co-working venue in Raleigh. Thornton said he wanted to make the environment as luxurious as possible, to set the tone for investors to write checks.

The bartender at the event even crafted themed drinks for each startup. Boreas Monitoring Solutions’ drink was an espresso martini with dry ice — which paid homage to its work with cryogenic tanks.

Other groups present at Seed 2 Table included Rex Health Ventures, a group tied to the University of North Carolina Health System, and QHP Capital, a Raleigh private equity firm, Baird said.

Baird met Thornton through the Network for Entrepreneurs in Wilmington, an organization run by Roberts. Thornton approached Baird and asked him to apply for the event, Baird said.
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