Wash. comes to Philly to listen to women business owners

Women business owners in the Philadelphia area this week will get the chance to tell Washington what they’ve been facing in the post-recession era.

The Philadelphia Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit being held at the Marriott Philadelphia Downtown Tuesday between noon and 5 p.m. emerged from the White House Women’s Entrepreneurship Conference on Oct. 4.

A similar event held in Denver Oct. 19 attracted about 150 women business owners.

October has been all about women in business and the workplace for the White House. Besides the Oct. 4 conference, its National Economic Council released a 32-page report Oct. 21 detailing how policies pushed by the Obama administration affected women.

Now the National Women’s Business Council, a federal advisory group, and the Small Business Administration are coming to Philadelphia to discuss new procurement rules and provisions in the recent Small Business Jobs Act that are intended to aid women-owned businesses.

Fine, but I hope an outside-the-Beltway reality check will come from attendees, including Therese Flaherty, director of the Wharton Small Business Development Center, and Karen Higgins, president of the Greater Philadelphia chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners.

This is a free event, but I’m told space is very limited. If you want to attend, contact the SBA’s Barbara Anne Gardenhire-Mills at 610-382-3080 or by e-mail at barbara-anne.gardenhire-mills@sba.gov.

Biotech Check

A different sort of entrepreneurial mixer will take place at the Convention Center Wednesday and Thursday when 900 gather for Biotech 2010.

It’s the 10th year for this event, presented by two statewide biotechnology industry associations, Pennsylvania Bio and BioNJ. For the third straight year, the event will feature presentations by start-ups mostly from the two states.

Each of the 42 companies will get about 15 minutes to tell its story, and explain the technology and how it would be used. One presenter will be Vitae Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Fort Washington company that’s developing a treatment for diabetes and has a development partnership with German drug company Boehringer Ingelheim.

Only a few of the companies are publicly held. Discovery Laboratories Inc., of Warrington, has spent much of the last two decades working on treatments for respiratory conditions in infants. It’s been struggling to get its first product approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Eight of the companies scheduled to present are from South Korea, including ViroMed Co. Ltd., which is based in Seoul and has a presence in the San Francisco Bay area.

Former Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson will be the keynote speaker Wednesday evening.

For more information on the symposium, go to www.biotech2010.org. None of this free. In fact, you might need to raise outside capital just to afford the non-member walk-up registration fee of $1,350.