The West Virginia Entrepreneurs Forum is launching a new forum that will focus on biotechnology. The BioTech Forum will be at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, at the National Research Center for Coal and Energy on West Virginia Universitys Evansdale Campus.

Dr. Ernest Villafranca, executive director and chief executive officer of the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute, will be the featured speaker. He will discuss how the combination of strong linkages between educators, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and industry combined with a well-executed”roadmap”helped San Diego become one the most prominent centers for the biotechnology industry in the world.

Villafranca was part of the biotechnology explosion in San Diego and will offer valuable insight as both an academe and senior director of research for a large pharmaceutical company. In his presentation, he will cover his own biotechnology business experiences, what
he saw happening in San Diego as the biotechnology industry developed and how this region might develop a strong biotech sector.

The WVEF s BioTech Forum meeting is free and open to the public and will be
held every second Tuesday of the month. Monthly programs include networking with a variety of business professionals, including venture capitalists, private investors, industry experts, business service providers, inventors and other successful entrepreneurs. In addition, a WVEF informal networking activity will be held each third Thursday of the month at the La Casa restaurant in Morgantowns waterfront area.

Additional information, including meeting location, can be obtained by viewing the WVEF website athttp://www.wvef.orgor by calling Katie Nailler at 293-3612, ext. 703 or . To obtain future meeting announcements via e-mail, individuals may register on the”contact us”page on the WVEF website.