The Mix Tape: Ep. 7 — One Year Later: An Update on BioOhio and the Growth of Ohio’s Life Sciences Ecosystem

The Life Sciences never sounded so good, especially in Ohio! With major cities like Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati on an upward trajectory, all facets of the medical industry continue to expand. Today, K.C. McAlister sits down in our headquarters hometown of Columbus to get an update from our friends at BioOhio. She is joined by BioOhio's President, CEO and former guest Eddie Pauline as well as Board Vice-Chair Michael Triplett. BioOhio advances the state’s bioscience, health, and life sciences industries, convening dynamic companies, people, and institutions to elevate the ecosystem in Ohio while supporting those that drive health, economic, and social well-being in communities across the globe.

Transcription

Unison:

Welcome to The Mix Tape.

Natalie Taylor:

I’m Natalie.

Valerie McCandlish:

And I’m Valerie. Welcome back to another episode of the podcast. Today when I woke up, I was just so excited to log on to things for work here because we got some more birthday celebrations, some more anniversaries to celebrate. And now that we’ve grown so much, it feels like every day we’ve got a little bit of something to celebrate. And it’s nice to be able to share in such fun milestones with all of our teammates –

Natalie Taylor:

That’s true.

Valerie McCandlish:

– as we hit our own milestones, too, and as we continue to grow, but one of our guests today is also celebrating a milestone of his own, one year with BioOhio, which also marks a year since we had him on The Mix Tape. And we’re so excited to welcome back Eddie Pauline, the president and CEO at BioOhio. And today, he joins us with Mike Triplett, who is the co-founder, president, and CEO at Armatus Bio, as well as board member in Biosciences and at Clarametyx. Feels like he’s involved with a little bit of everything.

Natalie Taylor:

Yes, they both are. So we are so excited to have Eddie back as our first repeat guest, and we’re also so excited to have Mike join us for the first time. They’ll be chatting with KC McAlister, who is also a repeat host. She is our head of strategy here at Mix Talent. And they are going to be chatting a little bit more about the growth of BioOhio and the life science community here in Ohio. So without further ado, here is KC, Eddie, and Mike.

K.C. McAlister:

Last November, Eddie Pauline, then newly minted CEO of Life Science Industry Association BioOhio, joined me for a conversation on his thoughts about the future of the organization in life sciences in Ohio. Today, I’m excited to welcome Eddie back to The Mix Tape to give us an update on the incredible progress he and his team have made in the past year, and to share what’s next for life sciences in Ohio.

We are also fortunate to be joined today by BioOhio Board Member Mike Triplett. Mike is currently the CEO of Armatus Bio, a Columbus-based gene therapy company, and previously led Myonexus to a successful exit through an acquisition by Sarepta in 2019. In addition to BioOhio, Mike serves on several boards including Andelyn Biosciences, Clarametyx, and Innovative Ohio with Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted. He is also actively involved in Carmen Ventures, focusing on investing in growth opportunities for and by Buckeyes.

Eddie and Mike, welcome to the Mix tape.

Eddie Pauline:

Thank you.

Michael Triplett:

Thank you.

K.C. McAlister:

Glad to have you. So Eddie, first and foremost, congratulations on one year anniversary.

Eddie Pauline:

Yes, one year in. It’s been a real whirlwind. Still drinking from a fire hose a little bit, but I’ve been tremendously pleased with the progress that we’ve made. I’ve learned a ton about the industry our team has gelled. I’ve got a great relationship with our board and have spent a lot of time with our members across the state of Ohio, learning about their needs and their challenges and just bigger opportunity we have here in Ohio with the life sciences industry.

K.C. McAlister:

Great. Again, last year when we met, you were only eight weeks in.

Eddie Pauline:

Yes.

K.C. McAlister:

But a hundred meetings in on your listening tours.

Eddie Pauline:

Yeah, yeah.

K.C. McAlister:

Had a lot just in that short period of time, so I’m sure even more so here and the rest of that year. So what are some of the key learnings? What are some of the key takeaways that you’ve had in this past year?

Eddie Pauline:

Well, so the meetings have continued. I think we’re well past 100% at this point. But I think the themes that emerge from that tour and in conversations that continue are really centered around talent, funding, and awareness. The growth of the industry is tremendous but limited because of some talent, workforce development issues we have. There’s a bigger opportunity for funding. And what I mean about funding is a combination of state support and venture support for the industry, along with just connecting our members in a way that allows them to do more business with one another.

And then the final piece of awareness is given all of the excitement and activity, the industry itself is still under the radar when compared to other major industries in Ohio. So I think addressing issues within those three buckets is a responsibility that we take seriously and are going to be continuing to invest in solutions to address those issues.

K.C. McAlister:

Okay. Well, again, I know in our conversation last year you had even referenced that idea of we needed a little swagger-

Eddie Pauline:

Yes.

K.C. McAlister:

… when it came to life sciences here in Ohio. But also that one of the goals, at least initially, was to help kind of craft that story or refine the story of what is going on here in this ecosystem. And then not only share that more broadly across the state, but also across the country. To that end, where are we in that messaging? It seems like from what I’ve seen, you guys have been on the road a lot this year, really engaging with the biotech community on a national level.

Eddie Pauline:

Yeah, yeah. In some sense, we’re sort of starting from scratch. We are trying to do some asset and capability mapping. So what does Ohio have to offer when it comes to expertise in the life sciences? What are our members doing? What you need about that work and how are we communicating about that? How are we explaining the connectivity of the ecosystem is sort of a continued work in progress. And helping people understand that what they’re doing is unique and they should brag about it, and we need to invest and help amplify that overall message.

So I think, again, the fact that we don’t necessarily understand the industry. It’s an intimidating industry, there’s a lot of unique things going on, medical devices, gene and cell therapy, biopharma therapy. These are intimidating topics for people. So because of that, it’s been harder I think to develop that concise narrative that really resonates with of Joe Public.

But again, one bright spot is the fact that because of all the growth, people can actually start seeing the industry literally emerge out of the ground in their backyard. As we talked about, I think almost a year ago, we now have Amgen here, Forged Biologics, Sarepta, Andelyn. These are brands that people are now driving by in their neighborhoods and on their way to work. So I think you can start to put together more of a visualization of what this industry could look like throughout Ohio.

K.C. McAlister:

Yeah. Well, and obviously we owe a debt of gratitude to Mike for helping Sarepta be one of those addresses that we get to drive by with the success of Myonexus and obviously others. That you are a true champion of this industry in the state, in the city, specifically of Columbus, Mike. But what do you see as you sit on the wall, looking out right on the horizon of this industry and being so involved in the ecosystem? What does that story look like to you?

Michael Triplett:

We’re clearly an emerging market here in the state of Ohio. But we have all the assets and capabilities I think to really grow this industry and become a dominant force across the nation in life sciences, particularly in certain verticals. And Eddie spoke about the elements. We have the elements here to become that dominant player from the institution and the innovation at the Cleveland Clinic, Cincinnati Children’s. These are the top institutions in the respective fields in the country, in the world, the Ohio State, the James Wexner Medical.

You think about Battelle. You think about Air Force’s research lab and the adjacencies that we have. It’s a really unique set of capabilities that we have. And we have strong public-private partnerships. The state government is very supportive. The innovation district investments. And when I go to the coasts, people are always asking me, “What’s going on there?” They are taking notice. So we are elevating our brand, but we’re going to do more to drive that. So I think we have a very brave future.

K.C. McAlister:

That’s great. Well, one of the things that I mentioned there in the intro was that you’re involved at a state level with Innovative Ohio. Eddie, obviously you also mentioned that idea around needing some more support from an economic development perspective. So where is life science as it relates to being on the state’s radar, both from an administration but also just generally an economic development?

Eddie Pauline:

Yeah, I can take a stab at that. Again, we’ll call it a work in progress. What we’ve been doing is sort of reintroducing or introducing the industry to a lot of public policy makers, identifying key legislators that are curious about the industry or perhaps have a medical background, or perhaps have a family member that’s suffering from a rare chronic disease. Going in explaining what this industry’s doing in terms of curing people, developing innovative treatments, and helping them understand that the industry is growing but it needs more support.

And when I talk about more support, that could look like a state-funded executive and residence program to ensure that we have leadership for these emerging companies coming out of the space. It could be in the form of a new theme. If something like the Ohio Third Frontier funding is renewed. Could we focus funding on the biotech industry? The innovation district funding from JobsOhio is already a good start. But when you look at the amount of money available and some of the initiatives that could be funding, we need to work harder to educate our public policy makers about the opportunity that we have here.

So we’ve taken on that responsibility. And again, back to the storytelling. We’ve been talking about the assets and capabilities. We’ve been talking about some policy issues that could impact patients creating legislation that positions Ohio as a place where not only can you develop innovative treatments, but get them into the arms of people here in Ohio. We want to be a destination for that type of thing. It’s all sort of wrapped into this education and value proposition of the industry that I think the General Assembly needs to continue to better understand.

Michael Triplett:

I would add. I agree with everything Eddie said. I think on the executive side, we have very strong support from Lieutenant Governor, other senior administration officials, JobsOhio, all the way to the top there. Their healthcare team is doing a great job at the local level. I know here in Columbus, with Kenny McDonald and his team at One Columbus, strong support Cleveland with people [inaudible 00:11:57]. People get this industry. They know it, they recognize the opportunity, and they’re willing to lean in with us. We need to bring the rest of the government along with us. But I think we’ll be very successful in doing that.

Eddie Pauline:

Yeah. I mean, I’m grateful for Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted’s foresight that he had in setting up the gene and cell therapy work group associated with Innovative Ohio. Through that effort, a brilliant strategy was created on how to position Ohio as a leader in the industry. And we at BioOhio raised our hand to be sort the activator, the implementer of that strategy. And that’s related to funding too. We’re going to figure out how to operationalize that strategy, but we’re going to need funding in order to make that happen.

K.C. McAlister:

And that’s the Gene and Cell Innovation Council?

Michael Triplett:

Correct. The Ohio Gene and Cell Therapy Council. Yep.

K.C. McAlister:

That’s great. Can you elaborate on that a little bit, Mike? Give us a sense of what the remit is there?

Michael Triplett:

Sure, sure. As Eddie stated it, it resulted from the work we did at Innovative Ohio and gene and cell therapy work group. The theme thematically, the focus areas are talent, K through 12, STEM talent, university talent, graduates, recruiting mid and senior level people to Ohio, it’s capital. We absolutely need more venture capital, more translational capital, pre-licensing. So whether it’s third frontier derivative programs, early stage funds, growth stage funds in the state of Ohio, we definitely have to put an emphasis in building out the funding ecosystem here as well.

Infrastructure is an important one as it relates to, and this is where the innovation districts are very critical to execute within the three Cs, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, for example. Giving early stage companies a natural place to go locate and scale something that’s underdeveloped here. But those investments are coming. And then finally, it was business development and branding or awareness. It was driving the message outside of Ohio for both talent and investment purposes. But also, there’s an internal communications piece back to the legislature primarily as well, and building out those champions within inside of state of Ohio and outside.

Bottom line as Eddie said, we, Innovative Ohio Board, needed a go to market strategy. And that is BioOhio. So BioOhio is taking that mantle and is implementing that strategy than before. So initially, we’re activating this committee. It’s comprised of leaders like Tim Miller of Forged Biologics and others at the institutions in Ohio State and beyond. Matt McFarland of Nationwide Children’s is co-chair along with me for this particular year.

K.C. McAlister:

Great.

Eddie Pauline:

It also gives us a lot cleaner insight into the unique needs that these industries within the life sciences have. I think giving up our membership within their subcategory devices, gene therapy, digital health, biopharma, it helps us understand what those unique needs are and allows us to be a lot more relevant and agile when it comes to the public policy issues that we take up related to these industries. Trying to identify the themes of issues that all of the life science community has is one thing, but really getting a little bit more granular and making sure that we’re doing things that are valuable for these industries, really important to our success.

Michael Triplett:

So the BioOhio Board, putting my board hat on, is very excited about the strategy that Eddie has developed and presented, and the board adopted. And the Gene Health Therapy Council is the first industry council that will be stood up. So this would be replicated to Eddie’s point across multiple verticals over time as needed.

K.C. McAlister:

And when you look across the country. So let’s take the Boston area, Cambridge area is kind of an analog for some of this. Have you taken learnings from other geographies in the country to say, “Gosh, this what’s worked well or not?” Are we kind of blazing our new path given the complexity of being a state and not just a city when it comes to the industry?

Eddie Pauline:

Well, I think you identified our major challenge. Yeah, I have finally… BioOhio is one of 46 state bio affiliates across the country. So the collective group is called the Council State Bio Associations. We all have some connectivity to bio at the national level. I finally got an opportunity to meet many of my peers at the bio conference in June in San Diego, which was an amazing experience. Ohio had a really great presence there.

But in having conversations with some of my peers relating MassBio or California Life Sciences, they do have these concentrations of capabilities in a very, very concentrated area. One city, two cities. Ohio, the life science community is spread throughout the state. Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati. We have ProMedica, NAMSA, and Charles River in northwest Ohio. We have OU and [inaudible 00:18:05] doing really interesting things down in Southeast Ohio.

So I’ve put a ton of miles on my Yukon trying to capture the unique asset we have in the sort of statewide network of expertise. That is really what sets us apart, although it makes it harder to articulate the exact or articulate the density of the industry. Knowing that you can come to Ohio and almost regardless of where you go, have some sort of connectivity to the industry, I think is something we need to sell a little bit harder.

K.C. McAlister:

Makes sense. Well, and that kind of leads to, there’s always connectivity in Ohio. We were talking about on a recent vacation out of the country that pretty much anywhere in the world if you yell “OH” somebody is going to respond.

Eddie Pauline:

Absolutely.

K.C. McAlister:

It is definitely unique, I believe, in this country as it relates to that. And I know, Mike, we’ve had referenced too that you’re involved with a group, Carmen Ventures. That’s kind of tying into that around the great state of Ohio. What is the work or how do you guys see life science tying into Carmen Ventures, and the opportunity as a state being represented beyond just the borders?

Michael Triplett:

Sure, happy to address that. So first, Carmen Ventures is a nascent venture capital fund leveraging Ohio State University Alumni. So leveraging the alumni all over the world. To your point, the alumni, that’s 6, 700,000 at this point. The largest living alumni base in the world, or at least in the US anyway. And half of them reside in Ohio, which means most are elsewhere or at least half are elsewhere. And many of them are concentrated in the pockets of life sciences activity from Boston to Southern California, to San Francisco, Raleigh, Durham, et cetera.

So we are leveraging that alumni base to build a venture fund. Life sciences will be one of the thematic areas of focus for that fund, along with technology, along with infrastructure, mobility. The typical elements that Ohio is very strong, and particularly Ohio State is strong. But it’s not captive to just Ohio State alums, it’s going to be a land grant vision for this fund, which means anybody from Ohio. And the primary screen is an Ohio State alum or an Ohio in the C-suite of these companies, and they can be anywhere. And then leveraging the network effect of that alumni base.

The group is already seeing deal flow from pockets across the country and outside the country as word starts to filter out coming back to the group. And so it’s pretty interesting. It’s going to be an interesting opportunity for those involved and entrepreneurs. But for me, it’s another step in building out the ecosystem around innovation, particularly life sciences, innovation.

Eddie Pauline:

I love the fact that we’re going to be leveraging that affiliation. And I think it’s a theme that I think we can apply more broadly to. We have such an interesting mix of large institutions in the state and wonderful startups, small to mid-size businesses, that should be doing business with one another. American Nitrile is a new member of BioOhio, putting up a wonderful facility in Grove City. They’re going to be making rubber gloves. Every major institution in Ohio should be buying their rubber gloves from American Nitrile.

Our digital health industry is exploding. Our hospital systems and other major institutions should be piloting programs with these startups to see if there’s efficiencies created or savings opportunities. The fight to do business with one another should not be as hard as it is. And I’m hoping that we can get to a point where we recognize the value of being in Ohio and leveraging this sort of statewide ecosystem that we have.

K.C. McAlister:

That makes a lot of sense. Well, again, I think the state has done a whole PR campaign around that Ohio proud. So it’s that next level of thinking of it as the industry ecosystem also having that same level of connectivity of pride both internally and externally. That’s fantastic. Well, want to turn to workforce. You both mentioned that talent, obviously an area of passion of mine and of Mix Talent’s. But so as you’ve again gone through this workforce study and some of the work over the past year, Eddie, as BioOhio, what are some of those key findings? What are the areas of focus as you move forward on talent? Outside of what Mike referenced with looking at STEM and K12 and thinking about it from a college and beyond.

Eddie Pauline:

Yeah, related to some of the major themes that we talked about before. But yeah, we worked with a company called Workmorphis, led by Emily Fabiano who used to work for Lieutenant Governor Husted in the Office of Workforce Transformation and went through a eight-month strategy development around life science workforce. We are preparing to publicly announce the results of that. But 25 academic partners participated in that process, 20 some different life science organizations.

Again, we need some resources to fully activate this, but we’re going to be hiring a director of workforce partnerships who’s really going to be charged with implementing the strategy across the state, partnering with JobsOhio, partnering with the regional economic development groups, our members and universities to really, in my view, kind of finally address and stay committed to the workforce challenges that we’ve been hearing about in this industry for literally the last 20 years.

When I go back and look at old data from members and the feedback that they’ve had, talent funding, awareness seem to be like decade long issues. And it’s like, why are these still issues? And I think our approach is, well, it’s because we need more funding and we need dedicated attention to addressing these issues. And I think we’re finally getting to that point, this organization to take those types of things on.

K.C. McAlister:

No, that’s great. Well, and again, hiring alert. So if you’re looking for a job in this great important space, Eddie’s got some needs if you want to join that fantastic team.

Eddie Pauline:

Yes.

K.C. McAlister:

So obviously, Eddie, again, you’ve been in this space for the past year in that regard. Mike, how about you? So having been in life science and in Ohio for a longer period of time, what do you see as that obstacle to… Historic, I should say. The historic obstacle to getting this workforce focus the attention that it needs, and then also what are the opportunities as we move forward.

Michael Triplett:

Sure. I think getting the universities and community and the regional campuses and community colleges focused on this industry, understanding that there is an opportunity. Like Eddie’s point, it was always more theoretical or esoteric where they viewed it as only happening within the walls of the Cleveland Clinic or Battelle or Cincinnati Children’s, not out in a more industrial, commercial setting. That’s changing.

Engine’s rising out of the ground in New Albany. You have Sarepta building here in Columbus. You have Expression in Cincinnati, and what CTI and Medpace are doing down in Cincinnati and others across the state. It’s becoming real. And the universities are starting to respond to the demand signals. And they’re looking to organizations like Mix and BioOhio to help them get oriented and create the product, the curriculum, the degrees, and the certificates that align with the needs of industry.

So we just need to train the universities and academic partners on what they need to deliver and they will deliver. Because ultimately, I think given the demand, and then we have to focus on the students to recruit them, educate them that that opportunity is there because universities need people in the seats. That’s what drives most of the dynamics within the universities. But I think it’s there. We just need to help them get focused appropriately.

And then beyond that, I think there’s some opportunities we need to think creatively. One thing we hear about from companies is because this an emerging market, the established talent base of middle and senior level talent is not here. And I know that’s part of Mix’s business. We hear about it all the time at BioOhio. When I talk to the companies, I hear about it. And we need to think creatively about that awareness and branding on the coast, but creating and building the ecosystem so people have optionality when they come here.

If company X doesn’t work out, then they can go down the street without disrupting their family. And having to move again will be helpful as well. So some will take care of itself. And as we have more successes like Myonexus and other exus like Avexus, you’ll start to create more talent and experience talent that just drives more and more momentum. So part of this is it takes time. We definitely need funding. We need to train the universities and the community colleges on what they need to be delivering.

K.C. McAlister:

Mm-hmm. Just an add to that?

Eddie Pauline:

Well, I was just going to expand a little bit on the importance of that bench strength of talent to kind of move these companies forward. Again, all this innovation coming out of our institutions, we don’t want it to leave Ohio. But in order to keep it here, we need people like Mike to lead these companies, and people like Mike need support when it comes to staffing of these companies.

I was recently made aware of a really terrific program up at the Cleveland Clinic called the Innovation Fellows Program. This is a wonderful opportunity that the clinic offers all non-clinical staff. They can come into this program and learn about everything you need to know to be successful in the life science company, how to commercialize something, the regulatory impact on the industry, understanding that branding, the list goes on.

It’s just a really comprehensive program that will take a non-clinical staff member, the Cleveland Clinic can turn him or her into a really capable worker for a life science company. That could be a statewide program. We should take that model and expand it across the state. And again, back to the funding need, what a great thing for the state of Ohio to figure out how to fund something like that.

K.C. McAlister:

That’s fantastic. Again, just in the past year, Eddie, since you’ve been at the helm here of Ohio, there’s been a lot of movement, a lot of research and thinking-

Eddie Pauline:

Certainly more LinkedIn posts.

K.C. McAlister:

Yes, yes.

Eddie Pauline:

I’m really proud that our LinkedIn page went from 1,100 or 1,400 followers to close to 3,000 now.

K.C. McAlister:

Well done.

Eddie Pauline:

Love LinkedIn. Yeah.

K.C. McAlister:

There you go. Yes. If you’re not following, make sure you go to LinkedIn and click follow on the BioOhio page. I do think you guys have done a tremendous job. Obviously in our business, we spend a lot of time on LinkedIn and just getting more content, more awareness, understanding perspective, engagement around public policy, activating the community here. So well done to you and your tremendous team on that. But as you look forward, the question to both of you, so what are the couple of things that you’re most excited about in the next year, but maybe the next five years as it relates to Ohio Life Sciences?

Eddie Pauline:

Well, let me address that in two ways. One, there’s our own organization’s continued maturation and sophistication. Yes, we are an awesome three person team right now, but we-

K.C. McAlister:

Small but light, yes.

Eddie Pauline:

We are a statewide trade association for a very sophisticated and serious industry. I need people. We need a human being in the Northeast Ohio market. We need a human being in the Southwest Ohio market. So we’re staffing up to better represent the industry, the members. We need staff for our workforce development initiative, public policy, both at the state and federal level, need some very specific attention. We need to staff up to address that too.

So we’re going to continue to invest in ourselves in order to create value for our members. And then the industry as a whole, connecting, developing a strong narrative for the innovation districts and helping people understand the value of our statewide ecosystem, I think is going to be really important to figure out in the next year or two to really allow us to stand out as a destination for people in this industry.

K.C. McAlister:

Great. Mike, how about from your perspective?

Michael Triplett:

You can really feel the momentum right now. And Amgen was a big win. Intel, Google, Facebook, Meta, whatever, all of these companies coalescing in Ohio. They’re big brands. But having Amgen, they’re one of the Mount Rushmore as a biotech.

K.C. McAlister:

Certainly.

Michael Triplett:

Having them here, my phone lit up from the coast. What’s going on? Why again, Columbus, Ohio? Why Ohio? So I think you’ll see more of that activity. So more companies are going to come here who are established. And you’re going to see, I think a significant uptick in startup and venture activity here. It’s unmistakable.

You look at the research productivity and the quality of research and innovation capacity at these facilities and institutions across the state of Ohio, they’re topnotch. The initiatives like Ohio State launching the Gene Therapy Institute. You have the Peloton Institute for Immuno-Oncology. This is where the cutting-edge technology is happening. We have historic strength of Nationwide Children’s, Cincinnati Children’s. Again, the clinic and university hospitals. We are incredibly well positioned and we’re figuring out how to play this game.

Eddie Pauline:

Yeah. And to hit on just one other really important thing that I think is going to be critical to our continued success, and that’s the R and D, the research and innovation that is already occurring in our major research institutions, but occurring more frequently in the private sector. We should not understate the gift that Sarepta Therapeutics is to this region. It’s a center of excellence for R and D, for the entire company. That’s huge. Forged Biologics I know is getting into research. So that’s critical I think to the cementing Ohio as a leader in this industry. It’s one thing to make products here that other people are developing. It’s a whole nother game we were innovating and making in the state of Ohio.

K.C. McAlister:

Absolutely.

Michael Triplett:

Completely agree.

K.C. McAlister:

Yeah. Well, and I think too, innovation district just starting to now see since the last time we spoke Eddie, right? There’s buildings going up. Andelyn’s about to open. You can really see not only some of the big players we’re talking about on the east side of town, Amgen included, but also those kinds of opportunities here right by campus from a Columbus’s standpoint, that create that energy and opportunity.

Hopefully, we will learn from some of the other geography’s mistakes of not having enough wet lab space, to your point, on R and D. That’s always been a big struggle I know, with a lot of clients of ours in life science. That everyone always needs more space and opportunity to really create an environment for that innovation and to encourage these students to stay. Because they can see more of an opportunity with several organizations, but also an opportunity for themselves to be an entrepreneur and do something exciting.

So this has been wonderful. Thank you both so much for taking the time today, for sharing your thoughts and insights. A couple of things we do ask all of our guests. Eddie, you may remember, but now we get a new spin on the old take. But Mike, I will start with you. So the question is, what is the best interview question that you have ever been asked or asked?

Michael Triplett:

Give 10 adjectives about yourself.

K.C. McAlister:

And why was that such a good one?

Michael Triplett:

Top of mind, it’s not one. I think it has to be free-flowing. And it’s top of mind, so it’s probably more authentic. You don’t have time to posture and game it up.

K.C. McAlister:

All right. Eddie, how about you?

Eddie Pauline:

Although I haven’t been asked that one, that’s a pretty good one. That might be any example that-

K.C. McAlister:

That you’ve had?

Eddie Pauline:

… that I have. Yeah.

K.C. McAlister:

All right. So next time we’re going to have to ask you the question, you’re going to have to spew out your [inaudible 00:37:08], right?

Eddie Pauline:

Yeah.

Michael Triplett:

So we could test it on him right now.

K.C. McAlister:

Yes. Eddie, go. Go. All right. We won’t put you on the spot.

Eddie Pauline:

Don’t put me on the spot like that.

K.C. McAlister:

Other one is, it wouldn’t be The Mix Tape without a playlist. So we do have our ever growing Spotify playlist, The Mix Tape. We do encourage everyone to download it. It does have our guests from seasons one and two’s choices. So what song should we put on there for you? How about you first, Mike?

Michael Triplett:

Fortunate Son.

K.C. McAlister:

Oh, that’s such a good one. Is there a particular meaning or just because you like to turn it up really loud and drives you-

Michael Triplett:

It’s one of my favorite. They’re my father’s favorites. Being first generation college graduate has a certain significance to it.

K.C. McAlister:

Certainly. That’s a great one.

Eddie Pauline:

Really good. For me, I know it was James Taylor a year ago, but-

K.C. McAlister:

The entire collection [inaudible 00:38:00].

Eddie Pauline:

Pretty much. And now I’m like, anything by the Lumineers right now-

K.C. McAlister:

Oh, there you go.

Eddie Pauline:

… is resonating with me for some reason. So pick one of those and I’d be happy.

K.C. McAlister:

And they were just in Columbus.

Eddie Pauline:

I know.

K.C. McAlister:

Did you see them?

Eddie Pauline:

I did not. I did not.

K.C. McAlister:

Well, there you go. All right, next time.

Eddie Pauline:

[inaudible 00:38:17] live music.

K.C. McAlister:

Yes. Next time. Well, again, thank you. Eddie Pauline, CEO of BioOhio. Mike Triplett, the CEO of Armatus Bio. Thank you both so much for taking the time and joining us on the Mix team.

Eddie Pauline:

Appreciate it.

Michael Triplett:

Thank you for the opportunity.

Natalie Taylor:

All right. That was a great update from Eddie and Mike. I don’t know about you, Val, but when I hear these updates from BioOhio or from the life science community here in Ohio, I get so excited. Because as somebody who’s born and raised in Ohio and went to college in Ohio, just like you, I just love to see the excitement around this industry as it grows and gets a little bit bigger here in Ohio.

I’m very passionate about the life sciences and its industry that I see myself working in forever. And it kind of reassures that we’re in the right spot at the right place, the right time. And just to hear about the growth that’s anticipated to come here to Ohio, into Columbus specific, it’s just so exciting. That’s just more growth for the community, more jobs for people. Just adding some more diversity and different types of people and backgrounds to the community, which I think is really cool. So I love hearing these updates from them.

Valerie McCandlish:

Yeah. It makes you or me, definitely just really proud of what we have to offer here from a place that people I think love to joke about Ohio.

Natalie Taylor:

Yeah, the cornfields.

Valerie McCandlish:

But there’s so much here. I had family that were in town recently that had never been to Columbus before, and they were just blown away. They thought, “I cannot believe that this is where you’ve been living this whole time.” And I’m like, “Yeah, I know. I’ve been telling you for years that it’s special.” It was just such a fun city to be in, so many beautiful places to go. Amazing food, by the way. Side note for anybody who wants to come visit us.

Natalie Taylor:

Yeah. Or if you’re taking Eddie or Mike up on the jobs they were mentioning.

Valerie McCandlish:

Yeah, exactly. So it’s just great to see a lot of exciting things continue to happen for us. But I do totally agree with a lot of what they have to say, that we could use a lot more. Just understanding of what the space is going to turn into so that the people that are making decisions about it know how to advocate for this industry.

So I’m excited to see what they do with the STEM talent. I’m excited to see how we’re able to develop better infrastructure. And just another side note, really cool about the Carmen Ventures too. Just keeping a lot of that pride for Ohio and support for Ohioans, and specifically coming out of OSU too. It’s great to see some funding go to those students who are staying here. So just lots of good stuff.

Natalie Taylor:

Lots of good stuff.

Valerie McCandlish:

And more good stuff to add to the playlist.

Natalie Taylor:

That’s right.

Valerie McCandlish:

Fortunate Son to add for Mike’s choice. And for Eddie, always putting it on us to pick the best songs. So we’ll find some good Lumineers music to add into. And I will also be thinking about what 10 adjectives I will be using to describe myself if I ever get asked that.

Natalie Taylor:

Mm-hmm. That’s very tough.

Valerie McCandlish:

… for the next interview.

Natalie Taylor:

Yeah, I’ll be thinking on mine too.

Valerie McCandlish:

Maybe we can describe each other.

Natalie Taylor:

Yes.

Valerie McCandlish:

Not as easier.

Natalie Taylor:

That’s way better. I like that. So thank you as always for being in the Mix. Make sure to check us out on Spotify. Check out The Mix Tape playlist on Spotify.

Valerie McCandlish:

Follow BioOhio on LinkedIn.

Natalie Taylor:

Mm-hmm. And follow meetmixtalent on Instagram. All the social’s coming at you.

Valerie McCandlish:

Yep.

Natalie Taylor:

And thanks for being in the Mix. We’ll see you next week.

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