Hevré Le Calvez, Ph.D., Founder and CEO, of Abbiotec, LLC, a biotech company developing life science tools for the research market, started his business in 2007. He was well prepared with a Ph.D. in Cellular Biology and Microbiology (1994) and several years of research and biotech experience, with companies such as The Burnham Institute, Active Motif, LLC and Abgent, Inc. However, he decided he could use some help on the business side, so he sought guidance from SCORE - Counselors to America’s Small Business. The counselors at SCORE helped him to set-up the business, provided training through a couple of financial workshops and assisted him in getting an SBA 7(a) loan for $413,000, from Seacoast Commerce Bank. As an ongoing SCORE client, Le Calvez utilizes the wealth of business knowledge available through the counselors to help him successfully grow Abbiotec™.
Abbiotec was initially financed through a home equity loan. Then, with a business plan showing a clear competitive advantage and projecting break-even in three years, they secured the SBA guaranteed loan which allowed Abbiotec to start production for inventory and operate in its new facility with triple the space of their original location.
Le Calvez is focused on developing and commercializing next generation antibodies and reagents for the life science research community. His approach and business concepts were born out of a need and a strong desire to deliver antibodies against druggable proteins. Abbiotec’s proprietary technologies allow them to select, design, and produce antibodies, lysates, and various reagents with a high degree of skill and efficiency so researchers can better focus their energies on their experimental designs and ideas.
Abbiotec has created a market niche by providing reagents within days that would take researchers four months to raise independently, thereby saving $1 to $2 million/day in drug production costs. Its products are being used in some of the most intense research efforts on Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer and infectious diseases.
Tools provided by Abbiotec enable the study of human biology and disease at the cellular and molecular levels, with cross applications in diagnostic assays that they hope may eventually lead to promising therapeutics.
A large library of unique antibodies targeted against high value druggable proteins is available through Abbiotec. Their aim is to eventually build the most comprehensive and valuable library of antibodies and related reagents that target the estimated 4,000 human disease proteins. Abbiotec will also offer various complementary kits and solutions in the areas of genomics, proteomics, cell and tissue culture, and areas important for studies in functional genomics, signaling pathways, immunology, cancer, and brain disorders.
Abbiotec is an excellent example of a small business using scientific innovation, the reach of the internet and customer focus to grow and be profitable. Its success is evident in the fact that its financial break-even was achieved in 2 years instead of the projected 3 years.
The guidance received from SCORE and the SBA guaranteed loan have contributed to Abbiotec’s current success and with ongoing SCORE counseling will keep them moving toward their future goals.
For additional information about Abbiotec visit www.abbiotec.com.
For more information about SBA visit www.sba.gov. SCORE is a volunteer organization sponsored by the SBA. Visit www.score.org to find a Chapter near you.
Dr. Steven Solomon grew up with the expectation that he would follow in his father’s footsteps and become a lawyer, however somewhere along the way his ambitions were transformed. He decided that he was more interested in helping people create successful relationships.
In 1982, after earning his undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology (Los Angeles), he began a private practice, as an individual and couples therapist, in San Diego, California and currently has an office in La Jolla, California.
In addition to his private practice, he formed a partnership with Dr. Lorie Teagno to start The Relationship Institute providing an array of intimacy therapy services to couples and individuals as well as a wide range of training opportunities for therapists. They also co-authored a book titled “Intimacy after Infidelity: How to Rebuild and Affair-Proof Your Marriage”.
Dr. Solomon has worked hard to build his business, overcoming the difficulties in this field, such as its highly competitive nature, the need for extensive and continual training, the fact that most insurance companies are not favorably inclined towards providing high rates of reimbursement for psychotherapy services, and as a result of the recession, it is more common that he has had to lower his fees to accommodate his clients’ thinner pocketbooks. He has a great referral network that he is constantly working to expand, which he considers instrumental in growing a successful service business and he is always searching for ways to improve his business and give more couples the tools to create successful relationships.
In October of 2010, Dr. Solomon was approved for a $100,000.00 SBA 7(a) loan through California Bank & Trust, which he used to assist with the cash flow of his business and to purchase computers and video equipment in order to further improve the couples therapist training aspect of his business.
In an effort to give back to the community Dr. Solomon does pro-bono sessions for deserving clients who cannot afford his services. In addition, he has served as past president of the San Diego Psychological Association, past board president of the Jewish Federation of San Diego, and past board president for Hillel of San Diego.
When asked what goals he has for the future of his business, Dr. Solomon said he would like to write more books, train more therapists in couples therapy and expand his already full caseload to necessitate hiring additional therapists to handle overflow. However, his ultimate goal is to help as many couples as possible learn to love intimately. Dr. Solomon has been happily married for 26 year to his wife Esther and has a wonderful 14 year old son, Lewis.
For more information about SBA loans visit www.sba.gov.