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2022 AbbVie Innovation Midwest (AIM) Award

Offering seed funding to up to two Midwest-based biotechs.

AbbVie Ventures invites you to apply for the 2022 AbbVie Innovation Midwest Award

AbbVie Ventures is excited to launch the 2022 AbbVie Innovation Midwest (AIM) Awards: AbbVie’s signature event to catalyze the formation of new biotech companies and a thriving biopharma ecosystem in our backyard.

Each AIM Award offers the opportunity for seed funding from AbbVie Ventures.

AbbVie will grant AIM awards to up to two early-stage biotech companies. 

Application Requirements: 

  • AbbVie Ventures is looking for early-stage biotech companies that fit the following criteria: 
    • Focused on novel science / technology with potential to generate transformational therapies in areas that align well with AbbVie’s strategic areas of interest (listed below)
    • Developing therapeutic platform technologies, including next generations of biologics, small molecules, gene therapy, cellular therapies, and platform technologies for target identification and validation
    • Exclusions: Diagnostics, Devices, Research Tools, Nutrition, and Healthcare Services/IT



Additional requirements:

  • Companies must have their principal place of business in the Midwest area or be willing to establish a presence in the Midwest area
  • Companies must not yet have partnered substantive parts of the pipeline or platform  with another large biopharmaceutical company 
    • Current or prior recipients of similar awards sponsored by other pharmaceutical companies or lab spaces are eligible to apply
  • Companies must meet the following AbbVie funding award criteria:
    • Total equity funding raised to date must be less than 5 million USD before receiving the AIM Award
    • Companies must not have sales revenue
    • Companies must be in the life sciences and have an impact on human health or therapeutic drug development
    • Newly-formed companies and companies willing to establish a presence in the Midwest must be financially and scientifically ready to move into a Midwest-based incubator space within six months of receiving the AIM award


How to Apply

Please send your application to [email protected] by 11:59pm CT July 6, 2022.
Applicants may only submit one entry each.

Please include the following in your application email:

  • Name of company
  • Primary contact at company
  • Therapeutic area
  • One sentence summarizing the scientific basis of the program/technology/asset
  • Funding to date: please include total funding received to date as well as the funder(s) and funding amount(s)
  • A high-resolution company logo (if applicable)
  • Non-confidential slide deck:
    • Applicants must provide a non-confidential slide deck of no more than ten slides that emphasize:
      • Your company’s mission statement
      • Scientific founders, management team (if applicable) & expertise
      • The science behind the technology or asset
      • The prioritized and potentially applicable indications 
      • Unique scientific value-add: What differentiates your technology or therapeutic from other companies in the competitive landscape?
      • Relevant IP and publications that include data supporting your science 
      • Mitigation of risk: What are the potential pitfalls and key challenges? 
      • Anticipated benefits of securing an AIM award
      • Anticipated move-in date to Midwest-based incubator space
      • Company roadmap for upcoming key milestones (including financing)
      • Growth / research plan during the AIM award 12-month timeframe

Judging Criteria and Judges

AbbVie leaders who are qualified scientific experts in respective fields, including specialties in scientific and/or medical research and business, will review all submissions. The following criteria will form application judging criteria: 

  • Fit relating to the research fields of oncology, immunology, neuroscience, or eye care. Judges will also consider novel target(s) identification, drug delivery, discovery technology platforms, and translational research and development.
  • Quality of the scientific data, research plan and/or technology platform
  • Potential to successfully achieve research milestones and program development
  • Unmet need for the research in the relevant field. Is this research/program/technology addressing a critical medical need?
  • Readiness to move into a Midwest-based incubator space within six months of being selected for the award


Application Submission Deadline: July 6, 2022 at 11:59pm CT

Announcement of Top Four Applications: August 29, 2022

Final Pitch and Selection Date: October 11, 2022


What is the AbbVie Innovation Midwest (AIM) Award?

The AIM Award presents the opportunity to receive seed funding from AbbVie Ventures and engage with AbbVie scientific and business executives.

Seed funding will vary depending on company area of focus, stage, technology and research plan, and will be subject to terms typical to seed rounds, as set forth in standard NVCA forms (see

How do I know if I am eligible?

To be eligible to participate, the applicant must:

  1. be an entity formed under the laws of the United States at the time they receive the AIM Award;
  2. not have raised more than 5 million USD dollars in capital or have any sales revenue as of the time of application and the closing date for the contest;
  3. submit a complete application;
  4. represent and warrant that the applicant has read and agrees to abide by all requirements of these rules; and
  5. not be affiliated with or employed by AbbVie including as an employee, contractor, officer or director of AbbVie and including as an immediate family member of an AbbVie officer or director (including parents, spouses, children, siblings or any individual residing in the household (whether or not related))

When will I be able to use my AIM award?

The top four proposals will be announced in August and semi-finalists will be invited for an in-person presentation.

Companies must be financially and scientifically ready to execute on the submitted research plan within six months of receiving the AIM Award.

Where can I find more details on AbbVie’s areas of focus for external innovation?

Please refer to our Corporate Strategy Organization’s brochure:

I have additional questions. Who should I contact?

Please email [email protected]