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Prince William County Hires New Life Sciences Business Development Manager

Gainesville, VA – Prince William County Department of Economic Development (PWCDED) hired Helena Kondow-McConaghy, Ph.D. as Business Development Manager for the Life Sciences to recruit and retain businesses in the fastest growing biotechnology cluster in the Greater Washington, D.C. region. 

Helena manages relationships and operations at the Prince William Science Accelerator, one of the few wet lab spaces in Northern Virginia available to life science and biotech companies looking to kickstart their R&D. She is also the county’s liaison for the Northern Virginia (NOVA) Bioscience Center, a recently opened, state-of-the-art wet lab space for scientifically aligned companies. 

“We’re excited to have Helena join our team and to lead both the management and program development of our life science ecosystem, given her expertise as both a scientist and as a lead in supporting federally funded life science incubator and accelerator programs,” said Christina Winn, executive director, PWCDED.

Helena received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Texas A&M University, where she studied the effects of peptide-mediated cellular delivery. Prior to working for Prince William County, Helena was an Oak Ridge Institute of Science & Education Fellow in the Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures at the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). 

In that role, she supported the management and program development for the BARDA Accelerator Network, which is comprised of 13 biotech incubators and accelerators across the United States. She also supported BLUE KNIGHT™, BARDA’s joint program with Johnson & Johnson Innovation — JLABS, designed to support early-stage companies in the health security space accelerate the development and the eventual commercialization of their technologies.

Next up at PWCDED, Helena and her team will open applications for PWCDED’s IGNITE program grants in October. The IGNITE program has expanded to include education and student entrepreneurship, and the grant application will continue to provide non-dilutive cash capital to startups and high-growth companies. Thirteen companies have been awarded either $25,000 or $50,000 grants. 

“I’m excited to bring visibility to the emerging Northern Virginia life science and biotech ecosystem,” said Helena. “Through programs like IGNITE, and through workforce development, core facility and space expansion, as well as entrepreneurial mentorship, our bioscience businesses have the community to thrive in Prince William County.” 

Her role will allow her to work closely with George Mason University’s (Mason) Institute for Biohealth Innovation as co-director of the Northern Virginia BioHub as well as the Virginia Small Business Development Center Network’s Innovation Commercialization Assistance Program (ICAP) for entrepreneurial programming. 

Connect with Helena on at hkondow@pwcgov.org or on LinkedIn.

About the Prince William County Department of Economic Development 

The Prince William County Department of Economic Development offers services to support and promote existing business expansion and attract new businesses to Prince William County.

For more information, the Department of Economic Development can be reached via email at econdev@pwcgov.org, via phone at 703-792-5500, or via fax at 703-792-5502.

Learn more about the Department at pwcded.org.

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