KOP Insiders: Mike Smith, Managing Director of AlphaGroup
KOP Insiders delves into the stories of the people who make King of Prussia one of Pennsylvania’s most dynamic live-work-play-stay destinations.
In depth interviews provide insight into the companies that make up our diverse business community and put a face to the individuals behind the business. In this edition, we are joined by Mike Smith, Managing Director of AlphaGroup.
Can you give us a little background into AlphaGroup and your role as Managing Director?
I’ve been at AlphaGroup for ten years now. Our company consists of three different agencies. Fundamentally, what we do is help pharmaceutical companies communicate and provide educate on their scientific data. We’ve been in King of Prussia for 12 years now and have grown considerably over that time. Being here has so many advantages, one that immediately comes to mind is how easy it is to bring people in from all over the country. The accessibility here is unrivaled.
What motivated AlphaGroup to establish its HQ in King of Prussia? How has operating in KOP contributed to AlphaGroup’s success?
There are a number of reasons why we are in KOP. A large proportion of our staff are highly qualified scientists, so the proximity of the renown Philadelphia universities creates a really strong local talent pool.
Added to that is the fact that there are a lot of innovative pharma companies in KOP area — not to mention we have easy access to companies in New Jersey, New York and even Connecticut. And with the airport being so close, getting in and out is simple.
The talent pool is further enhanced with the close proximity of people who work for companies like Merck, GSK, Johnson & Johnson and several other major Pharma companies.
How has COVID impacted the space within which you operate? How do you continue keeping the business moving forward despite the unpredictable nature of an unprecedented situation?
We’ve got the advantage that almost all of us can work remotely. We weathered the storm and still managed to grow, which we are extremely proud of. Now we’re transitioning toward more of a hybrid setup. We’re in a small industry — a very competitive space. We’re focused on giving our employees all the benefits and flexibility we can. We’re in a great location which of course helps because we’ve found that in-person interaction with colleagues is critical to fostering innovation and creativity. We think that our hybrid situation will continue to be the way we operate for the foreseeable future.
In your mind, what factors are contributing to the major growth we’re seeing in KOP’s healthcare scene?
There are so many centers of excellence here in gene therapy. AlphaGroup is particularly strong in gene therapy— we were one of the first and therefore, are now one of the most experienced Medical Communications agencies to work in this therapeutic area.
And more and more people are coming every day, which is why the scene is growing at the rate it is. And it’s not just the smaller companies with a foothold — even the established pharma companies like CSL Behring have a big gene therapy division. It’s so interesting what’s going on here.
What else makes KOP a good fit for your employees and company culture?
People want to come to King of Prussia for so many reasons. Obviously, the shopping scene here is huge. But also, you can’t underestimate everything that’s happening at the Town Center. I know our employees particularly love going there, being out and about, enjoying everything it has to offer. There’s access to just about everything you could want in a city center without having to deal with the headaches that come with actually being in the city — or paying the higher costs.
We also have employees who are based on the west coast and mid-west. When they visit, they’re presented with so many options of things to do. We always find that they really enjoy their time here. And because there’s so much right at your fingertips, they’re usually able to entertain themselves [laughs].
If there was one thing you’d want the KOP community and beyond to know about AlphaGroup — whether that be about the company, the culture, your vision for the future — what would it be?
The message that we want people taking away from us is that we stand for quality. To do that, we have to attract the right people, both in terms of client and scientific services. Being in King of Prussia certainly helps us in that respect. Besides that, AlphaGroup is growing at a rapid pace and is simply a great place to work. Your readers should check us out.
The AlphaGroup is a team of scientific and medical affairs communication specialists supporting AlphaBioCom, AlphaScientia and AlphaQsci agencies. The company is made up of PhD scientists, MDs, PharmDs, nurses, designers, communication and innovation experts.
Their collective genius delivers the highest-quality scientific, medical affairs, and outcomes communication services anywhere in the world.
640 Freedom Business Center Drive Suite 340 King of Prussia, PA 19406 | alphagroupmedcomm.com