By Mariam Giorgadze and Thomas Galassi
On May 24 the Bench to Bedside Initiative (BBI), together with Hacking Health NYC and gyro:human, hosted its inaugural Commercializing Life Science matchmaking event. The purpose of the event was to help inventors form successful teams around their patents by connecting them with talented business professionals outside of their respective fields with complimentary backgrounds. Ultimately, the hope is that these teams will form successful business enterprises and solve some of the most pressing matters in healthcare.
At the event, 10 inventors affiliated with BBI and more than 40 interested business professionals heard a keynote address from Patrick Freuler, CEO of Audics. During his speech Patrick talked about how his company, which distributes low cost hearing devices, dealt with the early challenges that face many start-ups saying: “At the very beginning pretty much everything went wrong: we had this average product, no support system and we had to have a very iterative approach to get it done.” Patrick also spoke about his philosophy on team building for start-ups, highlighting the importance of “creative generalists who can wear multiple hats and get things off the ground.”
In addition to the keynote address, the event also featured booths run by successful entrepreneurs who were willing to share their secrets to success with attendees. These entrepreneurs included:
- Chris Bradley, CEO of Manahealth – a big data company that allows access to unified health data to deliver better value based care.
- Layli Harandi, Founder and CEO Harandi Health and Longevity – where Dr. Harandi is working on a platform to provide nutritional and lifestyle solutions based on scientific research, specialized blood work, environmental information, and genetics.
- Tara Suan, Director of Strategy and Insights at Sols – a leading 3D printed shoe sole company in NYC.
Attendees at the matchmaking listen to tips for success from business experts
Specifically, these entrepreneurs spread their knowledge and experience on following topics:
- The specific problem his/her company aims to solve.
- The market outlook for the company.
- How to successfully overcome the major challenges in their respective fields
- Startup team dynamics
Attendees had the option to rotate and attend two company sessions based on their interests. Attendees found that this format was a great way to spark interesting conversations, generate new ideas and connect with like-minded individuals.
Following the event, BBI has begun helping attendees work with inventors and share their expertise. Hopefully, this event, as well as future ones like it, will help create an environment where Tri-I start-ups can thrive.
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