BBI Seminar Series Kicks Off with Unprecedented Interest

By Mariam Giorgadze and Thomas Galassi


Last Tuesday BBI kicked off its 12 week seminar series. This year’s series has garnered unprecedented interest, as over 300 people registered for the kick-off event, with over 140 of those people showing interest in forming a team to compete in December’s Pitch Day competition.

Highlights from the kick-off event included the key note address delivered by Dr. Renier Brentjens co-founder of Juno Therapeutics, and talks from BBI alumni Kate Rochlin, founder of Immunovent, and Frank Borchetta, co-founder of Repairogen. They discussed the lessons they learned while translating an idea from the lab to the business world. Dr. Brentjens emphasized the importance of blending the scientific experience with business acumen saying: “Innovation in Biotech comes from academia; but to be successful you need to build a team with the right skillset.”

Listening to Kate’s and Frank’s stories about their experiences since finishing the BBI program delivered a clear message: that founding a biotech start-up requires persistence, patience, attention to detail, and the ability to form the right connections. Thus far Kate and Frank have been able to move their companies forward, and the lessons they learned while part of BBI have certainly helped them along their journeys.

kick-off-event-pic
Attendees network and look for team members after the BBI kick-off event (photo courtesy of Meredith Wright Photography

At the BBI class immediately following the kick-off event, over 100 attendees indicated they were interested in following in Frank and Kate’s footsteps by forming practice business plan teams. Interested participants heard about available technologies from licensing officers at Weill Cornell Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering, and Rockefeller University. Those interested in creating a practice business plan around a patented technology have until September 28 to form a team, and can find potential team members here.

Moving forward in the seminar series participants will start receiving hands-on mentorship form business experts on how to build an idea into feasible business, market it, and attract investments. This will culminate with the annual Pitch Day competition on December 13, where this year’s winning team will be crowned.


We would like to give a special thanks to Meredith Wright Photography who took pictures of the event. Anyone interested in seeing Meredith’s portfolio should click here.

We would also like to thank our speakers at kick-off event as well as the Tri-Institutional licensing officers for their time.

INTERESTED IN BEING A CONTRIBUTING WRITER? PLEASE EMAIL OFFICIALBLOGBBI@GMAIL.COM

INTERESTED IN COMPETING WITH YOUR TECHNOLOGY IN THE BENCH TO BEDSIDE INITIATIVE FALL CLASS?  PLEASE EMAIL BENCHTOBEDSIDEINITIATIVE@GMAIL.COM

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