Mentorship Sessions Ready BBI Teams for Pitch Day

By Thomas Galassi and Sarah Kishinevsky


As BBI teams move past the halfway point of this year’s seminar series, preparations for the annual pitch day competition are intensifying. Over the past two weeks teams have been focusing their business plans by giving one minute “elevator pitches” to small groups of business mentors. Teams first presented to and received feedback from recent BBI/Tri-I alumni mentors working in biotech, pharma, banking, and venture capital on October 11th.  Alumni mentors included Joel Schrock, PhD-MBA (Pfizer), Claire Wang, PhD (Regeneron), Natalya Gertsik, PhD (McKinsey), Paul Stomborn MD (Resident), Sriker Nadipurum, MBA (Barclays), Paul Dossa, PhD (Venrock), Mayur Gadiya (PhD Candidate), Tony Chen (PrimeVax) and Blake Stevens, PhD (Harris and Harris).Teams then spent the next week re-working their elevator pitches to present to a second round of experienced industry mentors in fields including business, law, venture capital, biotech, and pharma in the same format. These industry mentors included Jerry Korten, MS (QoL Devices), David Frank, PhD (Medx Associates LLC), Frank Borchetta, JD (Repairogen), Bruce Toman (Neuronasal), Nigel Liverton, (WuXi AppTec), Stephen Goodman, JD (Pryor Cashman LLP), and Arthur Klausner, MBA (Gem Pharmaceuticals).  Mentors then rated the elevator pitches presented to them and the top four teams were rewarded with free tickets to the Cornell Venture Summit on November 4th. Each session was followed by pizza and networking so that business plan teams could receive further mentorship in an informal setting.

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             BBI teams receive advice on their one minute pitches

More recently, teams have taken the advice given to them during the mentoring sessions and incorporated it into executive summaries which were handed in this week. After receiving feedback on these executive summaries from both BBI teaching assistants and their fellow classmates, teams will prepare their first pitch deck to be presented in a practice round on November 1st. This will give each team an opportunity to receive feedback on their full business plans before competing in the first elimination round of pitches where this year’s finalists will be selected. The competition will then culminate when mentors return to hear business plan presentations at our December 13th Pitch Day event where this year’s winner will be crowned.


We would like to give a special thanks to all of our gracious mentors for their time.

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