By Stella Paffenholz
On May 18 2017 the Bench to Bedside Initiative (BBI) together with Hacking Health NYC presented its second annual Commercializing Life Sciences Matchmaking event. Participants had the opportunity to meet and mingle with Tri-Institutional inventors and industry professionals to network and find teammates for the 2017 BBI course and Pitch Day Competition. The diverse group of attendees included people from academic research, technology, healthcare and the business communities.
The event’s keynote speech was delivered by Samuel Globus, the Director of Scientific Operations at Celmatix, a personalized medicine company focused on women’s health and fertility. The company was founded and is currently headed by Piraye Yurttas Beim, who laid the foundation for her expertise in personalized medicine during her doctoral work at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) and Weill Cornell Medicine. Samuel Globus emphasized how important it is for students to get to know non-academic tracks early in their career and that – as he himself is also a former graduate student at Weill Cornell and MSKCC –the Bench to Bedside Initiative is very close to his heart.
The inspiring keynote talk was followed by a presentation by Du Cheng, founder of iDu Optics, and winner of both the Weill Cornell Medicine Dean’s Entrepreneurship Lab $50K Biomedical Business Plan Challenge and 2016 Pitch Day Competition. Du’s company developed, and is currently selling, an imaging adapter for microscopes and portable electronic devices that helps researchers to more easily acquire and transmit imaging data.
Following Du’s presentation inventors were given the opportunity to spark the audience’s interest in their technologies by delivering one-minute pitches. The technologies were as diverse as the backgrounds of the attendees, ranging from an emergency response app, to artificial intelligence technology for drug target identification. Founders and inventors then presented their work with posters or interactive displays in a networking session, giving interested attendees the chance to learn more about the ideas or even try out the technology first-hand.
After the event BBI is staying engaged with attendees to keep them active in NYC’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Fostering such an ecosystem will hopefully create an environment where students can become exposed to business ideas and Tri-Intisutional start-ups can thrive.