BBI Matchmaking event connects inventors, students and industry professionals

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.

 

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Attendees network and look for team members at the BBI matchmaking event

BBI Alumni Learn How to Turn Business Plans into an Investment

By Thomas Galassi and Sarah Kishinevsky


Last summer the Weill Cornell Dean’s Entrepreneurship Lab and the Cornell Center for Technology Licensing (CTL) worked together to host a “Patent Class Mini Series” as a follow up to the BBI course. Upon the completion of the mini-series participants filled out course evaluations and indicated an overwhelmingly positive reaction. Furthermore, when asked for suggestions, several participants indicated a desire for additional lectures.

In response to these requests the Weill Cornell Dean’s Entrepreneurship Lab and BioPharma Alliances and Research Collaborations expanded this series and offered a Biotechnology Due Diligence Workshop. The workshop consisted of 7 lectures covering:

  • Expanding your patent portfolio strategy as a startup
  • The important documents that are involved in starting a company
  • Incorporation
  • How to hire employees/consultants
  • Types of investors and investments
  • FDA compliance
  • University licensing
  • Walking through a standard term sheet with a venture capital investor

 

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Workshop participants hear a lecture by Craig Kenesky

Lecturers for the course included Craig Kenesky, Ph.D. and Associate and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, PC, Vibhu Sachdev, JD. Cornell Technology Licensing, and Blake Stevens, Ph.D., Vice President at Harris and Harris Venture Capital and Private Equity. Specifically, these lecturers taught BBI alumni the steps necessary to turn a business plan built around a scientific discovery/invention into a seed funded startup company. From all accounts the lectures were extremely effective as participants indicated the workshop was “very practical”, “well organized”, and “provided a clear picture of starting a company.” Moreover, when asked to quantify their opinions participants gave the workshop  an average score of 4.69 out of 5 for being informative and 4.77 out of 5 for being interesting.

To keep this positive momentum going the Dean’s E-lab and BBI will continue to offer events throughout the spring. Next up will be the Weill Cornell Biomedical Business Plan Challenge and a BBI matchmaking event where inventors will showcase their technologies to attendees in hopes of forming the strongest business plan teams possible for this falls upcoming Pitch Day Competition.

iDU Optics and OneThreeBiotech Take Home Prizes at 2016 Pitch Day Finals

By Thomas Galassi


After three months of lectures and three rounds of business plan pitches we are proud to announce the winners and runners-up of the 2016 BBI Pitch Day competition as:

  • iDu Optics – LabCam microscope adapter (First Place)
    • Members:
      • Du Cheng – Tri-I MD/PhD Program, Inventor of technology
      • Shaun Tao, Rockefeller University
      • Yin-Yin Wang, Sales Representative, Stemcell Technologies
      • Tania Silcott, Clinical Analyst, Code Blue Informatics
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Team iDu Optics with Nigel Liverton, Executive Director at WuXi AppTec
  • OneThree Biotech – A better approach to drug target convolution (Runner-up)
    • Members:
      • Neel Madhukar – Weill Cornell PhD Student, Inventor of Technology
      • Robert Fieldhouse – Post Doctoral Fellow, Mount Sinai
      • Suranjit Mukherjee – Weill Cornell PhD Student
      • Rafal Wiewiora – Tri-I PhD Student
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Team OneThreeBiotech with their prize provided by the Big Red Venture Fund

In what was without a doubt the strongest, most competitive BBI Pitch Day competition yet, these two teams stood above the rest and captured several coveted, and valuable, prizes. Each team presented a phenomenal seven minute business plan pitch and then aptly responded to the judges during the ensuing four minute question and answer session.  For their performances on Pitch Day the teams were rewarded with several, extremely valuable prizes from some of BBI’s most gracious sponsors:

  • WuXi AppTec generously provided a $1000 prize for the first place iDu Optics team. WuXi AppTec is a leading global pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, and medical device open-access capability and technology platform global operation that provides a broad an integrated portfolio of services throughout the R&D process.
  • The Big Red Venture Fund and its fund manager Kiel Iwanek, provided a $500 prize for the second place OneThreeBiotech team. The Big Red Venture Fund is an early-stage venture capital fund operated entirely by a team of MBA students at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management that typically invests up to $250,000 in U.S.-based high-growth companies across all industries.
  • The Mid-Atlantic Bio Angels have presented iDu Optics with the opportunity to pitch at 1st Pitch Life Sciences, an event designed to encourage and educate aspiring life science entrepreneurs who know they may be too early to seek investment but want the opportunity to practice their pitch and to receive constructive criticism from experienced and knowledgeable professionals.
  • inDinero is graciously offering $500 in accounting services to both iDu Optics and OneThreeBiotech. inDinero is a software with service accounting company that acts as an outsourced controller for its clients that aims to free up its clients to focus on the more strategic imperatives of their business.

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, this year’s Pitch Day contestants will be well prepared should they decide to move their business plans forward and attempt to turn their technologies into incorporated start-up companies.

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BBI would like to thank their gracious sponsors for their generous support

Two Teams Take Home Valuable Prizes during BBI’s Elimination Round

By Thomas Galassi


On Tuesday November 15th, BBI held the Elimination Round of its annual business plan competition. Seventeen remaining teams presented their seven minute pitches and were then questioned by the judges for two additional minutes. During the elimination round two consulting prizes (each a $500 value) were awarded to two teams that competed in the Pitch Day Finals on December 13th:

  • iDU Optics was awarded the KevinBizGlobal Prize. The prize included a complementary 90 minute consulting session with Kevin FitzGerald, founder of the startup and leadership coaching firm KevinBizGlobal,  an online service connecting and mentoring entrepreneurs worldwide.
  • OneThreeBiotech was awarded the Blue Cactus Consulting Prize. This prize included a complementary two hour consulting session with Yaniv Sneor, co-founder of Mid-Atlantic Bio Angels1st Pitch Life Sciences, and Blue Cactus Consulting, a firm with expertise assisting physical and life science companies with business strategy and technology commercialization and monetization.
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Thank you to our gracious sponsors Blue Cactus Consulting and KevinBizGlobal

According to the winners these consulting prizes were “invaluable as [they] prepared for both the Pitch Day and any future entrepreneurial activities.” This was evidenced by the fact that both iDU Optics and OneThreeBiotech gave award winning pitches during the Final Round on December 13th. We would like to thank KevinBizGlobal and Blue Cactus Consulting for their generosity as their prizes had a big hand in raising the quality of BBI’s 4th annual Pitch Day Competition.

 

Seven Teams Advance to Pitch Day Finals

By Thomas Galassi


On Tuesday November 15th, BBI held the Elimination Round of its annual business plan competition. Seventeen remaining teams presented their seven minute pitches and were then questioned by the judges for two additional minutes. Judges selected which teams would advance to the final round of the Pitch Day Competition on December 13th. This year’s finalists represent all three institutions of the Tri-Institution and are listed below, with the inventing institution’s licensing office or individual in parentheses:

  • Sensogen – Pulse-oximetry technologies (Sloan Kettering)
  • PARP Wash – Revolutionizing Oral Cancer DetectionTM (Sloan Kettering)
  • New Lymph node imaging in breast cancer surgery with light emitting nanoparticles (Sloan Kettering)
  • RU4 Therapeutics – Jq1 as a novel therapy for treating epileptic seizures (Rockefeller)
  • Toxidem – Making in vitro toxicology faster, less expensive, & more accurate (Weill Cornell)
  • OneThree Biotech – A better approach to drug target convolution (Weill Cornell)
  • iDu Optics – LabCam microscope adapter (Du Cheng, MD, PhD student)

Teams will revise their pitches based off feedback from mentor judges and BBI TAs in preparation for December 13th. Two teams that will certainly have an advantage going into the final competition are the winners of this year’s Yaniv Sneor, and Kevin FitzGerald Consultation prizes. The winners of these prizes that will be competing in the final round of pitches are:

  • iDu Optics – Kevin FitzGerald Prize. This prize includes a complementary 90 minute consulting session with Kevin FitzGerald, founder of the startup and leadership coaching firm KevinBizGlobal ($500 value).
  • OneThreeBiotech – Yaniv Sneor Prize. This prize includes a complementary two hour consulting session with Yaniv Sneor, co-founder of Mid-Atlantic Bio Angels, 1st Pitch Life Sciences, and Blue Cactus Consulting ($500 value).

The remainder of this year’s prizes will be announced after the final round of pitches on December 13th. In previous competitions the winner of the Pitch Day competition showed major improvements in their pitches between the Elimination and Final Rounds, so we expect this year’s contest to be wide open, and wish all of the competing teams the best of luck moving forward.


To get free tickets to the December 13th Pitch Day Competition click here.

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

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Teams Present Practice Pitches & Select Preliminary “Audience Choice” Pitches

By Thomas Galassi and  Sarah Kishinevsky


On Tuesday November 1, BBI teams presented the first drafts of their practice business plan pitches in the Practice Round Pitch Day. Teams received comments from business mentors and technology licensing officers (TLO), who were gracious enough to help prepare teams for the Pitch Day Competition on December 13th. Judges of the practice round included Imke Ehlers, Ph. D. (Memorial Sloan Kettering TLO), Nidhi Sabharwal, Ph.D. (Rockefeller University TLO), Dan Oscar, Ph. D. (Weill Cornell Medicine TLO), Gene Resnick, M.D. (Averion International Corporation), Phil Crowley, J.D. (Former legal councel,  Johnson and Johnson), Nigel Liverton, Ph. D. (WuXi AppTech), Jerry Korten, MS (QoL Devices), Marissa Tricarico (Merst Ventures LLC), Frank Borchetta, JD (Repairogen) and Linda Masat, PhD (Takeda Development Center).

In addition to hearing from mentors and TLOs, BBI participants voted for their favorite pitch in the first and second half. To ensure participants were not able to vote for their own teams, members whose team presented in the first half of the program were asked to only vote on the second half of the program and vice versa. After tallying up the votes BBI has awarded two teams with the “Audience Choice Award” for practice round pitches. The “Audience Choice” award teams from the Practice Round are:

  • PARP Wash – Revolutionizing Oral Cancer Detection (first half)
  • One Three Biotech – Accelerating Drug Development Through Novel Computation (second half)

Moving forward, BBI teams will be incorporating feedback into revised pitches and will be attending one on one mentoring sessions this week with BBI teaching assistants and mentors. After improving their pitches, teams will present once again at the Elimination Round on November 15th, where the judges will choose the finalist teams to present in the December 13th Pitch Day Competition. While PARP Wash and One Three Biotech may have won the first two awards of the class, other teams are sure to improve their pitches and make the next few weeks of this year’s BBI series an exciting competition.


To get free tickets to the December 13th Pitch Day Competition click here.

We would like to give a special thanks to all of our gracious mentors 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

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.

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