Regeneron CSO Delivers Keynote Address Amid Exciting Times for Tri-I Entrepreneurs

By Justin Morse

The Bench to Bedside Initiative and over 300 members of the Tri-I community welcomed Dr. George Yancopoulos, MD, PhD, to campus this past month to mark the beginning of BBI’s annual course.

Dr. Yancopoulos, Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron, delivered the keynote address at the first lecture of the semester where he promoted basic scientific research and its role in driving new products to the marketplace. Drawing on his near thirty-year tenure in the biotech industry, Dr. Yancopoulos also stressed the fundamental importance of finding and working with skilled colleagues.

The address was followed by remarks from BBI alumni; Frank Borchetta, Chief Executive Officer and president of Repairogen; Kate Rochlin, cofounder and Chief Scientific Officer of Immunovent and; Du Cheng, founder of iDu Optics.

Dr. Yancopoulos’ address no doubt served as inspiration to current members of the BBI course, who since early September have been working in teams to develop business plans based on unlicensed intellectual property held by the Tri-I or inventions of their own design.

“The keynote address by Dr. Yancopoulos provided great insight to the BBI community on how team composition is critical for long-term success,” said Tom Galassi, President of BBI. “At each BBI Pitch Day competition we see that the most successful teams are made up of hard-working, insightful professionals that have a passion for delivering biomedical innovations to the greater New York City community.”

This year’s kick-off event comes amid an exciting time for the entrepreneurial-minded within the Tri-I community. In addition to sponsoring the BBI course and pitch day competition, Weill Cornell has secured working space dedicated for the Weill Cornell Medicine Dean’s Entrepreneurship Lab. The new working space will complement already ongoing tutorials in 3D-printing, workshops for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants, and the Dean’s Entrepreneurship Lab $100K Biomedical Business Plan Challenge.

“The kick-off was the first of many exciting events planned this academic year to foster innovation within the community,” continued President Galassi. “BBI would like to thank Dr. Yancopoulos and everyone involved for making it such a huge success”.


Paul Hastings LLP Provides BBI with its Two Largest Prizes Yet

By Thomas Galassi

At BBI’s 2016 Pitch Day Finals two teams, iDu Optics and OneThree Biotech, were able to capture the first and second place prizes, respectively. In addition to receiving prizes from WuXi AppTec, The Big Red Venture Fund, The Mid-Atlantic Bio Angels and inDinero, these teams also received the two largest prizes in BBI’s four year history: a combined $25,000 in legal fees ($15,000 for first place and $10,000 for second place) from Paul Hastings LLP.

We would like to thank Paul Hastings LLP for their generous support

Paul Hastings LLP is an international law firm with 21 offices around the world and a corporate group that brings together more than 450 lawyers to advise companies with innovative technology and cutting edge ideas across numerous industries, particularly in the life sciences, software, and e-commerce. The services of this world class law firm are sure to be invaluable to the teams as Paul Hastings has received numerous prestigious honors including:

  • Winning the Financial Times’ Great Legal Ideas Award
  • Being named a top five firm for innovation in North America by the Financial Times
  • Being named in the 2017 BTI Consulting Group Client Sercie A-Team report as one of the top 30 law firms that deliver the best service to clients

These prizes, coupled with the other prizes received by iDu Optics and OneThree Biotech on Pitch Day, are already providing incredible value to the teams as they move forward. According to team members the legal services provided by Paul Hastings have been “a tremendous help” that “will be crucial for moving forward.” Without a doubt these services will place this year’s class winners in prime position to move their teams forward towards investable startup companies.