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.

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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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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.

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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.

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

How to maximize your start-up’s chance for success

By Mariam Giorgadze and Thomas Galassi


Although the challenges that face biotech start-ups vary greatly depending on the nature of a company’s technology, there are a set of generalized “best practices” that entrepreneurs can learn from to increase their odds for success. Many of these practices form the foundation of the “Lean Lanchpad” program, which has seen 60% of its life science companies find seed funding to launch their start-ups. Below are some lessons that can be learned from this highly successful program:

Work with your target consumer

Today, when consumers in every industry are so sophisticated and have access to so much information or solution providers, no product or service can be pushed. Therefore, start-ups should focus on building their product while infusing the real feedback from their target consumer. For many life science start-ups this may involve working with doctors or hospital administrators to learn about any practical issues that may arise, even if the product being pushed is scientifically sound.

Prototyping and Iteration

Frequently, inventors spend a lot of time perfecting a solution in the lab without ever receiving feedback from their target audience. It’s crucial to not assume that the target audience will accept a solution, even if the issue being solved is completely understood from a scientific point of view. This is true whether the target audience is doctors, patients, or hospital administrators. Getting feedback early on in the design process can prevent major sunk costs for a company down the road.

Understand your business model

Designing a world changing invention is not enough to launch a successful company; it is only the first step. No matter how useful a technology is, a company must understand its target consumer, market opportunity, revenue model, and potential partnerships to be a success. All of these will form the core of a company’s business model. To learn more about business model generation click here.

While there is no way to guarantee the success of any start-up, following the advice above is a great way to maximize the chance of success. By following these “best practices” a company can begin to show investors that they know what it takes to bring their product to market, which can potentially lead to seed funding and be the difference between a successful or failed company.

To learn more tips on how to maximize a biotech start-up’s chance of success attend the BBI lecture series which begins with a kick-off event September 13.

Three types of non-technical team members crucial for biotech startups

By Mariam Giorgadze and Thomas Galassi


Even a company with a useful and innovative technology will fail without the right team guiding it to market. Here, we discuss three types of people whose complementary expertise is crucial to the success of a biotech company. To contribute your expertise to a biotech startup, click HERE. To meet technical experts, attend our Entrepreneurship Networking Event on Sept 13th.

Complimentary co-founders

To turn their inventions into investable companies, inventors should recruit teammates with strong business development and engineering capabilities. Teaming up with people who understand how to negotiate with investors, sell ideas, and quickly and efficiently build up viable solutions to the company’s problems is critical. This is a core part of BBI’s mission – bridging the gap between business professionals and inventors to facilitate their successful networking to help them form the teams.

Advisors

While having co-founders with complimentary skill sets is crucial, an experienced advisory board is what will take companies to the next level. Having access to people who have gone through the same path as a start-up will be an invaluable asset to the company. No matter how well prepared the founders of a start-up are there is no substitute for the experience of someone who has been there before. An experienced advisory board can provide shortcuts to get things done, access to professional networks, and also provide objective opinions on the company’s ideas. While recruiting the right advisors may take some time, it certainly pays off as time well spent.

Investors

According to recent report from the global health innovation company Startup Health, investments in health care industry have become more stabilized since experiencing major hype back in 2014. Although 2016 has seen 1.8 billion dollars in funding towards the healthcare industry, investors have gotten more conscious about what they invest in. This is largely because some of the healthcare solutions that previously received major investments have yet to achieve sustainable growth.

To successfully achieve sustainable growth, it is also crucial that a start-up finds the right investors for that company. While all investors will be able to provide capital, the right investor will push the company towards profits by providing guidance, networking opportunities, and stability which will ultimately lead the company towards sustainable growth.

Obviously, finding people that meet the criteria above and having an innovative technology to work with is an extremely difficult task. Fortunately programs such as Entrepreneurship Lab NYC and the Bench to Bedside Initiative (BBI) exist to help entrepreneurs accomplish this task. These programs hold events such as BBI’s Entrepreneurship Networking Event on Sept 13th, where individuals can meet people with the skill necessary to form successful start-ups. If this is something you would be interested in you can register for this event and find team members using the links below.


To find team members click HERE.

To register for the September 13th event click HERE.

Teams begin to form as BBI releases 2016 syllabus

Amidst early-bird teams forming weeks before the class kick-off on September 13th, BBI released the Fall 2016 syllabus. The expanded syllabus lists the BBI alumni (September 13th and October 11th) and industry experts who will lead the sessions and with whom seminar participants will be able to network with after the sessions. The syllabus also summarizes the new mentoring and pitch sessions and expanded assignments to help teams formulate their pitches.

Anyone interested in learning about the seminars can sign up for the first class and kick-off on September 13th or visit the BBI website. The course objectives and syllabus are detailed below.

Schedule: Tuesdays or Wednesdays, 6:00-7:30 PM @ Zuckerman Auditorium (417 E. 68th St.), OR Belfer Research Building (BRB)  Rm. 204 or 302 (413 E. 69th St.)

Syllabus-01-01


To register for the series click here.

To find a team click here.

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Newly Expanded BBI Seminar Series and Pitch Competition Returns on Sept. 13

By Thomas Galassi and Sarah Kishinevsky


On September 13, BBI’s seminar series “From Bench to Bedside: Business Fundamentals for Entrepreneurial Scientists” will return for the 4th time with newly added sessions leading up to the Pitch Day Competition. A common theme among previous participants was the need for more mentoring from industry experts. In response to these requests, this year, BBI will expand its series from ten to twelve meetings. The extra meetings will add mentoring sessions focused on market analysis, as well as a day for teams to present practice pitches to Tri-Institutional licensing officers. These enhancements should leave teams more prepared to benefit from what have traditionally been BBI’s two most productive classes: the mentored “elevator pitch” class where teams give a brief two-minute pitch of their business plans to industry experts, and the first round pitches, where teams will qualify for the final Pitch Day competition.

BBI is also changing the scoring criteria for the Pitch Day competition. Unlike years past where the performance of participants was based on only a written business plan and final pitch, teams in this year’s series will also be judged on their market research, funding assessment, and elevator pitches. The new emphasis on these topics will likely allow the participants to finish the class as more complete, well-rounded entrepreneurs and will hopefully further build New York City’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

BBI’s “kick-off event” will take place on Sept. 13 in the Zuckerman Research Center (417 E 68 Street, New York, NY) at 6:00 PM

The BBI series will begin with the “kick-off event” featuring a keynote address from Dr. Renier Brentjens, Director of Cellular Therapeutics at Memorial Sloan Kettering and scientific co-founder of Juno Therapeutics, and finish with a networking session where participants can begin to form teams for the Pitch Day competition. As in years past, teams participating in the series will build business plans around patented technologies from Weill Cornell Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering, and Rockefeller University and present to investor judges at the Pitch Day competition in December.


To learn more about the upcoming seminar series and sign up for the kick-off event click here.

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