First Look SoCal 2023

Wednesday, 14 June 2023 10:00 AM - 8:30 PM PDT

2701 N Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90049, United States

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Access the livestream for the Keynotes and both tracks which include fast pitch presentations and expert panel Q&A for 24 startups. Link to register is in event description above.

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Wednesday, 14 June 2023 10:00 AM - 8:30 PM PDT

Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90049, United States.

The First Look SoCal Innovation Showcase is an annual conference celebrating the best very early-stage startups commercializing deep tech and life science breakthroughs from SoCal’s top research institutions. The primary goal is to connect founders with investors, mentors, and corporate executives with invaluable subject matter expertise to provide credible guidance and pre-seed/seed stage funding crucial to making the often-perilous journey from lab to market.

Free livestream option available for virtual attendees on Hopin.

Look Forward To...

Connect with investors, peers, and mentors

Unparalleled opportunities to connect with investors, mentors and other support resources crucial for early stage startups. Past years attracted over 300 attendees including over 130 investors such as Lux Capital, Alexandria Venture Investments, Kairos, Wavemaker 360, NXT Biomedical, NEA, Elevation Ventures, FullCycle, Aligned Climate Capital, Mitsubishi Ventures and many more. 

Startup Presentations

Two concurrent tracks: Life Science and Technology. Each track will have 12 company presentations (24 total) doing 3 minutes quick pitch presentations followed by 9 minutes of moderated Q&A led by a panel of investors and subject matter experts.

The largest showcase of university-based deep tech and life science startups

This is SoCal’s premiere gathering of the best startups emerging from the region’s top research institutions so it attracts the region’s community in a rare concentrated program that celebrates the entrepreneur’s journey from lab to market.

Workshop for startup founders (limited seats available)

Learn from subject matter experts in IP law and licensing best practices for protecting and monetizing intellectual property as well as early stage startup commercialization of deep tech and life science innovations. Featuring experts from Wilson Sonsini and USC.

Networking Reception

Stay for drinks and small bites as we celebrate and connect with attendees and speakers.

Free Parking

Parking is available in the Skirball’s North Parking garage, located underground at the north end of the Skirball's main driveway, approximately 150 yards north of our Main Entrance. Parking is also available in the East Parking garage, located across Sepulveda Blvd.

Alliance for SoCal Innovation

The Alliance for Southern California Innovation (the “Alliance”) is a not for profit formed in 2017 that has successfully brought together the heft of Southern California’s top research institutions, local business leaders, and world-class advisors to focus on bridging critical gaps in the SoCal innovation ecosystem. The goal of the Alliance is to engage and unify SoCal’s compelling diversity of talent, ideas, and perspectives in order to optimize the conditions for the region’s innovators to bring breakthroughs to the world. Alliance programs focus on developing and connecting SoCal’s diverse innovation communities while attracting new capital to Southern California by identifying, nurturing, and matching high potential startups to leading venture investors. By working together with community leaders, the Alliance will tackle more regional issues including retaining top STEM talent and growing the base of local institutional capital. Our efforts have the potential to generate 200k direct jobs and more than 1MM indirect jobs in Southern California.

Contact the Organizer

Andy Wilson
CEO
Alliance for SoCal Innovation

Andy is a leader in the Southern Californian innovation ecosystem and has started, led or invested in more than two dozen tech start-ups. In addition to leading the Alliance as Executive Director, he serves on the Burbank Airport board and is a former councilman for the City of Pasadena and he is a founder of Innovate Pasadena (www.innovatepasadena.org), which is dedicated to advancing the Eastside of Los Angeles as a vibrant innovation center for deep tech. Previously, as founder of Momentum Ventures, an early stage tech accelerator and venture fund, he personally led more than a half dozen SoCal tech start-ups and invested in almost a dozen others. He previously held senior executive roles (President, SVP Product, CIO, COO) at Overture Services/Yahoo!, RiverOne, Bowne & Co and RR Donnelley & Sons. He has extensive board experience in not-for-profit and community organizations such as Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena Heritage and STEAMCODERS. He is a regular speaker at entrepreneurs’ events and business schools and was named one of the 50 Most Innovative Men in the San Gabriel Valley. Andy holds an engineering degree with honors from Dartmouth College and received his MBA with a concentration in operations and technology management from Harvard Business School.

About Andy Wilson

CEO
Alliance for SoCal Innovation
Renee LaBran
Vice Chair
Alliance for SoCal Innovation

Renée LaBran is a board director, business advisor, and investor with 25+ years of executive management experience in both start-ups and major corporations, across a range of industries including technology, consumer products, and financial services. She is also a Qualified Financial Expert with audit committee experience. Ms. LaBran currently serves on the boards of B. Riley Financial (NASDAQ: RILY), where she is a member of the audit and governance committees, Iconic Sports Acquisition Corporation (NYSE: ICNC-UN), and Idealab (the longest running technology incubator). She is an active investor and advisor to early-stage companies (tech and consumer products), navigating new opportunities from the perspectives of both the disruptors and the disrupted. She is also an Adjunct Professor at UCLA Anderson Business School’s entrepreneurship program, and serves on the Advisory Board of Principia Growth, a late-stage growth fund. In 2015, Ms. LaBran was appointed by Governor Brown to the California State Bar Board of Trustees (responsible for regulation of CA attorneys) and was confirmed to two terms by the State Senate as a non-attorney public member. Ms. LaBran played a key role in the restructuring and turn-around of both the board and the organization and completed her tenure in December 2020. Ms. LaBran has been involved in the venture capital industry since 2000, initially as a founding partner of Rustic Canyon Partners (RCP), a technology focused VC fund. RCP also served as the launching pad for RC/Fontis, a growth stage fund focused on consumer products and business services. Prior to venture capital, Ms. LaBran held a variety of executive management positions at the Los Angeles Times and was a management consultant with Monitor Company US and Europe, working on corporate strategy projects for Fortune 500 companies. Ms. LaBran is an honors graduate of Harvard Business School and received her BA in Economics from UC Berkeley where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

About Renee LaBran

Vice Chair
Alliance for SoCal Innovation
Dave Van Buren
Mechanical Systems Engineer
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

Dave Van Buren is a principal engineer at JPL, where he works on technologies, instruments, and missions across the landscape of exploration: astrophysics, planetary sciences, and planet earth. He was trained as an astrophysicist at UC Berkeley before coming to JPL via the Space Telescope Science Institute, University of Toronto, California Institute of Technology, and General Electric's Global R&D Center where he worked on several medical physics products. He considers bringing transformative ideas into reality among the most important and challenging tasks of our time.

About Dave Van Buren

Mechanical Systems Engineer
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Michelle Easter
Mechatronic Engineer
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

Michelle Easter is a Mechatronics Engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), currently working as team lead for the Mars Sample Return (MSR) Capture, Containment, and Return System (CCRS) End Effector design and delivery. This robotic subsystem will perform on-orbit assembly of the Martian rock samples into their Earth-returning vehicle, so they may be safely brought to Earth for scientific research. Previously, Michelle supported anomaly investigation, for the robotic arm of the Sample Caching System as part of the Mars Perseverance Rover Strategic Surface Operations Team, and for the PIXL instrument onboard the rover. Early in her career at JPL, she was awarded the Charles Elachi Award for Early Career Achievement for her role as the Mechanical Lead for the Dual Drive Family of Actuators, where she managed simultaneous electromechanical actuator deliveries to four Earth science missions, including the SWOT, Sentinel-6, NISAR, and MAIA missions. At the onset of the COVID pandemic, Michelle joined the VITAL project, working as the Ventilator Test Lead and the Deputy Design Lead, ultimately wearing many hats to support the goal of making ventilators accessible to the global community. Inspired by the seemingly limitless impact of her STEM education on her own life, Michelle is passionate about mentoring others and supporting engineering outreach, including founding the non-profit Mind Makers, which is focused on making robotics education accessible and approachable for new learners of all backgrounds and ages.

https://mars.nasa.gov/people/profile/index.cfm?id=23210

About Michelle Easter

Mechatronic Engineer
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
David Bailey
Founding Partner
Kauth, Pomeroy, Peck & Bailey LLP

David's practice specializes in developing and enforcing IP portfolios on behalf of cutting edge technology companies and leading research universities including Caltech, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Stanford, and UCLA. David advises clients on a range of patent, copyright, trademark, and Internet related issues with an emphasis on: automatic speech recognition, computational imaging, computer architecture design, digital communication, digital signal processing, distributed computing and "big data" analysis, image and video processing, information theory, machine learning data sets, machine vision, natural language processing, perceptual computing, robotics, software engineering. David has extensive experience in guiding KPPB's clients through diligence processes associated with fundraising, acquisition and successful IPO. Among David’s current “portfolio” of clients are companies in the portfolios of Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Benchmark Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, the Facebook Fund, Globespan Capital Partners, Google Ventures, Granite Venture Partners, InnoCal Venture Capital, Intel Capital, InterWest Partners, In-Q-Tel, Oak Investment Partners, Momentum Venture Management, O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, Red Rock Ventures, Rincon Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and Silicon Valley Bank. David’s practice also involves deep engagement with the copyright system, and he has a specific expertise in the enforcement and registration of software, machine learning data sets and databases, and in negotiating industry standards-based licenses. David also represents the Los Angeles Philharmonic on a pro bono basis with respect to intellectual property matters. PRACTICE AREAS Copyright IP Due Diligence Licensing & Terms Of Use Litigation Patent Protection Trademark Protection Trade Secrets University Tech Transfer VC Counseling EDUCATION The University of Melbourne, Bachelor of Electrical (Computer) Engineering (Honors) The University of Melbourne, Bachelor of Laws (Honors) BAR ADMISSIONS California State Bar New York State Bar United States Patent and Trademark Office

https://www.kppb.com/david-bailey

About David Bailey

Founding Partner
Kauth, Pomeroy, Peck & Bailey LLP
Dr. Scott Fraser
Elizabeth Garrett Chair in Convergent Bioscience & Director of Science Initiatives at USC
USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience

Professor Scott E. Fraser has a long-standing commitment to quantitative biology, applying the tools of chemistry, engineering, and physics to problems in biology and medicine. His personal research centers on imaging and molecular analyses of intact biological systems, with an emphasis on early development, organogenesis, and medical diagnostics. After training in physics (B.S., Harvey Mudd College, 1976) and biophysics (Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1979), he joined the faculty at UC Irvine, and rose through the ranks to become Chair of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. In 1990 he moved to Caltech to serve as the Anna L. Rosen Professor of Biology, and the Director of the Biological Imaging Center. He is deeply committed to interdisciplinary training and translational research, having helped found the Caltech Brain Imaging Center and the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, as well as serving as the Director of the Rosen Center for Biological Engineering. In Fall 2012, he moved to USC to take a Provost Professorship in the Dornsife College of Letters Arts and Sciences, the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Keck School of Medicine and the Viterbi School of Engineering. He remains active in interdisciplinary research and serves as the Director of Science Initiatives for the USC campuses.

About Dr. Scott Fraser

Elizabeth Garrett Chair in Convergent Bioscience & Director of Science Initiatives at USC
USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience
Dr. Francesco Coutrale
CEO
Kulia Labs

About Dr. Francesco Coutrale

CEO
Kulia Labs
Debbie Lin, Ph.D.
VP Strategic Partnerships
Caris Life Sciences

Dr. Debbie Lin is VP of Partnerships at Caris Life Sciences. She has over 14 years of business leadership experience in multinational environments, including the US, Europe and Asia. Debbie’s forte is new business model strategy, business development, venture capital in healthcare and medtech with a focus on scientific product development, value proposition refinement, and market access. Previously, Debbie served in various roles at Boehringer Ingelheim. As Executive Director for Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Debbie was accountable for digital health investments, board directorship and digital health strategy in North America. Before her role at the Venture Fund, she was Global Director of Corporate Development where she crafted new business models for healthcare in major global markets. She has also held operational roles in field-based Health Economics and Medical Affairs working with national payers, regional providers and opinion leaders. She supported more than 5 drug launches and a variety of disease indications. Debbie is an Adjunct Faculty Advisor at UCLA Anderson School of Business and a mentor at Stanford’s MedicineX and NYU’s Endless Frontier Labs. Debbie holds a PhD, Bioinformatics Pharmacogenomics from University of California, San Francisco and a Master’s degree and MSc Engineering degree from Stanford University School of Engineering.

About Debbie Lin, Ph.D.

VP Strategic Partnerships
Caris Life Sciences
Maysam Pessian
Associate
Wilson Sonsini

Maysam Pessian is an associate in the Century City office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. His practice focuses on patent prosecution and intellectual property counseling, serving clients in a wide range of technology fields, including the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology industries. During law school, Maysam was an extern for licensing officers in the Invention Transfer Group at UC Irvine Applied Innovation. In this role, he performed a wide range of tasks, including preparing patentability and marketability reports on UC Irvine-owned technology; preparing targeted research reports on various private companies as a part of campus outreach efforts for collaboration; and drafting term sheets for technology licensing agreements and inter-institutional agreements. In addition, Maysam worked at the Domestic Violence Clinic at UC Irvine, where he represented victims of domestic violence in various proceedings and hearings to obtain temporary restraining orders, favorable financial terms, and permanent restraining orders in California Family Court. Before embarking on his legal career, Maysam acquired extensive experience in immunology and neurobiology. Previously, he worked at an early-stage research company, where his work focused on various cancer vaccines and immunotherapies—specifically vaccina virus-derived oncolytic virus combination therapies. During graduate school, his research focused on the remodeling of the nervous system and functional recovery after spinal cord injury—specifically the effects of modulating Wnt-Ryk signaling. As an undergraduate, Maysam volunteered at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center as a research assistant in Boris Minev's laboratory, where he researched nanoparticle-delivered cancer vaccines.

https://www.wsgr.com/en/people/maysam-pessian.html

About Maysam Pessian

Associate
Wilson Sonsini
Ruben Saaib-Flores
Academic Startups, Venture Capital and Corporate Business Development Lead
General Inception

General Inception partners with inventors to ignite innovation and create transformational companies. We are co-founders bringing together domain expertise, seasoned executive talent, infrastructure resources, and capital to nurture company growth from inception.

About Ruben Saaib-Flores

Academic Startups, Venture Capital and Corporate Business Development Lead
General Inception
Matthew Bresnahan
Partner
Wilson Sonsini

Leader of the Southern California IP Counseling and Patent Strategy Practice?Matt and his team of more than 30 San Diego-based patent attorneys and patent agents are outside IP counsel to over 50 life sciences companies within the biotechnology, therapeutic, genomics, and medical device fields in Southern California.? Legal Advisor to Innovative Life Sciences Companies in Southern California?Matt represents the likes of public companies Prometheus Biosciences (RXDX), RxSight (RXST), DermTech (DMTK), ImmunityBio (IBRX),  Oncternal Therapeutics (ONCT), Scopus Biopharma (SCPS), and NantHealth (NH) in key IP strategy, patent prosecution, and IP matters related to public company offering and SEC reporting.? Thought Leadership?Matt is a member of the Board of Governors of Biocom California, a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of San Diego School of Law, an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of San Diego School of Law, where he has taught patent law for the past eight years, and he serves an advisor on medtech issues for the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Cal Poly.

https://www.wsgr.com/en/people/matthew-j-bresnahan.html

About Matthew Bresnahan

Partner
Wilson Sonsini
Krisztina "Z" Holly
Operating Partner at Good Growth Capital
Good Growth Capital

Krisztina Holly (AKA ‘Z’) is an MIT-trained engineer and serial tech entrepreneur who has been scouting, connecting and investing in early stage deep tech innovators for nearly two decades. She is an Operating Partner for Good Growth Capital and Founder and CEO of At Large and Dangerous LLC. She’s best known as curator of the first-ever TEDx and the founder of pioneering centers at MIT and USC, which invested more than $5M in early stage ideas and launched 39 venture-backed startups from university research. Z has deep technical roots and extensive operating experience (Stylus Innovation, Direct Hit, Jeeves Solutions) and has been advisor and board member to two dozen organizations globally, including the Obama Administration and World Economic Forum. When she’s not scouting undiscovered innovators, you’ll find her writing, exploring the southland by small airplane, skiing the eastern sierra backcountry, and building temporary airports in the desert. She lives and adventures from her home base of Los Angeles.

About Krisztina "Z" Holly

Operating Partner at Good Growth Capital
Good Growth Capital
Casey Rieder
CEO
Magic 8 Group

Casey is a financial leader who has been active in the startup & innovation ecosystem for nearly 2 decades. Over that time, he has founded, led and advised more than 50 startups. He is a fractional CFO, the owner of a boutique financial consultancy (magic8group.com), a startup mentor, & an angel investor. Casey has run sales & finance teams for companies in sectors ranging from clean energy to hardware development to developer tools. Prior to creating Magic 8 Group, Casey led the project finance team at Geodis, a global logistics company. Casey started his career as a professional musician and ethnographer. He left to start his first company - a biotech data analytics consultancy - which he exited after 3 years of operations. He has since been an active mentor in nearly a dozen accelerators focused on cleantech, sustainability, and hardware. Casey holds a music degree with honors from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Fox School of Business.

https://www.magic8group.com/

About Casey Rieder

CEO
Magic 8 Group

Maryann has over 15 years of experience in the clinical diagnostics space bringing medical devices and clinical tests from bench to bedside. As a healthcare executive and test developer her expertise spans preclinical biomarker discovery to launching regulated diagnostic tests for multiple startups. She previously served as SVP Clinical Chemistry R&D at Curative, driving the development of innovative clinical laboratory developed tests across multiple analytical platforms. Prior to that, she was Director of Strategic Scientific Initiatives at Ellison Institute of USC, where she managed strategic external corporate and academic partnerships with a primary focus on new technologies, therapeutics, treatment strategies, and improved diagnostics.?Maryann earned a B.S. in Biochemistry from Loyola Marymount University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UCLA.

About Maryann Vogelsang, Ph.D.

Consultant
.
Tulsi Patel
Head of Los Angeles Office
Fedtech

Tulsi is Fedtech’s Head of Los Angeles Office where she oversees innovation programming including the launch of a multi-year ecosystem initiative with the US Navy to include  startup studios, accelerators, and entrepreneurship training. Previously, she was the Director of Innovation and Partnerships at VentureFuel where she ran innovation programs for Fortune 500 companies and led executive briefings focused on blue ocean opportunities and startup partnerships.  Prior to VentureFuel, she was a Senior Associate at Plug and Play Ventures where she led investments and built 4+ accelerator programs. During her time, Tulsi worked with 100+ global clients that include PepsiCo, Arcelor Mittal, Swiss Post, Tetra Pak, BASF, Ajinomoto, Georgia Pacific, Coca-Cola, Sherwin Williams, and Dominion Energy. As a result, Tulsi has cultivated a nuanced skillset and extensive network of technology and innovation enthusiasts – including top tier investors, Fortune 500 companies, and emerging startups.   Tulsi holds a B.A. in Sociology (with honors) from UCLA and a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University School of Law.

About Tulsi Patel

Head of Los Angeles Office
Fedtech
Leen Kawas, Ph.D.
Managing General Partner
Propel Bio Partners

Dr. Kawas brings her deep expertise to the fund, helping to assess life sciences opportunities by drawing on her experiences in drug discovery, operation, clinical trial methodologies, regulatory strategies, commercialization, and financing. These skills were instrumental to her success as the former CEO of Athira Pharma as well as her ability to raise about $400 million and lead the company through an IPO. They will continue to serve her well in her role as Managing General Partner for Propel Bio Partners. Dr. Kawas has won many awards and recognitions for her leadership and accomplishments including: Endpoints 20(+1) under 40 (2021), Life Science Entrepreneurial Achievement Award (2020), French-American Foundation Leader (2019), Alzheimer’s Cure Coin Award (2019), Biospace 7 Millennial Influencers in the Biotech Industry (2019), GeekWire Startup CEO of the Year (2019), 40 under 40 in Life Science Leader (2017), PharmaVOICE 100 honoree (2017), Association of Washington Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2016), EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women (2016), Puget Sound Business Journal 40 under 40 Award (2016), EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist (2016), and GeekWire Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist (2016). She was named one of Seattle’s Most Influential People by Seattle Magazine and one of the Women to Watch in Life Sciences by the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association in 2015. Dr. Kawas serves on multiple boards, including the Life Science Washington Board, the Scientific Review Board for the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, and the Alzheimer’s Association‘s Washington Chapter Board. She also served as the co-chair of the International Alzheimer’s Association Business Consortium and was on the Washington Governor’s Life Science Advisory Board. She is also part of the Springboard Network and is a passionate supporter of scientist entrepreneurs, in particular women.

About Leen Kawas, Ph.D.

Managing General Partner
Propel Bio Partners
Beth A. Andrews
Chief Digital Health Officer, Healthcare & Life Sciences
Dell Technologies

Beth Andrews is Chief Digital Health Officer, Healthcare & Life Sciences Global Alliances leading innovation and technology adoption, meeting customer needs across the healthcare and life sciences landscape.  She serves as industry SME positioning the Dell Technologies solution partner portfolio to support customer innovation.  Beth is leader of Life Sciences Business Development supporting infrastructure and analytics needs in drug discovery, research, clinical trials Before joining Dell, Beth spent over 20 years in healthcare & life sciences product development, business development and emerging technology leadership roles in both start-up’s and F500 global organizations.  She helped develop one of the earliest commercialized wearable sensor digital therapeutics patches at Avery Dennison partnered with Silicon Valley companies in the early “mHealth” days.  As a member of the senior leadership team, she led commercialization at Zephyr Technology, a wearable sensor start-up company acquired by Covidien.   As an entrepreneur her leadership in the earliest start-ups and technology companies comprising the mHealth space helped to pioneer and establish the new segment, Digital Health.   Beth’s sector experience includes medical devices, wearable sensors, software, informatics, computer vision and AI/ML with a focus in digital health, virtual care, life sciences and clinical research. Active in accelerators & incubators, in 2020 she led virtual cardiac rehab provider, Moving Analytics’ MassChallenge Healthtech 2020 Cohort participation to win the Accelerator’s Platinum Award and the AMA’s ROI Model Award.  Beth was also a finalist in the Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge at the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business in 2002. As an intrapreneur Beth also held several F500 medical device innovation leadership roles commercializing remote patient monitoring software and informatics solutions partnering with some of the largest US health systems.

About Beth A. Andrews

Chief Digital Health Officer, Healthcare & Life Sciences
Dell Technologies
Ken Hayes
Cleantech Open
Executive Director

Ken Hayes helps start-ups grow, get funded and build value. He joined Cleantech Open in 2017 as Executive Director with US National and Global responsibilities for this established environmental-tech startup accelerator, working with 100 companies per year assisting them gain funding and establish corporate partnerships. Concurrently, he is Co-founder and Venture Partner of Canyon Creek Capital's Fund II, a VC fund focused on SoCal tech companies from Seed to Series A, with 40+ investments since 2014, including early investments in companies such as Miso Robotics, Relativity Space, FIGS and Jukin Media. He is also a Director Emeritus of the Pasadena Angels, one of the Top 10 angel groups in the US, where he continues to focus on deal sourcing, mentoring entrepreneurs, and performing due diligence. Finally, Ken is a "recovering entrepreneur" who has built and sold several companies in Europe and the USA, in the ed-tech and ad-tech sectors. He earned an MBA at INSEAD, France, and a BA Economics at Pomona College.

About Ken Hayes

Cleantech Open
Executive Director
Eric Lee
Senior Vice President
Aligned Climate Capital

Eric Lee is a Senior Vice President with Aligned Climate Capital, an asset manager that invests exclusively in the companies and real assets that are decarbonizing the global economy and its infrastructure. In this role, Eric leads Aligned’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) analysis of climate infrastructure and venture capital investment opportunities.    Previously, Eric was an investment professional at TriLinc Global, a global impact investing fund manager based in Los Angeles, CA. At TriLinc, Eric led the firm’s ESG & Impact efforts across all portfolios and served as a member of TriLinc’s Credit Committee and Sustainability & Impact Committee. Prior to TriLinc, Mr. Lee worked at Sustainable Insight Capital Management, an ESG public equities fund based in New York, NY.    Mr. Lee holds a B.S. from Cornell University and a M.S. in Sustainability Management with a concentration in Sustainable Finance from Columbia University.

About Eric Lee

Senior Vice President
Aligned Climate Capital
Allen Keel
Senior Director, Innovation Advanced Technology
Edwards Lifesciences

Allen currently serves as the Senior Director of Innovation for Edwards Lifesciences’ Advanced Technology Incubator. In his role, he brings marketing, engineering, and clinical functions together to discover and build the next wave of groundbreaking products for the future of Edwards, leading a team to build and implement the strategy for needs-driven innovation. The incubator is deeply dedicated to solving complex challenges in order to transform cardiovascular treatment and significantly improve patients’ lives around the world. Prior to Edwards, Allen spent time in product management and R&D roles in various medtech industries ranging from digital health (Verily / Google Life Sciences) to cardiac rhythm management (St. Jude Medical), as well as a stint in management consulting with PwC’s medtech strategy & operations practice. In terms of educational background, he holds an MBA from UC-Berkeley (Haas School of Business) and MS/BS in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

About Allen Keel

Senior Director, Innovation Advanced Technology
Edwards Lifesciences
Lucy Abgaryan, Ph.D., MBA
Co-Founder & CEO
Grittgene

Dr. Lucy Abgaryan is a scientist, and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in drug development. She obtained her doctoral degree in Biophysics and conducted postdoctoral research in the field of Experimental Medicine at The Scripps Research institute. Her team’s research resulted in an FDA-approved drug, Ozanimod at a Scripps spin-off, Receptos.  Subsequently, two more compounds laid the basis for Blackthorn biotherapeutics (now part of Neumora Therapeutics, Inc), drug candidates for Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials. This prompted her to continue her education at UCSD in pursuit of an MBA in Innovation and entrepreneurship.  For the last 5 years, she has been involved in the formation of several startup companies (Biotech, digital-tech, Bioprinting, etc.) in the US, Armenia, and Israel where she performs business strategy developments, operations, market entries, as well as regulations advisory. She founded/co-founded 4 science-based organizations including Proone Labs and GrittGene Therapeutics where she is also the CEO. Dr. Abgaryan is an adviser and/or board member for several tech/biotech companies, investment institutions & educational organizations.

About Lucy Abgaryan, Ph.D., MBA

Co-Founder & CEO
Grittgene
JC Ruffalo
Venture Partner
Cove Fund

J.C. Ruffalo is a Venture Partner at Cove Fund, which is a seed-stage venture capital fund that provides startup funding for promising new Southern California ventures. Prior to joining Cove Fund, J.C. was the Director of LaunchPad and Investor Relations at Octane.  During his Octane tenure, J.C. advised and assisted thousands of companies in a wide range of innovative technology industries successfully attain strategic goals. These companies raised over $2 billion in capital and realized over $2.6 billion in M&A. Of the more than 10,000 high-paying technology jobs created, 85% were in Southern California. These companies include Hyperice, Bonti, EV Connect, AtaCor Medical and Enevate. J.C. believes that nurturing and maintaining strong relationships between entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors is key in successful venture partnerships. J.C. received a BS in in Entrepreneurship and Finance, and a minor in Economics from Chapman University Argyros School of Business in 2011.

About JC Ruffalo

Venture Partner
Cove Fund
Duncan Huston-Paterson
Senior Manager, Business Development
Amgen

Duncan Huston-Paterson is a member of the Technology Business Development group. Duncan focuses on scouting and deal-making to access innovative technologies and platforms that enable the next generation of therapeutics at Amgen. Prior to joining Amgen in 2020, Duncan spent 4 years at Integral Molecular where he led a team that developed, launched, and commercialized a novel target discovery platform, resulting in multiple partnerships with large Pharma. Duncan grew up in South Africa and completed his early scientific training at University of Pretoria, before going on to receive his DPhil at Oxford University in the UK, where he studied the biochemical determinants of bird flu transmission to humans.

About Duncan Huston-Paterson

Senior Manager, Business Development
Amgen
Alex Andrianopoulos
Chief Research and Development Officer
Kairos

Alex leads the team of investment analysts at Kairos that conducts research and due diligence on all the companies we consider to invest in, either through incubation or Series-A funds. Alex joined Kairos with 20+ years of experience at high-tech companies specializing in enterprise software, ranging in size from startups with a handful of employees to behemoths with tens of thousands of employees. In these companies, Alex led global teams of dozens of employees responsible for product strategy, intellectual property protection, engineering, professional services, sales, marketing, and business development, and actively participated in the efforts to close, and successfully closed, multiple rounds of financing by venture capital firms as well as the public markets. Moreover, while at Oracle, Alex led the research and strategic alignment efforts for numerous acquisitions ranging in value from a few tens of millions to billions of dollars. Alex has a degree in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Computer Engineering and an MBA in Finance and Marketing.

About Alex Andrianopoulos

Chief Research and Development Officer
Kairos
Thea Pham
Associate
OCV

Thea is passionate about promoting biotechnology innovation through her entrepreneurial drive and scientific expertise. Prior to OCV, Thea was cofounder and CEO of U-Defi, a consumer biotechnology startup that offers personalized skincare based on skin biomarkers and artificial intelligence. She was the winner of UCLA’s 2018 Knapp Venture Competition and featured in Los Angeles Business Journal “20 in Their 20s” entrepreneurs 2019. As a member of the UCLA Business of Science center and the only UCLA student to be nominated to the UCLA Technology Development Group Oversight Committee, Thea worked closely with UCLA leadership on strategic planning of the university’s IP portfolio management and commercialization. Thea conducted her Ph.D. research in the lab of Dr. S. Thomas Carmichael, Chair of Neurology at UCLA; her work focused in mapping the brain perivascular cell connectome to promote neural repair. Prior to UCLA, Thea was a research assistant at the University of Oxford and completed research internships at Baylor College of Medicine and UC San Diego. Thea is a Ph.D. Candidate in Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology at UCLA and holds a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences from Texas A&M University (summa cum laude). Thea is originally from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

About Thea Pham

Associate
OCV
Kyle Adkins
Partner, Investments
FullCycle

Kyle Adkins is a Partner at FullCycle and a senior member of the investment team.  He is based in Los Angeles, CA and brings with him well over a decade of institutional investing experience working at market-leading firms investing in technology from late-stage private equity to early minority growth equity.   Prior to joining FullCycle, he worked at Savano Capital Partners, a $250M growth equity firm, where he focused primarily on automation and digital infrastructure, industrial technology, and the transformation of work.  While at Savano, he invested in a number of market-leading companies that are today worth $25B+ of enterprise value including 1 IPO and 3 M&A exits to date. Earlier in his career, he spent time at several funds where focused on technology and industrial investing including Golden Gate Capital, The Halifax Group, and Signal Lake as well as working in investment banking at J.P. Morgan in their Technology, Media, and Telecom group. Kyle earned a S.B. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science with minors in Management and Political Science.

About Kyle Adkins

Partner, Investments
FullCycle
Howard Ko
Investment Partner
Morpheus

Howard is a Partner with Morpheus Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Los Angeles that focuses on early stage technology investments. He currently serves as a Board Director of Ingenious.Build, RIZE, and Tagnos as well as a Board Observer at Morpheus Space, Rugged Robotics, RIOS and RapidDeploy. Howard was previously with Mission Ventures, a leading Southern California early stage venture capital firm. While at Mission he focused on investments in software, wireless technologies and semiconductors. Prior to Mission, he was with Salomon Smith Barney in their Technology Investment Banking Group where he was involved in over $3 billion of public and private financings and M&A. Howard has served as co-chair of the San Diego Telecom Council Wireless Infrastructure Group. He was a member of the Board of Reviewers for the San Diego based Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technology, an organization funded by the Department of Defense. Howard holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from UCLA and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

About Howard Ko

Investment Partner
Morpheus
David Whelan
Chief Executive Officer
BioscienceLA

David J. Whelan serves as Chief Executive Officer of BioscienceLA. Having spent 20 years in Los Angeles, he is passionate about leading the growth of a vibrant ecosystem that will create new opportunities for all stakeholders. Dave is a seasoned strategy, business development, and general management executive, building businesses and inspiring entrepreneurs at the intersection of technology, health, and wellness. His experience spans genomics, wearables, digital health, consumer health services, wellness and nutrition, enterprise health services, and healthcare providers, among other areas. He was an integral part of the creation of New York Genome Center, a unique not-for-profit scientific research institute, where he served as Senior Vice President, Business Development & Chief Strategy Officer. Recent engagements include incubating a digital health and media start-up, steering a multi-year strategic and financial plan for a leading synthetic biology organization, launching a cancer diagnostic spinoff from a leading hospital, and developing a market assessment and strategic plan for an innovative integrative healthcare research institute. Dave has spent many years as a start-up advisor, mentor, and judge with organizations like Larta Institute, Cedars-Sinai Accelerator, and Women Founders Network. His experience also includes product management and channel strategy for a division of 24 Hour Fitness, where he helped to launch one of the first fitness wearables. Earlier in his career, he spent over six years as a retained executive search consultant. Dave began his career with a biotechnology incubator in San Francisco. He holds an MBA with Honors from the UCLA Anderson School and a BS in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University, and he remains very involved in alumni activities with both schools. He also studied at London Business School and Carnegie Mellon University. He has held a Top Secret Security Clearance.

About David Whelan

Chief Executive Officer
BioscienceLA
Idan Levy
Principal Investor
Watertower

Idan is a Principal Investor at Watertower Ventures, joining the firm in 2018 as one of the first hires. He started his career at General Electric (GE) in their IT Leadership Program where he migrated GE’s first application to public cloud infrastructure. He then moved on to Slalom Consulting where he focused on innovation and cutting-edge technology projects for his clients. During this time, he also helped launch a productivity platform business which continues to operate today. Idan’s passion for market innovation, start-ups and problem solving ultimately led him to Watertower Ventures where he contributes to all components of the business including sourcing investment opportunities, due diligence, internal operations, portfolio management and more.??Idan has a BS from Cornell University’s College of Engineering and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

About Idan Levy

Principal Investor
Watertower
Brian Wayne
Director
Aegon Asset Management

Brian is the Director of the Impact Venture Credit program at Aegon Asset Management, with a thesis around investing in companies solving the world’s most pressing issues related to the environment and society. Purpose: better the planet + people via technologies across areas of the built environment, decarbonization, electrification and advanced materials. Brian joined Aegon in 2017 to lead the design, development, and scaling of numerous global investment businesses, with a specific emphasis on sustainability and impact-related solutions and is the co-chair of Aegon’s US Social Responsibility Committee. Prior to Aegon, Brian spent a decade at Congress Asset Management in Boston investing in private equity and venture capital and was head of product strategy, deploying in excess of $1 billion across innovative ventures. Brian is an expert advisor at AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles, a member of The Milken Institute’s Young Leaders Circle and a startup mentor to the gener8tor sustainability program.

About Brian Wayne

Director
Aegon Asset Management
Neal Okarter
Investment Manager
BASF Venture Capital

Neal Okarter joined BASF Venture Capital in 2021. Neal spent more than six years with BASF Management Consulting, the internal management consultancy of the BASF Group. At BASF Management Consulting, Neal led several projects related to Marketing & Sales, Growth & Innovation, Transformational Change, Organizational Restructuring, and Mergers & Acquisition (Post-Merger Integration & Carve Out). Prior to BASF, Neal worked as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry. Neal earned his BS in Nutrition, Food, and Agriculture, and PhD in Molecular Nutrition and Cell Biology from Cornell University, and his MBA from Rutgers Business School.

About Neal Okarter

Investment Manager
BASF Venture Capital
Jeff Diamond
Investor
Fika Ventures

About Jeff Diamond

Investor
Fika Ventures
Saurabh Suri
Managing Partner
CerraCap Ventures

Saurabh Suri is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at CerraCap Ventures. He has over 20 years of experience in the technology industry focused on creating, growing and sustaining technology products and solutions in a global operations environment; having lived and worked in 4 continents. Prior to founding CerraCap, he served as Vice President for Emerging Solutions at UST Global where he conceived & led UST's investment arm and launched its Cyber Security subsidiary. With the approach of turning ideas into value, Saurabh has pioneered several models for startup growth and investing centered around unique value-driven approaches; producing significant returns. Saurabh has also helped Fortune 500 organizations establish and run highly successful innovation units. With a specific focus of investing in Cyber Security, Enterprise AI and Healthcare, he has several published articles, whitepapers and talks on the applications of these technologies in the enterprise space. Saurabh has a degree in Neuro-computation and a research background in High Performance Computing from the UK. Saurabh has helped mentor and grown several successful tech companies where he serves as an advisor and board member.

About Saurabh Suri

Managing Partner
CerraCap Ventures
Lital Gilad-Shaoulian
CEO, Founder
PurposeBio

Lital Gilad-Shaoulian is CEO and Founder of Purpose Bio. She brings eminent experience in building and executing company strategy, recognizing, hiring and cultivating world class teams, achieving massive revenue growth, leading fundraising, M&A, partnerships and licensing strategic deals. Lital’s career spans over 25 years in SaaS technology companies, from startup disruptors that have exited, to global public market leaders in the S&P 500. Prior companies include Cisco Systems, EMC, LivePerson, NICE Systems and more, with business conducted in EMEA and the U.S. Her overall career book of business is nearing $1 Billion.  In 2020, after a successful career in High-Tech, Lital decided to embark on a new path, leveraging her skills in searching for a purposeful way to make a positive impact on human health.  She spent a few months as an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at The Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, CA, where she started building Purpose Bio. Lital has an LL.B bachelors of Law degree from The Academic Center of Law and Science in Israel and an MBA from The University of London in England. From 1995-1997 she served in the Israeli Defense Force in the Intelligence Force.  In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her 4 kids and husband, and expanding her knowledge in life science discovery and research.   PurposeBio is a Synthetic Biology Platform, out of UCLA, developing First-In-Class FDA Approved Therapeutics for Massive Cardiometabolic Unmet Needs, markets of over $100 Billion and over 2 Billion adults affected.  By engineering proprietary novel therapeutics, PurposeBio is targeting the major Mechanism Of Action responsible for Lipid Metabolism in the host.  Purpose Bio is the first and only platform to be able to target and modulate this key and critical MOA.  First indications are Hyperlipidemia and NAFLD/NASH. with exclusive anqor technology from UCLA and Composition of Matter IP Portfolio, fully owned by PurposeBio. PurposeBio is on a mission to positively affect the lives and health of over 40% of adults globally.   Strategic partnerships with world leading scientists and labs at UCLA, Johns Hopkins and The Weizmann Institute.

https://www.purposebio.com/

About Lital Gilad-Shaoulian

CEO, Founder
PurposeBio
Bharath Takulapalli
Founder & CEO
INanoBio Inc

The DNA sequencing market is projected to grow exponentially over the next decade, driven by clinical genomics and diagnostics to reach $37B by 2027. INanoBio is developing a semiconductor nanopore technology for sequencing the DNA 1000x faster than the current state-of-the-art NGS and protein nanopore sequencing products, at 1/10 the cost. The novel solid-state nanopore technology is termed Field Effect Nanopore Transistor (FENT), conceived for the sole purpose of sequencing biopolymers such as DNA, RNA and proteins. We invented a new kind of vertical 3D transistor that has a nanopore at its center, for DNA to pass through. To be able to sense and sequence DNA, state-of-the-art commercial protein nanopore and ion-current sequencers are forced to slow down the DNA by 1000-fold, from native speeds of million bases per second to thousand bases per second. INanoBio’s FENT is a revolutionary device designed to overcome these limitations, using transistor electron-current to sense and sequence DNA as it passes through the pore at high-speeds of up to million bases per second, per pore (without needing to slow it down). We have raised $15M from seed investors and DARPA that has supported successful fabrication of FENT transistor prototypes with 50 nm nanopores. Next steps include reducing FENT nanopore diameter, testing multiple sequencing chemistries and demonstrating sequencing of DNA. Our ultimate vision is to deliver a final-generation solid-state nanopore sequencer capable of sequencing the whole genome with better than Q40 accuracy at < $25, inclusive of all costs.

https://www.inanobio.com

About Bharath Takulapalli

Founder & CEO
INanoBio Inc
Andrew Schombs
COO & Co-Founder
Nininger Medical, Inc.

We are developing a novel material for use in heart valve replacement devices. Using nitinol thin film, we are able to solve several of the key challenges that affect other heart valve materials, like pericardium or artificial polymer leaflets. This material would eliminate the calcification that affects pericardial tissue valves and limits their lifetime-- preventing the need for re-operation, especially in younger patients. It would also be eight to ten times thinner than pericardium or polymer leaflets, allowing for a smaller delivery catheter and creating a transcatheter option for many patients. Finally, the production method would eliminate most of the hand-sewing involved in valve assembly-- a process that can take up to 20 hours under a microscope for each device using pericardial technology! Our first device using this material will be a novel Transcatheter Tricuspid Valve Replacement (TTVR) device. This product will address the 1.6 million patients in the US alone who don't currently have any good treatment option for their Tricuspid Regurgitation, a debilitating and life-threatening condition. Our novel 3-D thin film design will allow us to solve several of the key challenges that has been hampering development of a TTVR so far, such as the large size of the tricuspid valve, which makes it difficult to design a TTVR that can be crimped small enough to fit within a catheter for delivery using older material technologies. Because of the several clear advantages, this patent pending high tech material would replace the material currently used in other devices across the heart valve market, including aortic, mitral, and pulmonary valve devices— representing a global market of over $20 billion by 2031.

https://niningermed.com

About Andrew Schombs

COO & Co-Founder
Nininger Medical, Inc.
Shreya Sirivolu
Medical Consultant
Olmeda Biosciences

The current diagnostic methods for intraocular diseases, including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and uveal melanoma, often rely on imaging-based measurements, which may not provide a definitive diagnosis or precise treatment plan. This results in unmet needs for accurate and personalized diagnosis, leading to ineffective or suboptimal treatments for patients suffering from these debilitating conditions. Our solution is to introduce precise and personalized molecular testing methods for intraocular diseases. By analyzing the biomarkers present in the aqueous humor, a clear fluid produced in the eye, we can provide clinicians with a more accurate and personalized approach to treating patients with these diseases. This innovative diagnostic technology has the potential to revolutionize the field of ophthalmology and improve patient outcomes by providing more precise and effective treatments. Additionally, this technology has the potential to facilitate the development of ocular drugs. With more accurate and personalized diagnostic methods, drug developers can more effectively target the specific biomarkers associated with intraocular diseases, ultimately leading to the development of more effective treatments. Our goal is to collaborate with leading ophthalmologists and healthcare providers to bring this groundbreaking technology to market and improve the lives of patients suffering from intraocular diseases and blindness. Say goodbye to uncertain diagnoses and hello to personalized treatments with in vivo molecular testing for intraocular diseases.

About Shreya Sirivolu

Medical Consultant
Olmeda Biosciences
Sina Haeri
Founder
Hemorai

Hemorai enables clinicians to extend acute care to the patient’s home via reliable continuous monitoring of clinical parameters. We provide solutions that overall reduce the healthcare spend, while expanding access to care. Hemora has developed portable, non-invasive, and affordable device that measures blood flow, oxygenation, and tissue metabolism in real time. Harnessing the power of optical spectroscopy, our device offers unparalleled accuracy in monitoring physiological parameters, ensuring optimal patient care and safety. Experience the benefits of overcoming current technology limitations, such as motion artifacts and poor perfusion, with our cutting-edge solution.

https://hemorai.com

About Sina Haeri

Founder
Hemorai
Demian Willette
Founder and CEO
Species Tracks

Seafood fraud, illegal fishing, and fisheries mismanagement threaten the entire global seafood supply chain, with illegal fishing alone costing up to $36 billion globally each year. For the seafood industry who seek to increase supply chain transparency and reduce risk of fraud, Species Tracks partners with mid-chain vendors to deliver DNA-based product verification for responsible seafood sourcing. Our Mission is to leverage innovative DNA-based monitoring technologies to deliver the impartial identity of seafood, which increases customer trust in seafood, enhances the reputation of vendors, eases the burden of regulatory compliance, and protects the livelihoods of those following the rules. Our Technology combines our patented wastewater sampling device with environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding analytics, creating an impartial, use-inspired identification tool. Species Tracks has been co-designed with an extensive global network of partners and is well-positioned to transform seafood industry traceability practices. Our Team embraces convergence research, breaking down silos that hold back innovation in seafood traceability. Our leadership team unites knowledge and expertise from the fields of fisheries science & policy, molecular genetics, systems engineering, process improvement, and computer science to create one shared mission. Our team works with professionals from academia to expand our knowhow and relies on a mutually beneficial partnership with a consortium of CEOs and Chief Sustainability Officers at 10 U.S. seafood companies, among others, who provide insight in the global seafood marketplace, with a commitment of several to participate in beta-testing our tool in 2023.

About Demian Willette

Founder and CEO
Species Tracks
Antonio Gil
Founder
Phlytech

At Phlytech, we are dedicated to creating a sustainable solution for animal feed production by utilizing black soldier fly (BSF) larvae. Our approach is based on a circular economy, which means we aim to minimize waste and make the most of resources by repurposing organic waste as valuable feedstock for our insect-based feed. Here's how our process works: Collection of organic waste: We collect organic waste materials from various sources such as food processing facilities, supermarkets, and restaurants. This waste would otherwise end up in landfills, where it would decompose and produce harmful greenhouse gases. Rearing BSF larvae: We feed the collected organic waste to black soldier fly larvae, which are voracious eaters and can efficiently convert this waste into biomass. These larvae have a high protein content, making them an ideal candidate for animal feed. Harvesting and processing: Once the BSF larvae reach their optimal size, we harvest and process them into a protein-rich meal. This meal can be used as a sustainable and nutritious feed for animals like fish and livestock. Our solution offers several environmental benefits compared to traditional animal feed sources like fishmeal and soy. By using insect-based feed, we help reduce deforestation and overfishing, which are significant environmental concerns associated with conventional feed production. Additionally, BSF larvae require less feed to produce the same amount of protein as other animals, making them a more resource-efficient option. Furthermore, our closed-loop system prevents the release of pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorus into the environment, reducing water pollution and eutrophication. The feed we produce also has antibacterial properties, which can help reduce the need for antibiotics in agriculture, ultimately promoting a healthier ecosystem for animals and humans. By providing a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional animal feed, Phlytech aims to make a positive impact on the environment, local communities, and the global food system.

https://www.phlytech.com/

About Antonio Gil

Founder
Phlytech
Nicholas Genovese
Founder
A-New Bio, Inc.

By recently deriving the first authentic avian embryonic stem cell lines A-New Bio has developed a revolutionary platform technology capable of solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges, such as regionally accessible, low-cost recombinant protein production, disease-resistant poultry, and commercial-scale biomanufacturing. How is A-New Bio’s technology different? We have demonstrated that avian embryonic stem cells produced using our patent-pending technology are germline competent- meaning that the embryonic stem cells can be genetically improved, and those improvements can be replicated through conventional breeding programs, thereby imparting the desired characteristics associated with the genetic improvement to the entire animal- generation after generation. Moreover, the core attributes of embryonic stem cells make them an attractive platform for biomanufacturing cultivated meat. These attributes include rapid cell doubling times, a potential to differentiate into muscle- the primary component of meat, and suitability for growth in a chemically defined cultured medium. We envision that our technology will unlock applications for agriculture, medicine, and beyond.

About Nicholas Genovese

Founder
A-New Bio, Inc.
Courtney Young
Co-founder and CEO
MyoGene Bio

MyoGene is a biotech startup dedicated to developing cutting edge therapies for muscle diseases. Our first product, MyoDys45-55, is a gene editing therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Duchenne is a devastating muscle wasting disease leading to premature death, typically in the 20-30s. MyoDys45-55 uses molecular scissors to cut out a region of DNA where ~50% of Duchenne patient mutations occur. After removal of the mutation, the dystrophin protein that is otherwise lacking in Duchenne is able to be expressed, thus repairing the underlying cause of disease. We expect our restored dystrophin protein will significantly improve disease progression and lifespan in Duchenne patients.

https://www.myogenebio.com

About Courtney Young

Co-founder and CEO
MyoGene Bio
Maurizio Pellecchia
Founder
Armida Labs

Armida Labs, Inc. uses a number of innovative agents and drug discovery technologies and approaches that can be deployed to target challenging drug targets, such as those involved in protein-protein interactions. The company's lead development candidate is Targefrin, a polypeptie which is very effective in suppressing pro-oncogenic EphA2 resulting in marked anti-metastatic properties in tumor models of pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. Armida Labs has focused Targefrin's R&D on pancreatic cancer and is stage of seeking funds for IND enabling and phase I/IIa trials. Clinical partner institutions are already committed to the development plan.

https://www.armidalabs.com

About Maurizio Pellecchia

Founder
Armida Labs
Eric Gosink, Ph.D.
SVP, Corporate Strategy
Karamedica, Inc.

Karamedica have developed an ultrapure chitosan biopolymer nanoparticle gene delivery vehicle for nasal delivery to the brain for the treatment of Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy. Initial data on CD59 plasmid delivery to the brain via insufflation has yielded positive data on gene expression and functional improvement in a maze model with mice. There is platform potential for gene therapy as an alternative to viral capsid technologies. Karamedica is seeking $1.5 million funding for non-human primate confirmation of efficacy and they have a full pre-IND plan for a larger investment.

https://www.karamedica.com

About Eric Gosink, Ph.D.

SVP, Corporate Strategy
Karamedica, Inc.
Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown
Co-Founder
Gut-Brain Axis Therapeutics, Inc.

We have developed a novel therapy for people with autism called Microbiota Transplant Therapy (MTT). About 40% of people with autism have chronic gut problems (constipation, diarrhea, pain) which also result in a worsening of their behavior and autism symptoms. These symptoms appear to largely be due to a combination of too many pathogenic gut bacteria and too few beneficial gut bacteria. Our MTT therapy involves pre-treatment with an antibiotic to eliminate harmful bacteria, a bowel cleanse to remove most remaining bacteria, and 8-16 weeks of microbiota capsules from very healthy, carefully screened human donors. It is essentially a super-probiotic containing about 1000+ species, as compared to typical probiotics that contain only 1-10 species that represent less than 5% of the gut bacteria normally present. We have conducted a phase 1 clinical trial which demonstrated very good safety and efficacy, including an 80% reduction in GI problems and nearly 50% reduction in autism symptoms. We have just completed a Phase 2 study for adults with autism, and found that MTT was safer than placebo and resulted in substantially greater improvement in gastrointestinal and autism symptoms than placebo. We also just completed a successful Phase 2 trial for children with Pitt Hopkins Syndrome, which involves severe autism and severe constipation, and again found very good safety and efficacy. We are now planning Phase 3 studies to achieve FDA approval.

http://autism.asu.edu

About Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown

Co-Founder
Gut-Brain Axis Therapeutics, Inc.
Nathan Daniels
CEO, Founder, Inventor
Polar

Polar is an aesthetic, handheld toothpaste dispenser. Polar is the dollar shave club of toothpaste. The reimagined toothpaste dispenser with subscription direct to consumer cartridge refills improves bathroom aesthetic, user friendliness and environmental impact compared to traditional toothpaste tubes. The innovative design of a Polar dispenser elevates the mundane and repetitive experience of brushing teeth from ordinary to extraordinary.

https://Polarproducts.webflow.io

About Nathan Daniels

CEO, Founder, Inventor
Polar
Arian Edalat
CEO
Active Membranes, LLC

Our technology is the next generation of advanced electrically conducting membranes (fine filters) that will make water desalination and reuse much more cost effective, environmentally friendly, and sustainable with much smaller overall footprint.

https://activemembrane.com

About Arian Edalat

CEO
Active Membranes, LLC

DENSEC was formed as a spin-out from ASU to take advantage of the commercial interest received on research being done on Dendritic Identifier technology (DI). The invention currently has the protection of 9 US and 7 EU issued patents. The company has exclusive rights to all IP. Densec is developing a novel solution for secure, real-time tracking of individual items in the supply chain. Densec’s unique Dendritic Identifier technology coupled with Densec’s software enables the serialization, tracking, tracing, and authentication of components. Offering a comprehensive approach that enhances supply chain efficiency, security, and transparency for producers and manufacturers. Our proprietary technology is based on the branching pattern of dendritic structures, which generates a unique and tamper-proof identifier for each component. Once the DI is created, the manufacturer captures an initial image (reference image) to record the pattern into a database. That pattern is then transformed into a unique key that is linked to a digital record to track the component's lifecycle journey through the supply chain, ensuring authenticity and traceability. In essence, our DIs serve as fingerprints for products while the digital record acts as their passport. Our DIs offer a versatile and customizable solution for any supply chain by allowing implementation on labels or directly on objects, using various materials. These identifiers, formed through printing or stamping processes with readily available bulk materials, generate 'digital triggers' that surpass the physical scalability and security of bar/QR codes while remaining more affordable, robust, and easier to use than RFID or chemical taggants. DIs are particularly relevant to industries that require secure and traceable supply chains such as agriculture, aerospace, defense, microelectronics, and high-tech manufacturing where quality control, sustainability and compliance with regulatory requirements are critical.

https://www.densecid.com

About Michael Kozicki

CTO
Densec
Thomas Youmans
CEO
Rhoman Aerospace Corporation

Rhoman Aerospace creates safe drone autonomy systems that let defense and commercial UAV operators trust their UAV to safely perform autonomous missions in complex and GPS-blocked airspace. Current versions of the solution enable autonomous operations w/out GPS and future versions of the solution enable swarms of UAV to autonomously work together and accomplish a Mission Directive collaboratively, with no or minimal human cognitive burden. Rhoman Aerospace is currently delivering Vision-Based GPS-Denied Autonomy & Navigation to US Special Operations Command and has multiple commercial pilot programs in the works to deploy the commercial version of this technology.

https://www.rhoman.aero

About Thomas Youmans

CEO
Rhoman Aerospace Corporation
Wael El-Nachef
Founder-CEO
Angel City Bio

We have developed a drug delivery system that targets therapies to the intestine and liver. Our goal is to treat intestinal diseases more safely and effectively by keeping the drug in the intestinal tract and minimizing the amount that gets absorbed into the rest of the body. Our first drug is for Crohn's disease and we have very compelling proof of concept data.

https://www.angelcitybio.com

About Wael El-Nachef

Founder-CEO
Angel City Bio
Matthew Lorence
CEO
CDR3 Therapeutics

T cell-based gene therapies, including chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cells, have achieved success against certain leukemias and lymphomas, but have shown minimal efficacy against solid tumors and chronic viral infections. The main barrier is reduced T cell function and limited persistence resulting from the current approach of processing these cells outside the patient’s body. Another limitation of most current CAR-T therapies is that they target a protein on cancer cells that is also present on normal cells (e.g., CD19), causing cytokine release syndrome (CRS), a severe complication associated with current FDA-cleared T cell immunotherapies. CDR3 Therapeutics (CDR3) has developed a blood stem cell-based therapy that overcomes these limitations. Instead of using peripheral blood T cells harvested from the patient, gene therapy is performed on patient blood stem cells, which engraft in the patient’s bone marrow, leading to continuous and persistent development of fully functional T cells targeting a cancer or virus. This process requires only a mildly ablative pre-conditioning regimen (without radiation) to engraft a few stem cells carrying the desired CAR or T cell receptor (TCR) gene, and not a fully ablative bone marrow transplant. Furthermore, CDR3 focuses on virus-specific targets in cancer/virus-infected cells, reducing risk of CRS. In proof-of-concept preclinical non-human primate studies, treated stem cells engrafted and produced anti-HIV CAR-T cells that were distributed throughout all body tissues and killed HIV-infected cells. These persisted for more than 2 years without any adverse effects. These results demonstrate an approach that addresses the shortcomings in function and persistence faced by current T cell immunotherapies. Thus, CDR3 technology provides the results needed to treat solid cancers and chronic viral infections with a sustained immune response. The founders are UCLA Medical School faculty members and inventors of 3 core technology patents, and CDR3 holds an exclusive license from UCLA to these proprietary technologies.

https://cdr3tx.com

About Matthew Lorence

CEO
CDR3 Therapeutics
Neeraj Lal
Founder and CEO
Zotiko Therapeutics

Zotiko means vitality; a state of being active and full of energy in Greek. At Zotiko therapeutics we want to vitalize the world. One of the main predicaments towards that goal is the most pervasive disease on this planet i.e obesity. In US 73% of adult population or every 3 in 4 people are overweight. Obesity also predisposes us to other ailments like high blood pressure, insulin resistance, heart diseases and many other metabolic disorders. We are developing a new generation of novel therapeutics platform to address the problem of obesity. Obesity is a disorder of imbalance, when the amount of food we eat (energy intake) exceed the amount we burn (energy expenditure), we gain weight and with time we develop obesity. There are two ways of addressing the problem 1) decrease food intake (appetite suppression) or 2) increase energy expenditure. Multiple big pharmaceutical companies including Novo Nordisk, Pfizer and Eli Lilly are trying to solve this problem by making appetite suppressing drugs. Appetite suppression comes with many side effects. We are taking a different approach by developing a new class of drugs that increase the rate at which our bodies burn calories rather than suppressing appetite. We have identified a compound that increases energy expenditure without affecting food intake. We have shown efficacy data in animal models (laboratory mice). Currently we are working on expanding the platform to test other compounds with similar mode of action. We look forward to complete toxicity studies in mouse with our first compound and test the efficacy in non-human primates before moving to clinical studies.

https://www.zotiko.com/home

About Neeraj Lal

Founder and CEO
Zotiko Therapeutics
Ariyella David
Director, Marketing
Looq AI

While working on navigation technology for autonomous cars as a PhD student at UCSD, Looq's founder realized that the same technology could be used to easily create digital twins of the world in general. After experimenting with robotic platforms, he came upon the idea of building a sophisticated hand-held camera/software platform and started Looq. The first prototype was used to document a construction project at UCSD, where he showed that the platform could quickly create large, detailed, 3D models. Since that first project, Looq has proven the platform on more than 50 work sites to document infrastructure, construction and other assets. Buildings and infrastructure are becoming increasingly technologically advanced, resulting in a rising demand for accurate 3D models. Historically, the best way to create engineering quality models of existing sites was to use laser scanners, which are extremely slow and expensive. To address this, Looq has developed a technology that quickly captures and processes images, creating accurate models in less than 24 hours. Costs can be reduced by more than 75% by scanning buildings in minutes or hours as opposed to days or weeks. Regular scans allow users to monitor infrastructure progress at different snapshots in time. In addition to improving business efficiencies that will drive the adoption of the Looq platform, Looq will help reduce the large environmental costs associated with infrastructure and construction by reducing construction errors and improving asset management. Further, the large-scale infrastructure changes needed to electrify the planet and manage changing water resources, will benefit from Looq’s unique ability to create detailed, cost-effective digital twins, and provide the analytics that can facilitate energy saving designs.

https://www.looq.ai

About Ariyella David

Director, Marketing
Looq AI
Cormac Conroy
CEO and Co-Founder
TeraSpatial, Inc.

TeraSpatial’s fundamental belief is that the demand for wireless connectivity systems and silicon will continue to grow exponentially, in both terrestrial and space/satellite domains, and that mmWave and AI/ML are two core technologies that will deeply impact wireless over the next decades but are now in relative infancy. First, mmWave spectrum (20 GHz – 110 GHz) offers tremendous opportunities but is difficult to use. Second, AI/ML is transforming the IT industry – but is not yet at scale in the wireless communication physical layer. The company believes that fundamental system solutions with tight couplings between the two technologies is paramount. Specifically, the company is building upon over 16 years of advanced university research, which has been licensed exclusively to the company. First, 5+ years of research innovation in AI/ML applied to wireless communications and sensing, including system/algorithms, test beds, prototypes, and datasets on commercial off-the-shelf HW done by Co-Founder and Chief Scientist Prof. Ahmed Alkhateeb at Arizona State University. This includes new algorithms and approaches to apply Machine Learning deeply at the hardware level to allow online learning for wireless performance optimization that is environment and scenario specific. Second, 12+ years of research innovation in mmWave MIMO RF/architectures, including silicon prototypes and reference designs, done by Co-Founder and CTO, Prof. Jeyanandh Paramesh while at Carnegie Mellon University – fundamentally new CMOS circuit and system innovations for mmWave MIMO wireless communications – including digital/hybrid beamforming, dual-band, and full duplex communications, implemented in several generations of prototype ICs. Co-founders Paramesh and Alkhateeb have had a long-standing inter-university research collaboration with funding from the National Science Foundation, and this work has been extensively reported in prestigious conferences and journals. Overall, TeraSpatial’s vision is to deliver intelligent spatial communications to everyone.

https://teraspatial.ai/

About Cormac Conroy

CEO and Co-Founder
TeraSpatial, Inc.
Clément Cid
CEO and Co-Founder
C-Quester, Inc.

Dr. Clément Cid is the CEO and co-founder of C-Quester, a LA-based company that delivers an advanced solution for carbon capture using dry granular metal carbonate (GMC) purification technology with integrated measurement, reporting, and verification. Before capturing CO2, Dr. Cid was Reinventing the Toilet with onsite electrolysis technologies and providing advanced and affordable engineering solutions for pathogens quantification in wastewaters.

About Clément Cid

CEO and Co-Founder
C-Quester, Inc.
Jacob Wright
Co-founder/CEO
Vetama

Vetama [vet-ah-ma] is a novel mobile veterinary company. For veterinarians, Vetama offers mobile practice franchise ownership, giving veterinarians the freedom of practice ownership with the business support they need. Clients receive convenient at-home veterinary care. Additionally, Vetama offers a 24/7 telehealth and ambulance subscription for pet owners to get immediate answers and critical care, anytime.

https://vetama.com

About Jacob Wright

Co-founder/CEO
Vetama
Samuel Cheng
Co-CEO, Co-Founder
Prometheus Credit, Inc.

Currently, people cannot get any loan when they move to a new country because the financial institutions in the new country do not have their credit history. People cannot take their credit history with them to a new country because each country’s credit system does not talk to one another. Prometheus Credit builds a cross-border credit exchange and translation platform that gets people’s credit history from their previous countries and generates an integrated credit report for the new country. Using our service, people can get financial freedom in the new country that leads to businesses making greater profits, and the world economy as a whole can be boosted.

https://www.prometheuscredit.com

About Samuel Cheng

Co-CEO, Co-Founder
Prometheus Credit, Inc.

Lead Sponsor

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Sessions on Jun 14, 2023

10:00 AM

Founder Workshop: Protecting and Commercializing Intellectual Property

10:00 AM - 12:00 PMIn-Person at Skirball Cultural Center
    Maysam Pessian
    AssociateWilson Sonsini
    Maysam Pessian is an associate in the Century City office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. His practice focuses on patent prosecution and intellectual property counseling, serving clients in a wide range of technology fields, including the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology industries. During law school, Maysam was an extern for licensing officers in the Invention Transfer Group at UC Irvine Applied Innovation. In this role, he performed a wide range of tasks, including preparing patentability and marketability reports on UC Irvine-owned technology; preparing targeted research reports on various private companies as a part of campus outreach efforts for collaboration; and drafting term sheets for technology licensing agreements and inter-institutional agreements. In addition, Maysam worked at the Domestic Violence Clinic at UC Irvine, where he represented victims of domestic violence in various proceedings and hearings to obtain temporary restraining orders, favorable financial terms, and permanent restraining orders in California Family Court. Before embarking on his legal career, Maysam acquired extensive experience in immunology and neurobiology. Previously, he worked at an early-stage research company, where his work focused on various cancer vaccines and immunotherapies—specifically vaccina virus-derived oncolytic virus combination therapies. During graduate school, his research focused on the remodeling of the nervous system and functional recovery after spinal cord injury—specifically the effects of modulating Wnt-Ryk signaling. As an undergraduate, Maysam volunteered at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center as a research assistant in Boris Minev's laboratory, where he researched nanoparticle-delivered cancer vaccines.
    Ruben Saaib-Flores
    Academic Startups, Venture Capital and Corporate Business Development LeadGeneral Inception
    General Inception partners with inventors to ignite innovation and create transformational companies. We are co-founders bringing together domain expertise, seasoned executive talent, infrastructure resources, and capital to nurture company growth from inception.
    01:30 PM
    General Session

    Welcome

    01:30 PM - 01:40 PMGeneral Session - Room C
      Andy Wilson
      CEOAlliance for SoCal Innovation
      Andy is a leader in the Southern Californian innovation ecosystem and has started, led or invested in more than two dozen tech start-ups. In addition to leading the Alliance as Executive Director, he serves on the Burbank Airport board and is a former councilman for the City of Pasadena and he is a founder of Innovate Pasadena (www.innovatepasadena.org), which is dedicated to advancing the Eastside of Los Angeles as a vibrant innovation center for deep tech. Previously, as founder of Momentum Ventures, an early stage tech accelerator and venture fund, he personally led more than a half dozen SoCal tech start-ups and invested in almost a dozen others. He previously held senior executive roles (President, SVP Product, CIO, COO) at Overture Services/Yahoo!, RiverOne, Bowne & Co and RR Donnelley & Sons. He has extensive board experience in not-for-profit and community organizations such as Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena Heritage and STEAMCODERS. He is a regular speaker at entrepreneurs’ events and business schools and was named one of the 50 Most Innovative Men in the San Gabriel Valley. Andy holds an engineering degree with honors from Dartmouth College and received his MBA with a concentration in operations and technology management from Harvard Business School.
      Renee LaBran
      Vice ChairAlliance for SoCal Innovation
      Renée LaBran is a board director, business advisor, and investor with 25+ years of executive management experience in both start-ups and major corporations, across a range of industries including technology, consumer products, and financial services. She is also a Qualified Financial Expert with audit committee experience. Ms. LaBran currently serves on the boards of B. Riley Financial (NASDAQ: RILY), where she is a member of the audit and governance committees, Iconic Sports Acquisition Corporation (NYSE: ICNC-UN), and Idealab (the longest running technology incubator). She is an active investor and advisor to early-stage companies (tech and consumer products), navigating new opportunities from the perspectives of both the disruptors and the disrupted. She is also an Adjunct Professor at UCLA Anderson Business School’s entrepreneurship program, and serves on the Advisory Board of Principia Growth, a late-stage growth fund. In 2015, Ms. LaBran was appointed by Governor Brown to the California State Bar Board of Trustees (responsible for regulation of CA attorneys) and was confirmed to two terms by the State Senate as a non-attorney public member. Ms. LaBran played a key role in the restructuring and turn-around of both the board and the organization and completed her tenure in December 2020. Ms. LaBran has been involved in the venture capital industry since 2000, initially as a founding partner of Rustic Canyon Partners (RCP), a technology focused VC fund. RCP also served as the launching pad for RC/Fontis, a growth stage fund focused on consumer products and business services. Prior to venture capital, Ms. LaBran held a variety of executive management positions at the Los Angeles Times and was a management consultant with Monitor Company US and Europe, working on corporate strategy projects for Fortune 500 companies. Ms. LaBran is an honors graduate of Harvard Business School and received her BA in Economics from UC Berkeley where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

      Sponsors

      01:45 PM
      General Session

      Opening Keynote: How JPL Engineers Developed an FDA-Approved Ventilator In 37 Days

      01:45 PM - 02:15 PMGeneral Session - Room B
        Dave Van Buren
        Mechanical Systems EngineerJet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
        Dave Van Buren is a principal engineer at JPL, where he works on technologies, instruments, and missions across the landscape of exploration: astrophysics, planetary sciences, and planet earth. He was trained as an astrophysicist at UC Berkeley before coming to JPL via the Space Telescope Science Institute, University of Toronto, California Institute of Technology, and General Electric's Global R&D Center where he worked on several medical physics products. He considers bringing transformative ideas into reality among the most important and challenging tasks of our time.
        Michelle Easter
        Mechatronic EngineerJet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
        Michelle Easter is a Mechatronics Engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), currently working as team lead for the Mars Sample Return (MSR) Capture, Containment, and Return System (CCRS) End Effector design and delivery. This robotic subsystem will perform on-orbit assembly of the Martian rock samples into their Earth-returning vehicle, so they may be safely brought to Earth for scientific research. Previously, Michelle supported anomaly investigation, for the robotic arm of the Sample Caching System as part of the Mars Perseverance Rover Strategic Surface Operations Team, and for the PIXL instrument onboard the rover. Early in her career at JPL, she was awarded the Charles Elachi Award for Early Career Achievement for her role as the Mechanical Lead for the Dual Drive Family of Actuators, where she managed simultaneous electromechanical actuator deliveries to four Earth science missions, including the SWOT, Sentinel-6, NISAR, and MAIA missions. At the onset of the COVID pandemic, Michelle joined the VITAL project, working as the Ventilator Test Lead and the Deputy Design Lead, ultimately wearing many hats to support the goal of making ventilators accessible to the global community. Inspired by the seemingly limitless impact of her STEM education on her own life, Michelle is passionate about mentoring others and supporting engineering outreach, including founding the non-profit Mind Makers, which is focused on making robotics education accessible and approachable for new learners of all backgrounds and ages.
        David Bailey
        Founding PartnerKauth, Pomeroy, Peck & Bailey LLP
        David's practice specializes in developing and enforcing IP portfolios on behalf of cutting edge technology companies and leading research universities including Caltech, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Stanford, and UCLA. David advises clients on a range of patent, copyright, trademark, and Internet related issues with an emphasis on: automatic speech recognition, computational imaging, computer architecture design, digital communication, digital signal processing, distributed computing and "big data" analysis, image and video processing, information theory, machine learning data sets, machine vision, natural language processing, perceptual computing, robotics, software engineering. David has extensive experience in guiding KPPB's clients through diligence processes associated with fundraising, acquisition and successful IPO. Among David’s current “portfolio” of clients are companies in the portfolios of Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Benchmark Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, the Facebook Fund, Globespan Capital Partners, Google Ventures, Granite Venture Partners, InnoCal Venture Capital, Intel Capital, InterWest Partners, In-Q-Tel, Oak Investment Partners, Momentum Venture Management, O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, Red Rock Ventures, Rincon Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and Silicon Valley Bank. David’s practice also involves deep engagement with the copyright system, and he has a specific expertise in the enforcement and registration of software, machine learning data sets and databases, and in negotiating industry standards-based licenses. David also represents the Los Angeles Philharmonic on a pro bono basis with respect to intellectual property matters. PRACTICE AREAS Copyright IP Due Diligence Licensing & Terms Of Use Litigation Patent Protection Trademark Protection Trade Secrets University Tech Transfer VC Counseling EDUCATION The University of Melbourne, Bachelor of Electrical (Computer) Engineering (Honors) The University of Melbourne, Bachelor of Laws (Honors) BAR ADMISSIONS California State Bar New York State Bar United States Patent and Trademark Office

        Sponsors

        02:15 PM
        General Session

        Keynote: How Convergence Unlocks Innovation

        02:15 PM - 02:45 PMGeneral Session - Room B
          Dr. Scott Fraser
          Elizabeth Garrett Chair in Convergent Bioscience & Director of Science Initiatives at USCUSC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience
          Professor Scott E. Fraser has a long-standing commitment to quantitative biology, applying the tools of chemistry, engineering, and physics to problems in biology and medicine. His personal research centers on imaging and molecular analyses of intact biological systems, with an emphasis on early development, organogenesis, and medical diagnostics. After training in physics (B.S., Harvey Mudd College, 1976) and biophysics (Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1979), he joined the faculty at UC Irvine, and rose through the ranks to become Chair of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. In 1990 he moved to Caltech to serve as the Anna L. Rosen Professor of Biology, and the Director of the Biological Imaging Center. He is deeply committed to interdisciplinary training and translational research, having helped found the Caltech Brain Imaging Center and the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, as well as serving as the Director of the Rosen Center for Biological Engineering. In Fall 2012, he moved to USC to take a Provost Professorship in the Dornsife College of Letters Arts and Sciences, the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Keck School of Medicine and the Viterbi School of Engineering. He remains active in interdisciplinary research and serves as the Director of Science Initiatives for the USC campuses.
          Dr. Francesco Coutrale
          CEOKulia Labs
          Debbie Lin, Ph.D.
          VP Strategic PartnershipsCaris Life Sciences
          Dr. Debbie Lin is VP of Partnerships at Caris Life Sciences. She has over 14 years of business leadership experience in multinational environments, including the US, Europe and Asia. Debbie’s forte is new business model strategy, business development, venture capital in healthcare and medtech with a focus on scientific product development, value proposition refinement, and market access. Previously, Debbie served in various roles at Boehringer Ingelheim. As Executive Director for Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Debbie was accountable for digital health investments, board directorship and digital health strategy in North America. Before her role at the Venture Fund, she was Global Director of Corporate Development where she crafted new business models for healthcare in major global markets. She has also held operational roles in field-based Health Economics and Medical Affairs working with national payers, regional providers and opinion leaders. She supported more than 5 drug launches and a variety of disease indications. Debbie is an Adjunct Faculty Advisor at UCLA Anderson School of Business and a mentor at Stanford’s MedicineX and NYU’s Endless Frontier Labs. Debbie holds a PhD, Bioinformatics Pharmacogenomics from University of California, San Francisco and a Master’s degree and MSc Engineering degree from Stanford University School of Engineering.

          Sponsors

          02:45 PM

          Break - Transition to Tracks and Startup Fast Pitch Presentations

          02:45 PM - 03:00 PM
          03:00 PM
          Life Science

          Life Sci Fast Pitch Session 1: Medtech/Diagnostics

          03:00 PM - 04:05 PMRoom B
            Matthew Bresnahan
            PartnerWilson Sonsini
            Leader of the Southern California IP Counseling and Patent Strategy Practice?Matt and his team of more than 30 San Diego-based patent attorneys and patent agents are outside IP counsel to over 50 life sciences companies within the biotechnology, therapeutic, genomics, and medical device fields in Southern California.? Legal Advisor to Innovative Life Sciences Companies in Southern California?Matt represents the likes of public companies Prometheus Biosciences (RXDX), RxSight (RXST), DermTech (DMTK), ImmunityBio (IBRX),  Oncternal Therapeutics (ONCT), Scopus Biopharma (SCPS), and NantHealth (NH) in key IP strategy, patent prosecution, and IP matters related to public company offering and SEC reporting.? Thought Leadership?Matt is a member of the Board of Governors of Biocom California, a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of San Diego School of Law, an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of San Diego School of Law, where he has taught patent law for the past eight years, and he serves an advisor on medtech issues for the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Cal Poly.
            Maryann Vogelsang, Ph.D.
            Consultant.
            Maryann has over 15 years of experience in the clinical diagnostics space bringing medical devices and clinical tests from bench to bedside. As a healthcare executive and test developer her expertise spans preclinical biomarker discovery to launching regulated diagnostic tests for multiple startups. She previously served as SVP Clinical Chemistry R&D at Curative, driving the development of innovative clinical laboratory developed tests across multiple analytical platforms. Prior to that, she was Director of Strategic Scientific Initiatives at Ellison Institute of USC, where she managed strategic external corporate and academic partnerships with a primary focus on new technologies, therapeutics, treatment strategies, and improved diagnostics.?Maryann earned a B.S. in Biochemistry from Loyola Marymount University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UCLA.
            Beth A. Andrews
            Chief Digital Health Officer, Healthcare & Life SciencesDell Technologies
            Beth Andrews is Chief Digital Health Officer, Healthcare & Life Sciences Global Alliances leading innovation and technology adoption, meeting customer needs across the healthcare and life sciences landscape.  She serves as industry SME positioning the Dell Technologies solution partner portfolio to support customer innovation.  Beth is leader of Life Sciences Business Development supporting infrastructure and analytics needs in drug discovery, research, clinical trials Before joining Dell, Beth spent over 20 years in healthcare & life sciences product development, business development and emerging technology leadership roles in both start-up’s and F500 global organizations.  She helped develop one of the earliest commercialized wearable sensor digital therapeutics patches at Avery Dennison partnered with Silicon Valley companies in the early “mHealth” days.  As a member of the senior leadership team, she led commercialization at Zephyr Technology, a wearable sensor start-up company acquired by Covidien.   As an entrepreneur her leadership in the earliest start-ups and technology companies comprising the mHealth space helped to pioneer and establish the new segment, Digital Health.   Beth’s sector experience includes medical devices, wearable sensors, software, informatics, computer vision and AI/ML with a focus in digital health, virtual care, life sciences and clinical research. Active in accelerators & incubators, in 2020 she led virtual cardiac rehab provider, Moving Analytics’ MassChallenge Healthtech 2020 Cohort participation to win the Accelerator’s Platinum Award and the AMA’s ROI Model Award.  Beth was also a finalist in the Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge at the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business in 2002. As an intrapreneur Beth also held several F500 medical device innovation leadership roles commercializing remote patient monitoring software and informatics solutions partnering with some of the largest US health systems.
            Allen Keel
            Senior Director, Innovation Advanced TechnologyEdwards Lifesciences
            Allen currently serves as the Senior Director of Innovation for Edwards Lifesciences’ Advanced Technology Incubator. In his role, he brings marketing, engineering, and clinical functions together to discover and build the next wave of groundbreaking products for the future of Edwards, leading a team to build and implement the strategy for needs-driven innovation. The incubator is deeply dedicated to solving complex challenges in order to transform cardiovascular treatment and significantly improve patients’ lives around the world. Prior to Edwards, Allen spent time in product management and R&D roles in various medtech industries ranging from digital health (Verily / Google Life Sciences) to cardiac rhythm management (St. Jude Medical), as well as a stint in management consulting with PwC’s medtech strategy & operations practice. In terms of educational background, he holds an MBA from UC-Berkeley (Haas School of Business) and MS/BS in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.
            Thea Pham
            AssociateOCV
            Thea is passionate about promoting biotechnology innovation through her entrepreneurial drive and scientific expertise. Prior to OCV, Thea was cofounder and CEO of U-Defi, a consumer biotechnology startup that offers personalized skincare based on skin biomarkers and artificial intelligence. She was the winner of UCLA’s 2018 Knapp Venture Competition and featured in Los Angeles Business Journal “20 in Their 20s” entrepreneurs 2019. As a member of the UCLA Business of Science center and the only UCLA student to be nominated to the UCLA Technology Development Group Oversight Committee, Thea worked closely with UCLA leadership on strategic planning of the university’s IP portfolio management and commercialization. Thea conducted her Ph.D. research in the lab of Dr. S. Thomas Carmichael, Chair of Neurology at UCLA; her work focused in mapping the brain perivascular cell connectome to promote neural repair. Prior to UCLA, Thea was a research assistant at the University of Oxford and completed research internships at Baylor College of Medicine and UC San Diego. Thea is a Ph.D. Candidate in Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology at UCLA and holds a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences from Texas A&M University (summa cum laude). Thea is originally from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
            Bharath Takulapalli
            Founder & CEOINanoBio Inc
            The DNA sequencing market is projected to grow exponentially over the next decade, driven by clinical genomics and diagnostics to reach $37B by 2027. INanoBio is developing a semiconductor nanopore technology for sequencing the DNA 1000x faster than the current state-of-the-art NGS and protein nanopore sequencing products, at 1/10 the cost. The novel solid-state nanopore technology is termed Field Effect Nanopore Transistor (FENT), conceived for the sole purpose of sequencing biopolymers such as DNA, RNA and proteins. We invented a new kind of vertical 3D transistor that has a nanopore at its center, for DNA to pass through. To be able to sense and sequence DNA, state-of-the-art commercial protein nanopore and ion-current sequencers are forced to slow down the DNA by 1000-fold, from native speeds of million bases per second to thousand bases per second. INanoBio’s FENT is a revolutionary device designed to overcome these limitations, using transistor electron-current to sense and sequence DNA as it passes through the pore at high-speeds of up to million bases per second, per pore (without needing to slow it down). We have raised $15M from seed investors and DARPA that has supported successful fabrication of FENT transistor prototypes with 50 nm nanopores. Next steps include reducing FENT nanopore diameter, testing multiple sequencing chemistries and demonstrating sequencing of DNA. Our ultimate vision is to deliver a final-generation solid-state nanopore sequencer capable of sequencing the whole genome with better than Q40 accuracy at < $25, inclusive of all costs.
            Andrew Schombs
            COO & Co-FounderNininger Medical, Inc.
            We are developing a novel material for use in heart valve replacement devices. Using nitinol thin film, we are able to solve several of the key challenges that affect other heart valve materials, like pericardium or artificial polymer leaflets. This material would eliminate the calcification that affects pericardial tissue valves and limits their lifetime-- preventing the need for re-operation, especially in younger patients. It would also be eight to ten times thinner than pericardium or polymer leaflets, allowing for a smaller delivery catheter and creating a transcatheter option for many patients. Finally, the production method would eliminate most of the hand-sewing involved in valve assembly-- a process that can take up to 20 hours under a microscope for each device using pericardial technology! Our first device using this material will be a novel Transcatheter Tricuspid Valve Replacement (TTVR) device. This product will address the 1.6 million patients in the US alone who don't currently have any good treatment option for their Tricuspid Regurgitation, a debilitating and life-threatening condition. Our novel 3-D thin film design will allow us to solve several of the key challenges that has been hampering development of a TTVR so far, such as the large size of the tricuspid valve, which makes it difficult to design a TTVR that can be crimped small enough to fit within a catheter for delivery using older material technologies. Because of the several clear advantages, this patent pending high tech material would replace the material currently used in other devices across the heart valve market, including aortic, mitral, and pulmonary valve devices— representing a global market of over $20 billion by 2031.
            Shreya Sirivolu
            Medical ConsultantOlmeda Biosciences
            The current diagnostic methods for intraocular diseases, including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and uveal melanoma, often rely on imaging-based measurements, which may not provide a definitive diagnosis or precise treatment plan. This results in unmet needs for accurate and personalized diagnosis, leading to ineffective or suboptimal treatments for patients suffering from these debilitating conditions. Our solution is to introduce precise and personalized molecular testing methods for intraocular diseases. By analyzing the biomarkers present in the aqueous humor, a clear fluid produced in the eye, we can provide clinicians with a more accurate and personalized approach to treating patients with these diseases. This innovative diagnostic technology has the potential to revolutionize the field of ophthalmology and improve patient outcomes by providing more precise and effective treatments. Additionally, this technology has the potential to facilitate the development of ocular drugs. With more accurate and personalized diagnostic methods, drug developers can more effectively target the specific biomarkers associated with intraocular diseases, ultimately leading to the development of more effective treatments. Our goal is to collaborate with leading ophthalmologists and healthcare providers to bring this groundbreaking technology to market and improve the lives of patients suffering from intraocular diseases and blindness. Say goodbye to uncertain diagnoses and hello to personalized treatments with in vivo molecular testing for intraocular diseases.
            Sina Haeri
            FounderHemorai
            Hemorai enables clinicians to extend acute care to the patient’s home via reliable continuous monitoring of clinical parameters. We provide solutions that overall reduce the healthcare spend, while expanding access to care. Hemora has developed portable, non-invasive, and affordable device that measures blood flow, oxygenation, and tissue metabolism in real time. Harnessing the power of optical spectroscopy, our device offers unparalleled accuracy in monitoring physiological parameters, ensuring optimal patient care and safety. Experience the benefits of overcoming current technology limitations, such as motion artifacts and poor perfusion, with our cutting-edge solution.

            Sponsors

            Technology Track

            Tech Track Fast Pitch Session 1: Cleantech/Sustainability

            03:00 PM - 04:05 PMRoom C
              Krisztina "Z" Holly
              Operating Partner at Good Growth CapitalGood Growth Capital
              Krisztina Holly (AKA ‘Z’) is an MIT-trained engineer and serial tech entrepreneur who has been scouting, connecting and investing in early stage deep tech innovators for nearly two decades. She is an Operating Partner for Good Growth Capital and Founder and CEO of At Large and Dangerous LLC. She’s best known as curator of the first-ever TEDx and the founder of pioneering centers at MIT and USC, which invested more than $5M in early stage ideas and launched 39 venture-backed startups from university research. Z has deep technical roots and extensive operating experience (Stylus Innovation, Direct Hit, Jeeves Solutions) and has been advisor and board member to two dozen organizations globally, including the Obama Administration and World Economic Forum. When she’s not scouting undiscovered innovators, you’ll find her writing, exploring the southland by small airplane, skiing the eastern sierra backcountry, and building temporary airports in the desert. She lives and adventures from her home base of Los Angeles.
              Tulsi Patel
              Head of Los Angeles OfficeFedtech
              Tulsi is Fedtech’s Head of Los Angeles Office where she oversees innovation programming including the launch of a multi-year ecosystem initiative with the US Navy to include  startup studios, accelerators, and entrepreneurship training. Previously, she was the Director of Innovation and Partnerships at VentureFuel where she ran innovation programs for Fortune 500 companies and led executive briefings focused on blue ocean opportunities and startup partnerships.  Prior to VentureFuel, she was a Senior Associate at Plug and Play Ventures where she led investments and built 4+ accelerator programs. During her time, Tulsi worked with 100+ global clients that include PepsiCo, Arcelor Mittal, Swiss Post, Tetra Pak, BASF, Ajinomoto, Georgia Pacific, Coca-Cola, Sherwin Williams, and Dominion Energy. As a result, Tulsi has cultivated a nuanced skillset and extensive network of technology and innovation enthusiasts – including top tier investors, Fortune 500 companies, and emerging startups.   Tulsi holds a B.A. in Sociology (with honors) from UCLA and a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University School of Law.
              Ken Hayes
              Cleantech OpenExecutive Director
              Ken Hayes helps start-ups grow, get funded and build value. He joined Cleantech Open in 2017 as Executive Director with US National and Global responsibilities for this established environmental-tech startup accelerator, working with 100 companies per year assisting them gain funding and establish corporate partnerships. Concurrently, he is Co-founder and Venture Partner of Canyon Creek Capital's Fund II, a VC fund focused on SoCal tech companies from Seed to Series A, with 40+ investments since 2014, including early investments in companies such as Miso Robotics, Relativity Space, FIGS and Jukin Media. He is also a Director Emeritus of the Pasadena Angels, one of the Top 10 angel groups in the US, where he continues to focus on deal sourcing, mentoring entrepreneurs, and performing due diligence. Finally, Ken is a "recovering entrepreneur" who has built and sold several companies in Europe and the USA, in the ed-tech and ad-tech sectors. He earned an MBA at INSEAD, France, and a BA Economics at Pomona College.
              Eric Lee
              Senior Vice PresidentAligned Climate Capital
              Eric Lee is a Senior Vice President with Aligned Climate Capital, an asset manager that invests exclusively in the companies and real assets that are decarbonizing the global economy and its infrastructure. In this role, Eric leads Aligned’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) analysis of climate infrastructure and venture capital investment opportunities.    Previously, Eric was an investment professional at TriLinc Global, a global impact investing fund manager based in Los Angeles, CA. At TriLinc, Eric led the firm’s ESG & Impact efforts across all portfolios and served as a member of TriLinc’s Credit Committee and Sustainability & Impact Committee. Prior to TriLinc, Mr. Lee worked at Sustainable Insight Capital Management, an ESG public equities fund based in New York, NY.    Mr. Lee holds a B.S. from Cornell University and a M.S. in Sustainability Management with a concentration in Sustainable Finance from Columbia University.
              Alex Andrianopoulos
              Chief Research and Development OfficerKairos
              Alex leads the team of investment analysts at Kairos that conducts research and due diligence on all the companies we consider to invest in, either through incubation or Series-A funds. Alex joined Kairos with 20+ years of experience at high-tech companies specializing in enterprise software, ranging in size from startups with a handful of employees to behemoths with tens of thousands of employees. In these companies, Alex led global teams of dozens of employees responsible for product strategy, intellectual property protection, engineering, professional services, sales, marketing, and business development, and actively participated in the efforts to close, and successfully closed, multiple rounds of financing by venture capital firms as well as the public markets. Moreover, while at Oracle, Alex led the research and strategic alignment efforts for numerous acquisitions ranging in value from a few tens of millions to billions of dollars. Alex has a degree in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Computer Engineering and an MBA in Finance and Marketing.
              Kyle Adkins
              Partner, InvestmentsFullCycle
              Kyle Adkins is a Partner at FullCycle and a senior member of the investment team.  He is based in Los Angeles, CA and brings with him well over a decade of institutional investing experience working at market-leading firms investing in technology from late-stage private equity to early minority growth equity.   Prior to joining FullCycle, he worked at Savano Capital Partners, a $250M growth equity firm, where he focused primarily on automation and digital infrastructure, industrial technology, and the transformation of work.  While at Savano, he invested in a number of market-leading companies that are today worth $25B+ of enterprise value including 1 IPO and 3 M&A exits to date. Earlier in his career, he spent time at several funds where focused on technology and industrial investing including Golden Gate Capital, The Halifax Group, and Signal Lake as well as working in investment banking at J.P. Morgan in their Technology, Media, and Telecom group. Kyle earned a S.B. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science with minors in Management and Political Science.
              Brian Wayne
              DirectorAegon Asset Management
              Brian is the Director of the Impact Venture Credit program at Aegon Asset Management, with a thesis around investing in companies solving the world’s most pressing issues related to the environment and society. Purpose: better the planet + people via technologies across areas of the built environment, decarbonization, electrification and advanced materials. Brian joined Aegon in 2017 to lead the design, development, and scaling of numerous global investment businesses, with a specific emphasis on sustainability and impact-related solutions and is the co-chair of Aegon’s US Social Responsibility Committee. Prior to Aegon, Brian spent a decade at Congress Asset Management in Boston investing in private equity and venture capital and was head of product strategy, deploying in excess of $1 billion across innovative ventures. Brian is an expert advisor at AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles, a member of The Milken Institute’s Young Leaders Circle and a startup mentor to the gener8tor sustainability program.
              Demian Willette
              Founder and CEOSpecies Tracks
              Seafood fraud, illegal fishing, and fisheries mismanagement threaten the entire global seafood supply chain, with illegal fishing alone costing up to $36 billion globally each year. For the seafood industry who seek to increase supply chain transparency and reduce risk of fraud, Species Tracks partners with mid-chain vendors to deliver DNA-based product verification for responsible seafood sourcing. Our Mission is to leverage innovative DNA-based monitoring technologies to deliver the impartial identity of seafood, which increases customer trust in seafood, enhances the reputation of vendors, eases the burden of regulatory compliance, and protects the livelihoods of those following the rules. Our Technology combines our patented wastewater sampling device with environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding analytics, creating an impartial, use-inspired identification tool. Species Tracks has been co-designed with an extensive global network of partners and is well-positioned to transform seafood industry traceability practices. Our Team embraces convergence research, breaking down silos that hold back innovation in seafood traceability. Our leadership team unites knowledge and expertise from the fields of fisheries science & policy, molecular genetics, systems engineering, process improvement, and computer science to create one shared mission. Our team works with professionals from academia to expand our knowhow and relies on a mutually beneficial partnership with a consortium of CEOs and Chief Sustainability Officers at 10 U.S. seafood companies, among others, who provide insight in the global seafood marketplace, with a commitment of several to participate in beta-testing our tool in 2023.
              Antonio Gil
              FounderPhlytech
              At Phlytech, we are dedicated to creating a sustainable solution for animal feed production by utilizing black soldier fly (BSF) larvae. Our approach is based on a circular economy, which means we aim to minimize waste and make the most of resources by repurposing organic waste as valuable feedstock for our insect-based feed. Here's how our process works: Collection of organic waste: We collect organic waste materials from various sources such as food processing facilities, supermarkets, and restaurants. This waste would otherwise end up in landfills, where it would decompose and produce harmful greenhouse gases. Rearing BSF larvae: We feed the collected organic waste to black soldier fly larvae, which are voracious eaters and can efficiently convert this waste into biomass. These larvae have a high protein content, making them an ideal candidate for animal feed. Harvesting and processing: Once the BSF larvae reach their optimal size, we harvest and process them into a protein-rich meal. This meal can be used as a sustainable and nutritious feed for animals like fish and livestock. Our solution offers several environmental benefits compared to traditional animal feed sources like fishmeal and soy. By using insect-based feed, we help reduce deforestation and overfishing, which are significant environmental concerns associated with conventional feed production. Additionally, BSF larvae require less feed to produce the same amount of protein as other animals, making them a more resource-efficient option. Furthermore, our closed-loop system prevents the release of pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorus into the environment, reducing water pollution and eutrophication. The feed we produce also has antibacterial properties, which can help reduce the need for antibiotics in agriculture, ultimately promoting a healthier ecosystem for animals and humans. By providing a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional animal feed, Phlytech aims to make a positive impact on the environment, local communities, and the global food system.
              Nicholas Genovese
              FounderA-New Bio, Inc.
              By recently deriving the first authentic avian embryonic stem cell lines A-New Bio has developed a revolutionary platform technology capable of solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges, such as regionally accessible, low-cost recombinant protein production, disease-resistant poultry, and commercial-scale biomanufacturing. How is A-New Bio’s technology different? We have demonstrated that avian embryonic stem cells produced using our patent-pending technology are germline competent- meaning that the embryonic stem cells can be genetically improved, and those improvements can be replicated through conventional breeding programs, thereby imparting the desired characteristics associated with the genetic improvement to the entire animal- generation after generation. Moreover, the core attributes of embryonic stem cells make them an attractive platform for biomanufacturing cultivated meat. These attributes include rapid cell doubling times, a potential to differentiate into muscle- the primary component of meat, and suitability for growth in a chemically defined cultured medium. We envision that our technology will unlock applications for agriculture, medicine, and beyond.
              Clément Cid
              CEO and Co-FounderC-Quester, Inc.
              Dr. Clément Cid is the CEO and co-founder of C-Quester, a LA-based company that delivers an advanced solution for carbon capture using dry granular metal carbonate (GMC) purification technology with integrated measurement, reporting, and verification. Before capturing CO2, Dr. Cid was Reinventing the Toilet with onsite electrolysis technologies and providing advanced and affordable engineering solutions for pathogens quantification in wastewaters.

              Sponsors

              04:05 PM

              Break - Grab Refreshments

              04:05 PM - 04:25 PMFoyer
              04:25 PM
              Life Science

              Life Sci Fast Pitch Session 2: Therapeutics Part 1

              04:25 PM - 05:30 PMRoom B
                Debbie Lin, Ph.D.
                VP Strategic PartnershipsCaris Life Sciences
                Dr. Debbie Lin is VP of Partnerships at Caris Life Sciences. She has over 14 years of business leadership experience in multinational environments, including the US, Europe and Asia. Debbie’s forte is new business model strategy, business development, venture capital in healthcare and medtech with a focus on scientific product development, value proposition refinement, and market access. Previously, Debbie served in various roles at Boehringer Ingelheim. As Executive Director for Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Debbie was accountable for digital health investments, board directorship and digital health strategy in North America. Before her role at the Venture Fund, she was Global Director of Corporate Development where she crafted new business models for healthcare in major global markets. She has also held operational roles in field-based Health Economics and Medical Affairs working with national payers, regional providers and opinion leaders. She supported more than 5 drug launches and a variety of disease indications. Debbie is an Adjunct Faculty Advisor at UCLA Anderson School of Business and a mentor at Stanford’s MedicineX and NYU’s Endless Frontier Labs. Debbie holds a PhD, Bioinformatics Pharmacogenomics from University of California, San Francisco and a Master’s degree and MSc Engineering degree from Stanford University School of Engineering.
                Maysam Pessian
                AssociateWilson Sonsini
                Maysam Pessian is an associate in the Century City office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. His practice focuses on patent prosecution and intellectual property counseling, serving clients in a wide range of technology fields, including the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology industries. During law school, Maysam was an extern for licensing officers in the Invention Transfer Group at UC Irvine Applied Innovation. In this role, he performed a wide range of tasks, including preparing patentability and marketability reports on UC Irvine-owned technology; preparing targeted research reports on various private companies as a part of campus outreach efforts for collaboration; and drafting term sheets for technology licensing agreements and inter-institutional agreements. In addition, Maysam worked at the Domestic Violence Clinic at UC Irvine, where he represented victims of domestic violence in various proceedings and hearings to obtain temporary restraining orders, favorable financial terms, and permanent restraining orders in California Family Court. Before embarking on his legal career, Maysam acquired extensive experience in immunology and neurobiology. Previously, he worked at an early-stage research company, where his work focused on various cancer vaccines and immunotherapies—specifically vaccina virus-derived oncolytic virus combination therapies. During graduate school, his research focused on the remodeling of the nervous system and functional recovery after spinal cord injury—specifically the effects of modulating Wnt-Ryk signaling. As an undergraduate, Maysam volunteered at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center as a research assistant in Boris Minev's laboratory, where he researched nanoparticle-delivered cancer vaccines.
                Matthew Bresnahan
                PartnerWilson Sonsini
                Leader of the Southern California IP Counseling and Patent Strategy Practice?Matt and his team of more than 30 San Diego-based patent attorneys and patent agents are outside IP counsel to over 50 life sciences companies within the biotechnology, therapeutic, genomics, and medical device fields in Southern California.? Legal Advisor to Innovative Life Sciences Companies in Southern California?Matt represents the likes of public companies Prometheus Biosciences (RXDX), RxSight (RXST), DermTech (DMTK), ImmunityBio (IBRX),  Oncternal Therapeutics (ONCT), Scopus Biopharma (SCPS), and NantHealth (NH) in key IP strategy, patent prosecution, and IP matters related to public company offering and SEC reporting.? Thought Leadership?Matt is a member of the Board of Governors of Biocom California, a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of San Diego School of Law, an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of San Diego School of Law, where he has taught patent law for the past eight years, and he serves an advisor on medtech issues for the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Cal Poly.
                Leen Kawas, Ph.D.
                Managing General PartnerPropel Bio Partners
                Dr. Kawas brings her deep expertise to the fund, helping to assess life sciences opportunities by drawing on her experiences in drug discovery, operation, clinical trial methodologies, regulatory strategies, commercialization, and financing. These skills were instrumental to her success as the former CEO of Athira Pharma as well as her ability to raise about $400 million and lead the company through an IPO. They will continue to serve her well in her role as Managing General Partner for Propel Bio Partners. Dr. Kawas has won many awards and recognitions for her leadership and accomplishments including: Endpoints 20(+1) under 40 (2021), Life Science Entrepreneurial Achievement Award (2020), French-American Foundation Leader (2019), Alzheimer’s Cure Coin Award (2019), Biospace 7 Millennial Influencers in the Biotech Industry (2019), GeekWire Startup CEO of the Year (2019), 40 under 40 in Life Science Leader (2017), PharmaVOICE 100 honoree (2017), Association of Washington Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2016), EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women (2016), Puget Sound Business Journal 40 under 40 Award (2016), EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist (2016), and GeekWire Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist (2016). She was named one of Seattle’s Most Influential People by Seattle Magazine and one of the Women to Watch in Life Sciences by the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association in 2015. Dr. Kawas serves on multiple boards, including the Life Science Washington Board, the Scientific Review Board for the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, and the Alzheimer’s Association‘s Washington Chapter Board. She also served as the co-chair of the International Alzheimer’s Association Business Consortium and was on the Washington Governor’s Life Science Advisory Board. She is also part of the Springboard Network and is a passionate supporter of scientist entrepreneurs, in particular women.
                Lucy Abgaryan, Ph.D., MBA
                Co-Founder & CEOGrittgene
                Dr. Lucy Abgaryan is a scientist, and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in drug development. She obtained her doctoral degree in Biophysics and conducted postdoctoral research in the field of Experimental Medicine at The Scripps Research institute. Her team’s research resulted in an FDA-approved drug, Ozanimod at a Scripps spin-off, Receptos.  Subsequently, two more compounds laid the basis for Blackthorn biotherapeutics (now part of Neumora Therapeutics, Inc), drug candidates for Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials. This prompted her to continue her education at UCSD in pursuit of an MBA in Innovation and entrepreneurship.  For the last 5 years, she has been involved in the formation of several startup companies (Biotech, digital-tech, Bioprinting, etc.) in the US, Armenia, and Israel where she performs business strategy developments, operations, market entries, as well as regulations advisory. She founded/co-founded 4 science-based organizations including Proone Labs and GrittGene Therapeutics where she is also the CEO. Dr. Abgaryan is an adviser and/or board member for several tech/biotech companies, investment institutions & educational organizations.
                Neal Okarter
                Investment ManagerBASF Venture Capital
                Neal Okarter joined BASF Venture Capital in 2021. Neal spent more than six years with BASF Management Consulting, the internal management consultancy of the BASF Group. At BASF Management Consulting, Neal led several projects related to Marketing & Sales, Growth & Innovation, Transformational Change, Organizational Restructuring, and Mergers & Acquisition (Post-Merger Integration & Carve Out). Prior to BASF, Neal worked as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry. Neal earned his BS in Nutrition, Food, and Agriculture, and PhD in Molecular Nutrition and Cell Biology from Cornell University, and his MBA from Rutgers Business School.
                Courtney Young
                Co-founder and CEOMyoGene Bio
                MyoGene is a biotech startup dedicated to developing cutting edge therapies for muscle diseases. Our first product, MyoDys45-55, is a gene editing therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Duchenne is a devastating muscle wasting disease leading to premature death, typically in the 20-30s. MyoDys45-55 uses molecular scissors to cut out a region of DNA where ~50% of Duchenne patient mutations occur. After removal of the mutation, the dystrophin protein that is otherwise lacking in Duchenne is able to be expressed, thus repairing the underlying cause of disease. We expect our restored dystrophin protein will significantly improve disease progression and lifespan in Duchenne patients.
                Maurizio Pellecchia
                FounderArmida Labs
                Armida Labs, Inc. uses a number of innovative agents and drug discovery technologies and approaches that can be deployed to target challenging drug targets, such as those involved in protein-protein interactions. The company's lead development candidate is Targefrin, a polypeptie which is very effective in suppressing pro-oncogenic EphA2 resulting in marked anti-metastatic properties in tumor models of pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. Armida Labs has focused Targefrin's R&D on pancreatic cancer and is stage of seeking funds for IND enabling and phase I/IIa trials. Clinical partner institutions are already committed to the development plan.
                Eric Gosink, Ph.D.
                SVP, Corporate StrategyKaramedica, Inc.
                Karamedica have developed an ultrapure chitosan biopolymer nanoparticle gene delivery vehicle for nasal delivery to the brain for the treatment of Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy. Initial data on CD59 plasmid delivery to the brain via insufflation has yielded positive data on gene expression and functional improvement in a maze model with mice. There is platform potential for gene therapy as an alternative to viral capsid technologies. Karamedica is seeking $1.5 million funding for non-human primate confirmation of efficacy and they have a full pre-IND plan for a larger investment.
                Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown
                Co-FounderGut-Brain Axis Therapeutics, Inc.
                We have developed a novel therapy for people with autism called Microbiota Transplant Therapy (MTT). About 40% of people with autism have chronic gut problems (constipation, diarrhea, pain) which also result in a worsening of their behavior and autism symptoms. These symptoms appear to largely be due to a combination of too many pathogenic gut bacteria and too few beneficial gut bacteria. Our MTT therapy involves pre-treatment with an antibiotic to eliminate harmful bacteria, a bowel cleanse to remove most remaining bacteria, and 8-16 weeks of microbiota capsules from very healthy, carefully screened human donors. It is essentially a super-probiotic containing about 1000+ species, as compared to typical probiotics that contain only 1-10 species that represent less than 5% of the gut bacteria normally present. We have conducted a phase 1 clinical trial which demonstrated very good safety and efficacy, including an 80% reduction in GI problems and nearly 50% reduction in autism symptoms. We have just completed a Phase 2 study for adults with autism, and found that MTT was safer than placebo and resulted in substantially greater improvement in gastrointestinal and autism symptoms than placebo. We also just completed a successful Phase 2 trial for children with Pitt Hopkins Syndrome, which involves severe autism and severe constipation, and again found very good safety and efficacy. We are now planning Phase 3 studies to achieve FDA approval.

                Sponsors

                Technology Track

                Tech Track Fast Pitch Session 2: Hardware/Devices/Materials

                04:25 PM - 05:30 PMRoom C
                  Krisztina "Z" Holly
                  Operating Partner at Good Growth CapitalGood Growth Capital
                  Krisztina Holly (AKA ‘Z’) is an MIT-trained engineer and serial tech entrepreneur who has been scouting, connecting and investing in early stage deep tech innovators for nearly two decades. She is an Operating Partner for Good Growth Capital and Founder and CEO of At Large and Dangerous LLC. She’s best known as curator of the first-ever TEDx and the founder of pioneering centers at MIT and USC, which invested more than $5M in early stage ideas and launched 39 venture-backed startups from university research. Z has deep technical roots and extensive operating experience (Stylus Innovation, Direct Hit, Jeeves Solutions) and has been advisor and board member to two dozen organizations globally, including the Obama Administration and World Economic Forum. When she’s not scouting undiscovered innovators, you’ll find her writing, exploring the southland by small airplane, skiing the eastern sierra backcountry, and building temporary airports in the desert. She lives and adventures from her home base of Los Angeles.
                  Casey Rieder
                  CEOMagic 8 Group
                  Casey is a financial leader who has been active in the startup & innovation ecosystem for nearly 2 decades. Over that time, he has founded, led and advised more than 50 startups. He is a fractional CFO, the owner of a boutique financial consultancy (magic8group.com), a startup mentor, & an angel investor. Casey has run sales & finance teams for companies in sectors ranging from clean energy to hardware development to developer tools. Prior to creating Magic 8 Group, Casey led the project finance team at Geodis, a global logistics company. Casey started his career as a professional musician and ethnographer. He left to start his first company - a biotech data analytics consultancy - which he exited after 3 years of operations. He has since been an active mentor in nearly a dozen accelerators focused on cleantech, sustainability, and hardware. Casey holds a music degree with honors from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Fox School of Business.
                  Tulsi Patel
                  Head of Los Angeles OfficeFedtech
                  Tulsi is Fedtech’s Head of Los Angeles Office where she oversees innovation programming including the launch of a multi-year ecosystem initiative with the US Navy to include  startup studios, accelerators, and entrepreneurship training. Previously, she was the Director of Innovation and Partnerships at VentureFuel where she ran innovation programs for Fortune 500 companies and led executive briefings focused on blue ocean opportunities and startup partnerships.  Prior to VentureFuel, she was a Senior Associate at Plug and Play Ventures where she led investments and built 4+ accelerator programs. During her time, Tulsi worked with 100+ global clients that include PepsiCo, Arcelor Mittal, Swiss Post, Tetra Pak, BASF, Ajinomoto, Georgia Pacific, Coca-Cola, Sherwin Williams, and Dominion Energy. As a result, Tulsi has cultivated a nuanced skillset and extensive network of technology and innovation enthusiasts – including top tier investors, Fortune 500 companies, and emerging startups.   Tulsi holds a B.A. in Sociology (with honors) from UCLA and a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University School of Law.
                  JC Ruffalo
                  Venture PartnerCove Fund
                  J.C. Ruffalo is a Venture Partner at Cove Fund, which is a seed-stage venture capital fund that provides startup funding for promising new Southern California ventures. Prior to joining Cove Fund, J.C. was the Director of LaunchPad and Investor Relations at Octane.  During his Octane tenure, J.C. advised and assisted thousands of companies in a wide range of innovative technology industries successfully attain strategic goals. These companies raised over $2 billion in capital and realized over $2.6 billion in M&A. Of the more than 10,000 high-paying technology jobs created, 85% were in Southern California. These companies include Hyperice, Bonti, EV Connect, AtaCor Medical and Enevate. J.C. believes that nurturing and maintaining strong relationships between entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors is key in successful venture partnerships. J.C. received a BS in in Entrepreneurship and Finance, and a minor in Economics from Chapman University Argyros School of Business in 2011.
                  Alex Andrianopoulos
                  Chief Research and Development OfficerKairos
                  Alex leads the team of investment analysts at Kairos that conducts research and due diligence on all the companies we consider to invest in, either through incubation or Series-A funds. Alex joined Kairos with 20+ years of experience at high-tech companies specializing in enterprise software, ranging in size from startups with a handful of employees to behemoths with tens of thousands of employees. In these companies, Alex led global teams of dozens of employees responsible for product strategy, intellectual property protection, engineering, professional services, sales, marketing, and business development, and actively participated in the efforts to close, and successfully closed, multiple rounds of financing by venture capital firms as well as the public markets. Moreover, while at Oracle, Alex led the research and strategic alignment efforts for numerous acquisitions ranging in value from a few tens of millions to billions of dollars. Alex has a degree in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Computer Engineering and an MBA in Finance and Marketing.
                  Howard Ko
                  Investment PartnerMorpheus
                  Howard is a Partner with Morpheus Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Los Angeles that focuses on early stage technology investments. He currently serves as a Board Director of Ingenious.Build, RIZE, and Tagnos as well as a Board Observer at Morpheus Space, Rugged Robotics, RIOS and RapidDeploy. Howard was previously with Mission Ventures, a leading Southern California early stage venture capital firm. While at Mission he focused on investments in software, wireless technologies and semiconductors. Prior to Mission, he was with Salomon Smith Barney in their Technology Investment Banking Group where he was involved in over $3 billion of public and private financings and M&A. Howard has served as co-chair of the San Diego Telecom Council Wireless Infrastructure Group. He was a member of the Board of Reviewers for the San Diego based Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technology, an organization funded by the Department of Defense. Howard holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from UCLA and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
                  Nathan Daniels
                  CEO, Founder, InventorPolar
                  Polar is an aesthetic, handheld toothpaste dispenser. Polar is the dollar shave club of toothpaste. The reimagined toothpaste dispenser with subscription direct to consumer cartridge refills improves bathroom aesthetic, user friendliness and environmental impact compared to traditional toothpaste tubes. The innovative design of a Polar dispenser elevates the mundane and repetitive experience of brushing teeth from ordinary to extraordinary.
                  Arian Edalat
                  CEOActive Membranes, LLC
                  Our technology is the next generation of advanced electrically conducting membranes (fine filters) that will make water desalination and reuse much more cost effective, environmentally friendly, and sustainable with much smaller overall footprint.
                  Michael Kozicki
                  CTODensec
                  DENSEC was formed as a spin-out from ASU to take advantage of the commercial interest received on research being done on Dendritic Identifier technology (DI). The invention currently has the protection of 9 US and 7 EU issued patents. The company has exclusive rights to all IP. Densec is developing a novel solution for secure, real-time tracking of individual items in the supply chain. Densec’s unique Dendritic Identifier technology coupled with Densec’s software enables the serialization, tracking, tracing, and authentication of components. Offering a comprehensive approach that enhances supply chain efficiency, security, and transparency for producers and manufacturers. Our proprietary technology is based on the branching pattern of dendritic structures, which generates a unique and tamper-proof identifier for each component. Once the DI is created, the manufacturer captures an initial image (reference image) to record the pattern into a database. That pattern is then transformed into a unique key that is linked to a digital record to track the component's lifecycle journey through the supply chain, ensuring authenticity and traceability. In essence, our DIs serve as fingerprints for products while the digital record acts as their passport. Our DIs offer a versatile and customizable solution for any supply chain by allowing implementation on labels or directly on objects, using various materials. These identifiers, formed through printing or stamping processes with readily available bulk materials, generate 'digital triggers' that surpass the physical scalability and security of bar/QR codes while remaining more affordable, robust, and easier to use than RFID or chemical taggants. DIs are particularly relevant to industries that require secure and traceable supply chains such as agriculture, aerospace, defense, microelectronics, and high-tech manufacturing where quality control, sustainability and compliance with regulatory requirements are critical.
                  Thomas Youmans
                  CEORhoman Aerospace Corporation
                  Rhoman Aerospace creates safe drone autonomy systems that let defense and commercial UAV operators trust their UAV to safely perform autonomous missions in complex and GPS-blocked airspace. Current versions of the solution enable autonomous operations w/out GPS and future versions of the solution enable swarms of UAV to autonomously work together and accomplish a Mission Directive collaboratively, with no or minimal human cognitive burden. Rhoman Aerospace is currently delivering Vision-Based GPS-Denied Autonomy & Navigation to US Special Operations Command and has multiple commercial pilot programs in the works to deploy the commercial version of this technology.

                  Sponsors

                  05:30 PM

                  Break - Grab Refreshments

                  05:30 PM - 05:50 PMFoyer
                  05:50 PM
                  Life Science

                  Life Sci Fast Pitch Session 3: Therapeutics Part 2

                  05:50 PM - 07:00 PMRoom B
                    Debbie Lin, Ph.D.
                    VP Strategic PartnershipsCaris Life Sciences
                    Dr. Debbie Lin is VP of Partnerships at Caris Life Sciences. She has over 14 years of business leadership experience in multinational environments, including the US, Europe and Asia. Debbie’s forte is new business model strategy, business development, venture capital in healthcare and medtech with a focus on scientific product development, value proposition refinement, and market access. Previously, Debbie served in various roles at Boehringer Ingelheim. As Executive Director for Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Debbie was accountable for digital health investments, board directorship and digital health strategy in North America. Before her role at the Venture Fund, she was Global Director of Corporate Development where she crafted new business models for healthcare in major global markets. She has also held operational roles in field-based Health Economics and Medical Affairs working with national payers, regional providers and opinion leaders. She supported more than 5 drug launches and a variety of disease indications. Debbie is an Adjunct Faculty Advisor at UCLA Anderson School of Business and a mentor at Stanford’s MedicineX and NYU’s Endless Frontier Labs. Debbie holds a PhD, Bioinformatics Pharmacogenomics from University of California, San Francisco and a Master’s degree and MSc Engineering degree from Stanford University School of Engineering.
                    Maysam Pessian
                    AssociateWilson Sonsini
                    Maysam Pessian is an associate in the Century City office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. His practice focuses on patent prosecution and intellectual property counseling, serving clients in a wide range of technology fields, including the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology industries. During law school, Maysam was an extern for licensing officers in the Invention Transfer Group at UC Irvine Applied Innovation. In this role, he performed a wide range of tasks, including preparing patentability and marketability reports on UC Irvine-owned technology; preparing targeted research reports on various private companies as a part of campus outreach efforts for collaboration; and drafting term sheets for technology licensing agreements and inter-institutional agreements. In addition, Maysam worked at the Domestic Violence Clinic at UC Irvine, where he represented victims of domestic violence in various proceedings and hearings to obtain temporary restraining orders, favorable financial terms, and permanent restraining orders in California Family Court. Before embarking on his legal career, Maysam acquired extensive experience in immunology and neurobiology. Previously, he worked at an early-stage research company, where his work focused on various cancer vaccines and immunotherapies—specifically vaccina virus-derived oncolytic virus combination therapies. During graduate school, his research focused on the remodeling of the nervous system and functional recovery after spinal cord injury—specifically the effects of modulating Wnt-Ryk signaling. As an undergraduate, Maysam volunteered at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center as a research assistant in Boris Minev's laboratory, where he researched nanoparticle-delivered cancer vaccines.
                    Matthew Bresnahan
                    PartnerWilson Sonsini
                    Leader of the Southern California IP Counseling and Patent Strategy Practice?Matt and his team of more than 30 San Diego-based patent attorneys and patent agents are outside IP counsel to over 50 life sciences companies within the biotechnology, therapeutic, genomics, and medical device fields in Southern California.? Legal Advisor to Innovative Life Sciences Companies in Southern California?Matt represents the likes of public companies Prometheus Biosciences (RXDX), RxSight (RXST), DermTech (DMTK), ImmunityBio (IBRX),  Oncternal Therapeutics (ONCT), Scopus Biopharma (SCPS), and NantHealth (NH) in key IP strategy, patent prosecution, and IP matters related to public company offering and SEC reporting.? Thought Leadership?Matt is a member of the Board of Governors of Biocom California, a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of San Diego School of Law, an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of San Diego School of Law, where he has taught patent law for the past eight years, and he serves an advisor on medtech issues for the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Cal Poly.
                    Leen Kawas, Ph.D.
                    Managing General PartnerPropel Bio Partners
                    Dr. Kawas brings her deep expertise to the fund, helping to assess life sciences opportunities by drawing on her experiences in drug discovery, operation, clinical trial methodologies, regulatory strategies, commercialization, and financing. These skills were instrumental to her success as the former CEO of Athira Pharma as well as her ability to raise about $400 million and lead the company through an IPO. They will continue to serve her well in her role as Managing General Partner for Propel Bio Partners. Dr. Kawas has won many awards and recognitions for her leadership and accomplishments including: Endpoints 20(+1) under 40 (2021), Life Science Entrepreneurial Achievement Award (2020), French-American Foundation Leader (2019), Alzheimer’s Cure Coin Award (2019), Biospace 7 Millennial Influencers in the Biotech Industry (2019), GeekWire Startup CEO of the Year (2019), 40 under 40 in Life Science Leader (2017), PharmaVOICE 100 honoree (2017), Association of Washington Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2016), EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women (2016), Puget Sound Business Journal 40 under 40 Award (2016), EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist (2016), and GeekWire Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist (2016). She was named one of Seattle’s Most Influential People by Seattle Magazine and one of the Women to Watch in Life Sciences by the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association in 2015. Dr. Kawas serves on multiple boards, including the Life Science Washington Board, the Scientific Review Board for the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, and the Alzheimer’s Association‘s Washington Chapter Board. She also served as the co-chair of the International Alzheimer’s Association Business Consortium and was on the Washington Governor’s Life Science Advisory Board. She is also part of the Springboard Network and is a passionate supporter of scientist entrepreneurs, in particular women.
                    Duncan Huston-Paterson
                    Senior Manager, Business DevelopmentAmgen
                    Duncan Huston-Paterson is a member of the Technology Business Development group. Duncan focuses on scouting and deal-making to access innovative technologies and platforms that enable the next generation of therapeutics at Amgen. Prior to joining Amgen in 2020, Duncan spent 4 years at Integral Molecular where he led a team that developed, launched, and commercialized a novel target discovery platform, resulting in multiple partnerships with large Pharma. Duncan grew up in South Africa and completed his early scientific training at University of Pretoria, before going on to receive his DPhil at Oxford University in the UK, where he studied the biochemical determinants of bird flu transmission to humans.
                    Neal Okarter
                    Investment ManagerBASF Venture Capital
                    Neal Okarter joined BASF Venture Capital in 2021. Neal spent more than six years with BASF Management Consulting, the internal management consultancy of the BASF Group. At BASF Management Consulting, Neal led several projects related to Marketing & Sales, Growth & Innovation, Transformational Change, Organizational Restructuring, and Mergers & Acquisition (Post-Merger Integration & Carve Out). Prior to BASF, Neal worked as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry. Neal earned his BS in Nutrition, Food, and Agriculture, and PhD in Molecular Nutrition and Cell Biology from Cornell University, and his MBA from Rutgers Business School.
                    Lital Gilad-Shaoulian
                    CEO, FounderPurposeBio
                    Lital Gilad-Shaoulian is CEO and Founder of Purpose Bio. She brings eminent experience in building and executing company strategy, recognizing, hiring and cultivating world class teams, achieving massive revenue growth, leading fundraising, M&A, partnerships and licensing strategic deals. Lital’s career spans over 25 years in SaaS technology companies, from startup disruptors that have exited, to global public market leaders in the S&P 500. Prior companies include Cisco Systems, EMC, LivePerson, NICE Systems and more, with business conducted in EMEA and the U.S. Her overall career book of business is nearing $1 Billion.  In 2020, after a successful career in High-Tech, Lital decided to embark on a new path, leveraging her skills in searching for a purposeful way to make a positive impact on human health.  She spent a few months as an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at The Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, CA, where she started building Purpose Bio. Lital has an LL.B bachelors of Law degree from The Academic Center of Law and Science in Israel and an MBA from The University of London in England. From 1995-1997 she served in the Israeli Defense Force in the Intelligence Force.  In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her 4 kids and husband, and expanding her knowledge in life science discovery and research.   PurposeBio is a Synthetic Biology Platform, out of UCLA, developing First-In-Class FDA Approved Therapeutics for Massive Cardiometabolic Unmet Needs, markets of over $100 Billion and over 2 Billion adults affected.  By engineering proprietary novel therapeutics, PurposeBio is targeting the major Mechanism Of Action responsible for Lipid Metabolism in the host.  Purpose Bio is the first and only platform to be able to target and modulate this key and critical MOA.  First indications are Hyperlipidemia and NAFLD/NASH. with exclusive anqor technology from UCLA and Composition of Matter IP Portfolio, fully owned by PurposeBio. PurposeBio is on a mission to positively affect the lives and health of over 40% of adults globally.   Strategic partnerships with world leading scientists and labs at UCLA, Johns Hopkins and The Weizmann Institute.
                    Wael El-Nachef
                    Founder-CEOAngel City Bio
                    We have developed a drug delivery system that targets therapies to the intestine and liver. Our goal is to treat intestinal diseases more safely and effectively by keeping the drug in the intestinal tract and minimizing the amount that gets absorbed into the rest of the body. Our first drug is for Crohn's disease and we have very compelling proof of concept data.
                    Matthew Lorence
                    CEOCDR3 Therapeutics
                    T cell-based gene therapies, including chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cells, have achieved success against certain leukemias and lymphomas, but have shown minimal efficacy against solid tumors and chronic viral infections. The main barrier is reduced T cell function and limited persistence resulting from the current approach of processing these cells outside the patient’s body. Another limitation of most current CAR-T therapies is that they target a protein on cancer cells that is also present on normal cells (e.g., CD19), causing cytokine release syndrome (CRS), a severe complication associated with current FDA-cleared T cell immunotherapies. CDR3 Therapeutics (CDR3) has developed a blood stem cell-based therapy that overcomes these limitations. Instead of using peripheral blood T cells harvested from the patient, gene therapy is performed on patient blood stem cells, which engraft in the patient’s bone marrow, leading to continuous and persistent development of fully functional T cells targeting a cancer or virus. This process requires only a mildly ablative pre-conditioning regimen (without radiation) to engraft a few stem cells carrying the desired CAR or T cell receptor (TCR) gene, and not a fully ablative bone marrow transplant. Furthermore, CDR3 focuses on virus-specific targets in cancer/virus-infected cells, reducing risk of CRS. In proof-of-concept preclinical non-human primate studies, treated stem cells engrafted and produced anti-HIV CAR-T cells that were distributed throughout all body tissues and killed HIV-infected cells. These persisted for more than 2 years without any adverse effects. These results demonstrate an approach that addresses the shortcomings in function and persistence faced by current T cell immunotherapies. Thus, CDR3 technology provides the results needed to treat solid cancers and chronic viral infections with a sustained immune response. The founders are UCLA Medical School faculty members and inventors of 3 core technology patents, and CDR3 holds an exclusive license from UCLA to these proprietary technologies.
                    Neeraj Lal
                    Founder and CEOZotiko Therapeutics
                    Zotiko means vitality; a state of being active and full of energy in Greek. At Zotiko therapeutics we want to vitalize the world. One of the main predicaments towards that goal is the most pervasive disease on this planet i.e obesity. In US 73% of adult population or every 3 in 4 people are overweight. Obesity also predisposes us to other ailments like high blood pressure, insulin resistance, heart diseases and many other metabolic disorders. We are developing a new generation of novel therapeutics platform to address the problem of obesity. Obesity is a disorder of imbalance, when the amount of food we eat (energy intake) exceed the amount we burn (energy expenditure), we gain weight and with time we develop obesity. There are two ways of addressing the problem 1) decrease food intake (appetite suppression) or 2) increase energy expenditure. Multiple big pharmaceutical companies including Novo Nordisk, Pfizer and Eli Lilly are trying to solve this problem by making appetite suppressing drugs. Appetite suppression comes with many side effects. We are taking a different approach by developing a new class of drugs that increase the rate at which our bodies burn calories rather than suppressing appetite. We have identified a compound that increases energy expenditure without affecting food intake. We have shown efficacy data in animal models (laboratory mice). Currently we are working on expanding the platform to test other compounds with similar mode of action. We look forward to complete toxicity studies in mouse with our first compound and test the efficacy in non-human primates before moving to clinical studies.

                    Sponsors

                    Technology Track

                    Tech Track Fast Pitch Session 3: Computing/Software

                    05:50 PM - 07:00 PMRoom C
                      Krisztina "Z" Holly
                      Operating Partner at Good Growth CapitalGood Growth Capital
                      Krisztina Holly (AKA ‘Z’) is an MIT-trained engineer and serial tech entrepreneur who has been scouting, connecting and investing in early stage deep tech innovators for nearly two decades. She is an Operating Partner for Good Growth Capital and Founder and CEO of At Large and Dangerous LLC. She’s best known as curator of the first-ever TEDx and the founder of pioneering centers at MIT and USC, which invested more than $5M in early stage ideas and launched 39 venture-backed startups from university research. Z has deep technical roots and extensive operating experience (Stylus Innovation, Direct Hit, Jeeves Solutions) and has been advisor and board member to two dozen organizations globally, including the Obama Administration and World Economic Forum. When she’s not scouting undiscovered innovators, you’ll find her writing, exploring the southland by small airplane, skiing the eastern sierra backcountry, and building temporary airports in the desert. She lives and adventures from her home base of Los Angeles.
                      JC Ruffalo
                      Venture PartnerCove Fund
                      J.C. Ruffalo is a Venture Partner at Cove Fund, which is a seed-stage venture capital fund that provides startup funding for promising new Southern California ventures. Prior to joining Cove Fund, J.C. was the Director of LaunchPad and Investor Relations at Octane.  During his Octane tenure, J.C. advised and assisted thousands of companies in a wide range of innovative technology industries successfully attain strategic goals. These companies raised over $2 billion in capital and realized over $2.6 billion in M&A. Of the more than 10,000 high-paying technology jobs created, 85% were in Southern California. These companies include Hyperice, Bonti, EV Connect, AtaCor Medical and Enevate. J.C. believes that nurturing and maintaining strong relationships between entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors is key in successful venture partnerships. J.C. received a BS in in Entrepreneurship and Finance, and a minor in Economics from Chapman University Argyros School of Business in 2011.
                      Alex Andrianopoulos
                      Chief Research and Development OfficerKairos
                      Alex leads the team of investment analysts at Kairos that conducts research and due diligence on all the companies we consider to invest in, either through incubation or Series-A funds. Alex joined Kairos with 20+ years of experience at high-tech companies specializing in enterprise software, ranging in size from startups with a handful of employees to behemoths with tens of thousands of employees. In these companies, Alex led global teams of dozens of employees responsible for product strategy, intellectual property protection, engineering, professional services, sales, marketing, and business development, and actively participated in the efforts to close, and successfully closed, multiple rounds of financing by venture capital firms as well as the public markets. Moreover, while at Oracle, Alex led the research and strategic alignment efforts for numerous acquisitions ranging in value from a few tens of millions to billions of dollars. Alex has a degree in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Computer Engineering and an MBA in Finance and Marketing.
                      Idan Levy
                      Principal InvestorWatertower
                      Idan is a Principal Investor at Watertower Ventures, joining the firm in 2018 as one of the first hires. He started his career at General Electric (GE) in their IT Leadership Program where he migrated GE’s first application to public cloud infrastructure. He then moved on to Slalom Consulting where he focused on innovation and cutting-edge technology projects for his clients. During this time, he also helped launch a productivity platform business which continues to operate today. Idan’s passion for market innovation, start-ups and problem solving ultimately led him to Watertower Ventures where he contributes to all components of the business including sourcing investment opportunities, due diligence, internal operations, portfolio management and more.??Idan has a BS from Cornell University’s College of Engineering and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
                      Jeff Diamond
                      InvestorFika Ventures
                      Saurabh Suri
                      Managing PartnerCerraCap Ventures
                      Saurabh Suri is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at CerraCap Ventures. He has over 20 years of experience in the technology industry focused on creating, growing and sustaining technology products and solutions in a global operations environment; having lived and worked in 4 continents. Prior to founding CerraCap, he served as Vice President for Emerging Solutions at UST Global where he conceived & led UST's investment arm and launched its Cyber Security subsidiary. With the approach of turning ideas into value, Saurabh has pioneered several models for startup growth and investing centered around unique value-driven approaches; producing significant returns. Saurabh has also helped Fortune 500 organizations establish and run highly successful innovation units. With a specific focus of investing in Cyber Security, Enterprise AI and Healthcare, he has several published articles, whitepapers and talks on the applications of these technologies in the enterprise space. Saurabh has a degree in Neuro-computation and a research background in High Performance Computing from the UK. Saurabh has helped mentor and grown several successful tech companies where he serves as an advisor and board member.
                      Ariyella David
                      Director, MarketingLooq AI
                      While working on navigation technology for autonomous cars as a PhD student at UCSD, Looq's founder realized that the same technology could be used to easily create digital twins of the world in general. After experimenting with robotic platforms, he came upon the idea of building a sophisticated hand-held camera/software platform and started Looq. The first prototype was used to document a construction project at UCSD, where he showed that the platform could quickly create large, detailed, 3D models. Since that first project, Looq has proven the platform on more than 50 work sites to document infrastructure, construction and other assets. Buildings and infrastructure are becoming increasingly technologically advanced, resulting in a rising demand for accurate 3D models. Historically, the best way to create engineering quality models of existing sites was to use laser scanners, which are extremely slow and expensive. To address this, Looq has developed a technology that quickly captures and processes images, creating accurate models in less than 24 hours. Costs can be reduced by more than 75% by scanning buildings in minutes or hours as opposed to days or weeks. Regular scans allow users to monitor infrastructure progress at different snapshots in time. In addition to improving business efficiencies that will drive the adoption of the Looq platform, Looq will help reduce the large environmental costs associated with infrastructure and construction by reducing construction errors and improving asset management. Further, the large-scale infrastructure changes needed to electrify the planet and manage changing water resources, will benefit from Looq’s unique ability to create detailed, cost-effective digital twins, and provide the analytics that can facilitate energy saving designs.
                      Cormac Conroy
                      CEO and Co-FounderTeraSpatial, Inc.
                      TeraSpatial’s fundamental belief is that the demand for wireless connectivity systems and silicon will continue to grow exponentially, in both terrestrial and space/satellite domains, and that mmWave and AI/ML are two core technologies that will deeply impact wireless over the next decades but are now in relative infancy. First, mmWave spectrum (20 GHz – 110 GHz) offers tremendous opportunities but is difficult to use. Second, AI/ML is transforming the IT industry – but is not yet at scale in the wireless communication physical layer. The company believes that fundamental system solutions with tight couplings between the two technologies is paramount. Specifically, the company is building upon over 16 years of advanced university research, which has been licensed exclusively to the company. First, 5+ years of research innovation in AI/ML applied to wireless communications and sensing, including system/algorithms, test beds, prototypes, and datasets on commercial off-the-shelf HW done by Co-Founder and Chief Scientist Prof. Ahmed Alkhateeb at Arizona State University. This includes new algorithms and approaches to apply Machine Learning deeply at the hardware level to allow online learning for wireless performance optimization that is environment and scenario specific. Second, 12+ years of research innovation in mmWave MIMO RF/architectures, including silicon prototypes and reference designs, done by Co-Founder and CTO, Prof. Jeyanandh Paramesh while at Carnegie Mellon University – fundamentally new CMOS circuit and system innovations for mmWave MIMO wireless communications – including digital/hybrid beamforming, dual-band, and full duplex communications, implemented in several generations of prototype ICs. Co-founders Paramesh and Alkhateeb have had a long-standing inter-university research collaboration with funding from the National Science Foundation, and this work has been extensively reported in prestigious conferences and journals. Overall, TeraSpatial’s vision is to deliver intelligent spatial communications to everyone.
                      Jacob Wright
                      Co-founder/CEOVetama
                      Vetama [vet-ah-ma] is a novel mobile veterinary company. For veterinarians, Vetama offers mobile practice franchise ownership, giving veterinarians the freedom of practice ownership with the business support they need. Clients receive convenient at-home veterinary care. Additionally, Vetama offers a 24/7 telehealth and ambulance subscription for pet owners to get immediate answers and critical care, anytime.
                      Samuel Cheng
                      Co-CEO, Co-FounderPrometheus Credit, Inc.
                      Currently, people cannot get any loan when they move to a new country because the financial institutions in the new country do not have their credit history. People cannot take their credit history with them to a new country because each country’s credit system does not talk to one another. Prometheus Credit builds a cross-border credit exchange and translation platform that gets people’s credit history from their previous countries and generates an integrated credit report for the new country. Using our service, people can get financial freedom in the new country that leads to businesses making greater profits, and the world economy as a whole can be boosted.

                      Sponsors

                      07:00 PM

                      Networking Reception

                      07:00 PM - 08:30 PMAhmanson Foyer