LSE Spark Workshop: Solutions for Life Sciences Entrepreneurship

Abstract binary helix

The life sciences industry in the United States is at a crossroads. On the one hand, the industry faces boundless opportunities for improving health care outcomes and services. On the other hand, commercialization of scientific advancements has proven to be challenging, creating significant underutilization of societal resources. Entrepreneurship in established corporations and newly spawned entities offers a critical piece of the puzzle to address this problem.

This workshop, which took place on July 29, 2022, brought together a diverse set of innovators and strategic thinkers in entrepreneurial, investment, and governmental spaces to stimulate ongoing thought leadership to address these concerns. The event explored emerging research and entrepreneurial opportunities in the life sciences sector, and the commercialization constraints entrepreneurs face as they attempt to find viable paths to market, among other pertinent issues. The event was held on the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute campus, which has a rich tradition of cutting-edge research and innovation in the life sciences.

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Workshop Overview

Title Focus Speaker/Moderator Members
Welcome, Opening Remarks, and Keynote Address “Key Success Factors in Life Sciences Entrepreneurship”

Rensselaer Trustee Roy Davis ’78

Former President of Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation

“Life Sciences Innovation Partnerships” Research and Center for Engineering and Precision Medicine

Deepak Vashishth, Ph.D.

Director, Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D. Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, and Professor of Biomedical Engineering

“Life Sciences Deal Flow: Solutions to Open the Pipeline” Investment Shreefal Mehta, Ph.D., Chief Commercial Officer, KAYA17
  • Clayton Besch III, Ph.D. (Director, NYS Innovation Venture Capital Fund)
  • Noa Conger Simons (CEO, Upstate Capital Association of New York)
  • Jon Gordon (Founder and Managing Partner, HC9 Ventures)
“Connecting Nodes: Accelerating Innovation in Life Sciences” Leveraging Ecosystems

Brian Nickerson, Ph.D.,

Senior Associate Dean, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

  • Joseph Borrello (BioDesign Lead, Mount Sinai)
  • Craig Cook (Secretary of the Institute and General Counsel, Rensselaer)
  • Eric Ledet, Ph.D. (Chief Science Officer, ReVivo Medical)
  • Tyree Williams (BioDesign Team, Rensselaer)
“Problems to Solutions: The Entrepreneurial Process and Navigating Complex Scientific Markets” Commercialization

Jason Kuruzovich, Ph.D.,

Director, Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship and Associate Professor, Lally School of Management

  • Marc Eigner (Executive Partner, Berenson & Company)
  • Meghan Olson (Manager, Ecovative)
  • Sally Temple, Ph.D. (Cofounder and Scientific Director, Neural Stem Cell Institute)
  • Jesse Treu, Ph.D. (Founding Partner, Domain Associates)
Closing Remarks  

Brett Orzechowski

Life Sciences Entrepreneurship Program, Lally School of Management



Lally School of Management
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street, Pittsburgh Building, Troy, NY 12180
(518) 276-2812

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