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Life Science Ventures Summit packed with advice for entrepreneurs

Chris Seper on June 21, 2012 Source: Kauffman Foundation

Brand new and would-be life science entrepreneurs get a Kauffman Foundation-style boot camp this weekend to better help them manage such early-stage hurdles like picking the right co-founder, unique approaches to funding and the logistics of implementing their products in the clinical setting.

The Life Science Ventures Summit this Friday and Saturday in San Francisco is one of the rare events in healthcare that stretches across the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Attendees will come from early-stage companies in the therapeutics, medical device, diagnostics and digital health sectors. They’ll all hear from senior-level leaders who have been there before.

“We’ve reached out to entrepreneurs and asked how would you like to learn, what’s effective for you and how do you understand things better,” said Dominique Pahud, a director in advancing innovation at Kauffman who created the event. “We took that input and created a multi-experiential event in terms of lectures, panels, videos, montages, case studies, online tools to describe a business model – quite a diverse set of activities to keep people engaged.”

The speakers include CEOs from Genomic Health, GE Healthmagination and the Royal Society Enterprise Fund, as well as leadership from Kauffman Foundation and dynamic startups in accelerators such as Patients Know Best and Rock Health, respectively.

The event is invitation-only, but the information will flow freely from the conference and onto the pages of eMed, Kauffman’s medical entrepreneurship community, which will not only provide real-time coverage of the happenings throughout the weekend but also deliver additional insights for weeks to come through conversation with the participants at the event.

The summit brings the entire audience together to discuss topics like idea and business model validation; intellectual property; building a team; and raising money. But it will also break out the different sectors and cover topics like reimbursement and specific fund-raising issues unique to sectors like diagnostics.

Kauffman has been aggressively seeking new solutions to the costs around healthcare. In April, it made four recommendations to cut healthcare costs: encourage data-sharing across the ecosystem, more and larger research grants, reform medical malpractice laws and provide more neutral information for patients.

The conference ends with a workshop in which Kauffman will preview a project focused on getting entrepreneurs and others within healthcare to better collaborate to solve the problems around specific diseases.

“It is a great example of entrepreneurs coming together, willing to work and share technology, building APIs and in some ways having a higher impact on the ecosystem of the patients by working with other entrepreneurs,” Pahud said.

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