Team BCLA excitedly welcomed LA’s biotech community to our last networking mixer of the year! It was exciting to see a mixture of new and familiar faces getting to meet each other over drinks and appetizers, at the beautiful rooftop space in DTLA provided by Nixon Peabody.
After light refreshments, attendees were escorted into the conference room for our fireside chat featuring Lukasz Kowalik from UCLA TDG, Radhika Palkar from USC Stevens Center, Harsh Parikh and Alex Busto from Nixon Peabody. The common mission of these organizations is to serve as a gateway between cutting-edge research and entrepreneurship, translating innovative ideas into products for public benefit while fostering collaborations. Specifically, Harsh focuses on healthcare transactions, regulatory compliance, and manages care reimbursements. Alexandra’s work is based on transactional and regulatory matters for health care providers and others in the industry.
To start the evening off BCLA’s Vice President, Hammond Sun, offered warm opening remarks and set the stage for our panelists to explore the processes and challenges entrepreneurs face early-on when bringing their ideas to market. The panel, moderated by Alex, began with a discussion about how entrepreneurs generally approach the beginning of their startup journey. Radhika pointed out that many come with assumptions about some aspects of the process. Some of the processes involved in bringing ideas to market include evaluating the new technology, determining patentability and commercial value, filing patents, marketing and licensing inventions, engaging with industry for potential collaborations, negotiating license agreements and Material Transfer agreements, as well as other financial concerns. Lukasz added that this process takes time and discipline. It is crucial to take the time required to build an asset that will be a vital aspect of the startup. This process requires the inventor to wear multiple hats. To add onto that, Harsh encourages the inventor to think how you would want to go to market - choose the path of least resistance! For example, 23andme was able to evade the extensive and time-consuming regulatory route by avoiding the creation of a diagnostic product, and branded their service as giving consumers the option for more information about their. In summary, Radhika says that inventors that stand out and are successful are those who are fully invested in their project. It is the enthusiasm and dedication to their project that propels founders to learn the tools needed to continue to carry their start up forward.
The event ended with a final round of networking, providing the audience with the chance to ask our panelists specific questions about the challenge of bringing ideas to market. We would like to thank our attendees, without whom this mixer would not have been possible. Your commitment to continue fostering LA’s biotech community is what makes our events special. Happy holidays and we hope to see you again next year!