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12th Forum:

Sustainable Ecosystem for Bio/Medtech Startups  


May 7, 2019

12:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Yale Club Manhattan, Trumbull & Saybrook Room 18th FL



12:30-1:00 PM    Network Reception and Lunch


1:00-1:10 PM       Opening Remark

"Sustainable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for Bio/MedTech Startups"

DoHyun Cho, PhD

President and CEO, W Medical Strategy Group | Chairman, New York Health Forum


1:10-2:10 PM      Session 1 

"U.S. Bio/MedTech Market: Opportunities and Challenges for Foreign Companies"

Among the challenges faced by foreign bio/medtech companies seeking opportunities in the U.S. are FDA approval or clearance, marketing rules, reimbursement, liability exposure, and protectionist impulses. Foreign companies entering the U.S. face competition from some of the largest and most successful pharma and device companies in the world — but the market is vast, the population is aging, and afflicted with chronic disease, the dominance of domestic R&D is eroding, and the tax climate has improved. This panel will address the opportunities and the challenges.


  • Joe McMenamin, MD, JD, EVP, W Medical Strategy Group (Moderator)

  • Peter Corless, JD, Partner, Mintz Intellectual Property Practice

  • Timothy M. Block, PhD, President and Professor, Baruch S. Blumberg Institute and the Hepatitis B Foundation

  • John Choi, MS, Project Director, Enzychem Lifesciences


2:10-2:30 PM      Networking Break

2:30-3:30 PM     Session 2

“Sustainable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for Bio/MedTech Startups”

This panel will explore critical drivers for creation of an entrepreneurial ecosystem for life sciences companies with a special focus on New York City area. We will have panelists from start-up, tech transfer offices and VC’s who will provide important insights on what it takes to build such an ecosystem, some of the challenges and barriers as well as opportunities it presents.

  • Sundeep Lal,  PhD, MBA, CEO and Founder, BioConnexUs (Moderator)

  • Mark E. Dingle, MBA, CEO, Care 52

  • William J. Polvino, MD, CEO and Director, Bridge Medicines

  • Ofra Weinberger, PhD, Director of Licensing, Columbia Technology Ventures

  • Maria Gotsch, MBA, President and CEO, Partnership Fund for New York City

3:30-4:30 PM     Session 3

"Best Practices for a Biotech or MedTech IPO"

This panel is for life sciences companies considering an IPO. The open discussion will explore important areas of consideration and best practices for companies planning to go public, from both an IR/PR perspective, as well as investment banking. How far in advance should companies plan their listing? What types of advisors will you need? Wall Street experts will be available to share their perspectives, tips, and best practices.

  • Yiqin Shen, Senior Reporter, Mergermarket (Moderator)

  • William C. Hicks, JD, Co-Chair, Mintz Securities & Capital Markets Practice Group

  • Kimberly Ha, CEO, KKH Advisors

  • Bob Ai, PhD, MBA, Managing Director, Solebury Trout

  • John R. Lieberman, CPA (Managing Director, Perelson Weiner LLP

4:30-5:00 PM     Closing & Networking


DoHyun Cho, PhD

CEO and President, W Medical Strategy Group | Chairman, New York Health Forum


DoHyun Cho is the founder, president, and CEO of a U.S. consulting company W Medical Strategy Group. W Medical Strategy Group has 5 subsidiaries including World Korean Medical Journal (publication), New York Health Forum (Conference), W MediTech (medical device distribution), W MedicalCare (global healthcare agency), and Green Alley (skincare product distribution). He is also the Board of Director for Enzychem Lifesciences. Before establishing W Medical Strategy Group, DoHyun was the director general of Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) USA in New York for six years, a specialized agency of Ministry of Health of Republic of Korea. He also served as a Board of Director for KOCHAM (Korean American Chamber of Commerce) and was actively involved in a bio/pharma industry including serving as the Advisory Member for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Harmonization Center, Korean government delegate for APEC Life Science Innovation Forum, Healthcare division representative for Korea-US Business Council, and etc.


Moderator: Joe McMenamin, MD, JD

EVP, W Medical Strategy Group


Joseph (Joe) P. McMenamin is an Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer with W Medical Strategy Group. He has more than 20 years of experience in defending pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotech companies in state and federal court. He also advises clients on managing risks related to telemedicine, corporate use of the internet, social media, communications between life science companies and physicians, compliance with FDA regulations.

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Peter Corless, JD

Partner, Mintz Intellectual Property Practice


Peter Corless is a Partner in the Mintz Intellectual Property Practice. He prepares, prosecutes, and manages extensive patent and trademark portfolios on behalf of companies and academic institutions. His clients include academic and governmental research institutions; Global 1000 manufacturing, chemical, and pharmaceutical companies; emerging and developing biotechnology and small molecule pharmaceutical companies; and medical technology companies.


Timothy M. Block, PhD

President and Professor, Baruch S. Blumberg Institute and the Hepatitis B Foundation


Timothy M. Block is President and Co-founder of the Hepatitis B Foundation; the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute; and the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center. His work, with Baruch S Blumberg, The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center, created with an unusual model in which it is managed by a non profit mission oriented research foundation, emphasizes “Academic Entrepreneurship” and has become one of the most successful life sciences incubators in the US, generating companies with collective peak values exceeding $2 billion, and generating therapeutics and medical devices that have been approved for use by the US and Chinese FDAs. He is a scientific co-founder of several life sciences companies and was named a “Visionary in Hepatitis” by the World Hepatitis Alliance in 2017.


John Choi, MS

Project Director, Enzychem Lifesciences


John Choi has over 28 years of pharmaceutical industry experience centered in clinical operations management. Before joining Enzychem, he was a Protocol Manager, Oncology Clinical Protocol Operations at Syneos Heath Clinical Solutions working for Bristol-Myers Squibb project in NJ. He was president of Piscium International, Inc. and CEO for local Korea CRO Solomon Medical Research, Inc. He also served as Director of Clinical Operations APAC/Head of TS3 APAC/Country Head Korea for Theorem Clinical Research (now, Chiltern) in Korea. He was Senior Manager, Clinical Consulting Barnett International/Parexel in US and Resource Manager, Global Clinical Operations for Bristol Myers Squibb Lawrenceville in NJ, USA.

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Moderator: Sundeep Lal, PhD, MBA

CEO and Founder, BioConnecxUs


Sundeep Lal is the CEO and Founder of BioConnexUS, LLC and also the Head of Healthcare Investment Banking for Auctus Capital. He brings over twenty years of healthcare leadership experience in med-tech and pharma in US and Emerging Markets with expertise in strategy, BD, hospital solutions sales, business model innovation and new products at Medtronic & Merck. At Medtronic, Sundeep was based out of Singapore for six years covering Asia-Pacific. At Merck & Co, he was in global roles based of corporate HQ in NJ, USA.

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Mark E. Dingle MBA

CEO, Care52


Mark Dingle is CEO of Care52, a HealthTech company that enables employers and consumers to find and schedule appointments with high value medical providers and access digital health services. He has served as consultant and executive for healthcare companies in New York City since 1997, including Care52, CoverUS, Everyday Health, and Bristol-Myers Squibb. He has a longstanding interest in entrepreneurship, including investing in several early stage HealthTech companies, and founded a community of HealthTech entrepreneurs that meets bi-monthly to advance each other’s companies. He holds an MBA and BS in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Cornell University.

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William J. Polvino, MD

CEO and Director, Bridge Medicines


William Polvino is a pharmaceutical entrepreneur with more than 26 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and healthcare arena. He is presently CEO and a board director at Bridge Medicines, LLC. Bridge Medicines is a pioneering drug discovery company focused on advancing promising early technologies from concept to clinic. Prior to joining Bridge Medicines, he was president and CEO of Veloxis Pharmaceuticals A/S, a public biotechnology company that deploys proprietary formulation technology to develop and commercialize innovative oral drug products. Prior to Veloxis, he also served as president and CEO at Helsinn Therapeutics (formerly Sapphire Therapeutics). He has also held executive and senior level positions within drug development at Merck, Wyeth and Theravance.

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Ofra Weinberger, PhD

Director of Licensing, Columbia Technology Ventures


Ofra Weinberger is the Director of Licensing at Columbia Tech Ventures, the technology transfer office of Columbia University, where she also serves as Associate VP at Tech Transfer & Intellectual Property. CTV has returned over $2B in revenue to Columbia, making it one of the most successful university tech transfer programs in the world. She received a PhD in cellular and molecular immunology from Harvard University and continued her postdoctoral training at Harvard in the Department of Genetics, and joined Columbia University in 1987 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics. In 1995, she became involved in "technology transfer" at the University, and joined Science and Technology Ventures as an Associate Director and was appointed Director for Health Sciences in 2000.

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Maria Gotsch, MBA

President and CEO, Partnership Fund for New York City


Maria Gotsch is the President and CEO at the Partnership Fund for New York City, the investment arm of the Partnership for New York City. In addition to leading the Fund’s operations, she leads a number of the Fund's strategic initiatives, including: FinTech Innovation Lab; New York Digital Health Accelerator; Fashion Tech Lab; NYCSeed; BioAccelerate Prize NYC; Arts Entrepreneurial Loan Fund; and ReStart Central and Financial Recovery Fund. Prior to joining the Fund, she was a Managing Director at BT Wolfensohn (now part of Deutsche Bank), and she also worked at LaSalle Partners and Merrill Lynch Capital Markets. She has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Wellesley College.


Moderator: Yiqin Shen

Senior Reporter, Mergermarket


Yiqin (Yee-chin) Shen is a Senior Reporter with Mergermarket and Dealreporter based in the New York office. Since joining in 2015, she has been covering US healthcare M&A, IPO and capital raise deals, as well as cross-border transactions across sectors involving Asia strategic investors and PE/VC firms. Her coverage also includes cross-border transaction regulatory review and policy development in the US and Asia. Prior to moving to the US, she interned at Mergermarket's Shanghai office for a year, after a stint at Reuters Shanghai bureau. Yiqin Shen holds a MS from Columbia Journalism School and a BA in Journalism from Fudan University.

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William C. Hicks

Co-chair, Mintz Securities & Capital Markets Practice


William (Bill) C. Hicks is the Co-chair of Mintz Securities & Capital Markets Practice Group. He has extensive experience representing issuers, investors, and investment banks in structuring and executing IPOs, cross-over investments, alternative public offerings, including reverse mergers and form 10 transactions. He represents hedge funds, venture capital firms, and private equity firms in customized investments in public companies. He also represents public companies in public and private financings, SEC compliance, corporate governance, and general counseling.

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Kimberly Ha

Founder, KKH Advisors


Kimberly Ha is the founder and CEO of KKH Advisors, a life sciences advisory firm. She was previously Senior Director at FTI Consulting, Healthcare Capital Markets Communications, where she advised a broad range of clients from Fortune 500 to early-stage development companies on business transformation, corporate and executive positioning, crisis and issues management, and financial communications. She is also a digital health advisor to Array Ventures, a VC fund based in San Francisco.

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Bob Ai, PhD, MBA

Managing Director, Solebury Trout


Bob Ai is a Managing Director at Solebury Trout focusing on establishing long term relationships with biotech companies and investors in Asia. Previously, he was managing director, senior biotech analyst at WallachBeth Capital. Before that, he was the CFO of Aoxing Pharmaceuticals, a NYSE MKT listed Chinese specialty pharmaceutical company. He has also served as Principal in crossover life science private equity firm Merlin Nexus and senior equity analysts at assets management firms Bennett Lawrence and Merlin Biomed Group. He received his Ph.D. and MBA from Penn State University and did postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania. He has published eight articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and holds Series 7, 63, 79, 86, and 87 securities licenses.

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John R. Lieberman, CPA

Managing Director, Perelson Weiner LLP


John R. Lieberman is the Managing Director at Perelson Weiner LLP, where he works with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to implement financial controls, in addition to evaluating and working on private placements of publicly-traded securities or prior to an IPO. He has dedicated his practice of over 25 years to assist the owners of closely-held companies with business tax planning and risk management and high net worth individuals with their wealth management needs. He has extensive experience in a broad range of industries from the sports and entertainment industry to media, real estate, and healthcare companies both private and public. He is frequently solicited by the media to speak on tax issues.

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