How to become a Biotech or MedTech Entrepreneur

Founded 2005 by Carnegie Mellon University and Wharton School Faculty

History: The 2005 to 2022 Boot Camps

The Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Boot Camp was founded by Professors Arthur Boni of the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, Steve Sammut of the Wharton School Health Care Management Program, and Jeffrey Libson of the Wharton School Health Care Management Program and Pepper Hamilton, LLP. The first Boot Camp was launched at the 2005 BIO Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. The Boot Camp was originally designed as a program for CSOs but is now expanded in scope and design to address a broad range of issues for entrepreneurs more generally. The Boot Camp was created in response to the growing need in the managerial, scientific, and academic community to learn about the necessary elements and skills to transform technology and invention into a viable company. The Biotechnology Innovation Organization, through its BIO 2005 Academic-Industry Committee (“AI”), worked with the founders to develop this unique program to fill this knowledge gap. The insight and energy required for entrepreneurial success can be developed by anyone motivated to think strategically in selecting projects and plans for expeditious and cost-effective management, understanding the requirements of all the involved stakeholders, and overseeing the essential components of the commercialization process.

The Boot Camp concept is Philadelphia’s legacy gift to BIO and future annual meetings. The intention is that the Boot Camp will travel from year to year to each of the BIO International Convention venues – a veritable “moveable feast.” Now in its sixteenth year, the Boot Camp was offered at BIO International Conventions in Chicago in 2006, 2010, and 2013; Boston in 2007, 2012, and 2018; Philadelphia in 2005, 2015, and 2019; San Diego in 2008, 2014, and 2017; Atlanta in 2009; and Washington, DC in 2011. The BIO Boot Camp for 2020 and 2021 was paused due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The creation of the syllabus, the recruitment of faculty, and the faculty’s extensive preparation suggested that, wherever possible, there should be a core faculty, i.e. a portion of the faculty from the Philadelphia Boot Camp who would volunteer from year to year. This approach has the added benefit of improving the presentations and the materials from year to year as the faculty themselves identify what works, as well as how to teach together. Most of the faculty (and presenting companies), however, are recruited from the host region.

To facilitate and incorporate local participation, local Co-chairs are recruited each year. In previous years, the local Co-Chairs were:

Chicago, IL, 2006

Panayiotis P. Constantinides, PhD, Principal, Biopharmaceutical & Drug Delivery Consulting Elsie Quaite-Randall, PhD, MBA, Executive Director of the Office of Research Contracts and IP, McMaster University, formerly of Office of Technology Transfer, Argonne National Laboratory

Boston, MA, 2007

Robert Creeden, Partner, HealthCare Systems, Inc., Managing Director, Center for Innovative Ventures

San Diego, CA, 2008

Kurt A. May, MBA, Assistant Dean, Executive Development Center, Rady School of Management, University of California, San Diego Duane J. Roth, Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of CONNECT.  Steve Flaim, PhD, FACC, FAHA, Chairman Emeritus, Tech Coast Angels, Director, Angel Capital Association

Atlanta, GA, 2009

Frank R. Hunt, MS, MBA, President, SE bioStrategies, Inc., CEO, PNP Therapeutics, Inc.
Dennis P. Schafer, CEO, Life Science Management

Chicago, IL, 2010

Patrick G. Morand, Managing Director, SWMF Life Science Fund
Charles B. Hoslet, Managing Director, UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations
Allen J. Dines, Assistant Director, Office of Corporate Relations, University of Wisconsin

Washington, DC, 2011

Elana Fine, Director of Venture Investments, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland Toby Gordon, ScD, Associate Professor, The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Martha J. Connolly, PhD, Director, Maryland Industrial Partnerships, University of Maryland

Boston, MA, 2012

Ashley J. Stevens, DPhil (Oxon), CLP, President, Focus IP Group, LLC and Lecturer, Strategy and Innovation Department, School of Management, Boston University
Rekha Paleyanda, PhD, Sr. Business Strategy and Licensing Manager, Partners Healthcare

Chicago, IL, 2013

Patrick G. Morand, Managing Partner, Open Prairie Ventures
Allen J. Dines, Assistant Director, Office of Corporate Relations & Venture Designer, Hybrid Zone X, University of Wisconsin-Madison

San Diego, CA, 2014

Kurt A. May, MBA, Co-founder and Chairman, Psynomics Incorporated
Larry Stambaugh, Founding Principal, Aperçu Partners
Justin Chakma, Associate Director, Auspex Pharmaceuticals and Thomas, McNerney & Partners, LLC

Philadelphia, PA, 2015

Dennis Gross, MS, PhD, CEO, Pennsylvania Drug Discovery Institute at The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center
James Jordan, MBA, CHT, Chief Investment Officer, Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, Distinguished Service Professor in Healthcare & Biotechnology Management, Carnegie Mellon University
Alex B. Reitz, PhD, CEO, Fox Chase Chemical Diversity Center, Inc., The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center

San Francisco, CA 2016

Benjamin Chen, PhD, Managing Director, Ignatius Transaction Partners
Moira Gunn, PhD, Host, NPR – BioTech Nation, Director, Business of Biotechnology Program, Professor, School of Management, University of San Francisco

San Diego, CA 2017

Steve Flaim, PhD, FACC, FAHA, Chairman Emeritus, Tech Coast Angels, Director, Angel Capital Association
Larry Stambaugh, Founding Principal, Aperçu Partners, Founding Principal, Aperçu Partners, Chairman, Molecular Assemblies, Inc., Chairman, MindXSciences, Inc., LifeTime Director, BioCom, Chairman, ParaNetics

Boston, MA 2018

Edward Ross, Jr., MBA, President and CEO, ReadyDock, Inc., Member, MassMedical Angels and Launchpad Venture Group
Amy Siegel, MA, Co-founder and President, S2N Health

Philadelphia, PA 2019

Wendy DiCicco, Board Member, Carmell Therapeutics
Kathryn Doyle, PhD, JD, Partner, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, LLP
Hank Safferstein, PhD, JD, MBA, Senior Vice President, Cognition Therapeutics

Regional Co-Chairs: 

Jessica Gibson CEO & Co-founder,
Ariel Precision Medicine
Rupak Doshi, Ph.D CEO, OmniSync Incorporated
John York, PharmD, MBA\ Principal & CEO, AKITA BIOMEDICAL Lecturer,
Adj. Professor