Author: Rafael Veraza | Category: Beyond The Bench | Translational Science (Ph.D.) | November 05, 2015
Science Technology Investor Reception (STIR) was held on Oct. 21 at the San Antonio
across San Antonio joined the UTHSCSA Office of Technology
(OTC) for an evening of networking and the presentation of two promising
technologies created at the UTHSCSA for commercialization opportunities.
Gebhard, senior executive director of the OTC opened the event introducing
keynote speaker Dr. Dana Ono, a Boston-based
serial entrepreneur and founder of several biotechnology start-up companies.
Following the keynote address by Dr. Ono, John Fritz, senior development
manager at the OTC and UT Health Science Center faculty members presented their technologies by giving a two-minute pitch to investors.
Graduate students from The Graduate School of
Biomedical Sciences and members of
a student-led organization focused on technology commercialization were present
at the event to welcome and network with local investors.
For Supriya Sinha a
fifth-year Ph.D. student attending the STIR event was “an incredible opportunity to network
with different experienced professionals interested in biomedical/
event was the first of a series of events that will be held throughout the
year. The format is kept short in order to give investors and local entrepreneurs
a small sample of what the UTHSCSA is producing in terms of novel inventions.
Catherine Cheng, a third-year Ph.D. student said that she loved the concept of
STIR because “typically, when you think of events where you have investors
and entrepreneurs, you think of those day-long “pitch fest” events, or those
high-stress, high-stakes pitch competitions."
Of course, those are wonderful and
productive events that bring people from all over the state or country together
to move ideas forward.
Even though the STIR events similarly aim to connect
inventors and interested investors, the atmosphere is decidedly different:
collegial, convivial, and almost casual.
At least to a student like me, STIR
seemed like a unique and effective way to for our University’s entrepreneurs to
gain some well-deserved exposure.
Promoting commercialization opportunities out of the
university it’s a critical aspect of translational science in order to move
inventions forward effectively and efficiently unto the patients and to improve
overall global health.
Ahsan Choudary a second year Ph.D. student in the Joint
Doctoral program in Translational Science put it best
when asked about the opportunities created by events like STIR: “The STIR event
was an excellent opportunity for scientists, scholars, and students from the
Health Science Center to meet and interact with like-minded, local investors
and biotech entrepreneurs.
If both the Health Science Center and the city of
San Antonio desire to create a cooperative, multidisciplinary climate for
transformative, sustainable biotech growth, having regular events like this for
participants from all areas of biotech is critical.
Such events will not only
raise awareness of the biotech commercialization pathway, but they will also
allow students and faculty alike to build the necessary relationships and
skills to facilitate the commercialization of medical and scientific
innovations quickly, which ultimately results in getting discoveries to
patients more quickly."
Photo credit: Isabella McCafferty
The "Beyond The Bench" series features articles written by students and postdoctoral fellows at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio.
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