Conference Agenda

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

8:00am - 9:30am — Breakfast / Registration / Exhibits Open
8:30 - 9:30am — PitchRounds #1

PitchRound companies meet with investors and potential partners to make deals!

9:30am - 10:00am — Welcoming Remarks

Opening Remarks

State of SEMDA and the Medtech Industry in the Southeast.

Jason Rupp
Executive Director, SEMDA

10:00 - 11:00am — Opening Keynote: Aimee Copeland

Aimee Copeland

In May 2012, Aimee Copeland was a typical 24 year old earning her Master’s degree in psychology when she and friends took an afternoon off to enjoy the sun at a nearby river. They found a homemade zip line that made the day even more enjoyable, until on Aimee’s second run the line snapped. Aimee fell into the rocks below, leaving her with a deep gash in her left calf.

A trip to the hospital and some 22 surgical staples later she was home, but it wasn’t the end of Aimee’s saga. After three days she was rushed to the hospital and it was determined that she had necrotizing fasciitis, a rare flesh-eating bacteria that took nearly took her life and did take both her arms below the elbow, her right leg below the knee, and nearly her entire left leg.

Aimee will share her story and the provide a personal account of the value of medtech innovation.

11:00am - 11:15am — Networking Break

Sponsored by

11:00 - 12:00 -- PitchRounds #2

PitchRound companies meet with investors and potential partners to make deals!

11:15am - 12:15pm — Concurrent Session #1

Concurrent Session 1A

Immigration Compliance for Employers: Practical Advice for Uncertain Times

Sponsored by Butler Snow

This panel of legal professionals with backgrounds in government, corporate defense and company HR and management will cover a broad range of immigration-based issues critical to employers in order to provide practical guidance during this period of increasingly aggressive individual and workplace enforcement. Topics will include an overview of current immigration restrictions; navigating liability for both employees and contractors; avoiding over and under compliance; and the pitfalls inherent in employers submitting I-9 forms along with possible sanctions, among other pertinent issues. Every employer should have an awareness of these challenges as the government ramps up immigration enforcement in the workplace.

Jim Letten

Butler Snow

Courtney Noce

Greenberg Taurig

Concurrent Session 1B

IP Protection Strategies for Emerging Medical Device Companies

Sponsored by Baker Hostetler

Our panel will cover the broad strategies for IP protection as a medical device company. We will address IP strategies attractive to venture capital or potential acquirers and the dos and don’ts of IP capital allocation. We will also get into the nuts and bolts of what to protect from an IP standpoint, how and where to protect it, and address strategies for maximizing the value of your portfolio.

Doug Buechter 
DePuy Synthes Biomaterials

Hussein Akhavannik

Ed King 
BakerHostetler – Moderator


12:15pm - 1:30pm — Lunch Keynote: Don Turner, IBM Watson

Don Turner, Global Head, Commercialization, IBM Watson Health

Don Turner has more than two decades of experience commercializing transformative and award winning solutions across numerous industry verticals on a global basis. Don has served in roles such as Chairman of the Board, CEO, COO, and CTO for globally recognized companies, served on the advisory board for Cisco Systems, committee chairman for Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, advisory board member and program director for the new technologies ventures group at Northrup Grumman, lectured at business schools on commercialization and entrepreneurship, spoken at industry conferences on personalized medicine, served on healthcare innovation and investment panels, chaired steering committees, and worked pro bono for several years as a shadow CXO for growth stage companies as a means of giving back.

1:30pm - 1:45pm — Networking Break

Sponsored by

1:45pm - 2:45pm — Concurrent Session #2

Concurrent Session #2A:

The Pacemaker Hack: Unpacking Risk Scenarios for Integrated Medical Devices

As a result of recent developments in medical device innovation, connected devices have become a target of cyber-criminal activity. Our panel will explore privacy and security risk scenarios for medical device manufacturers. We will address data breaches and security vulnerabilities within devices and provide strategies to mitigate the myriad risks associated with product design, insurance protection, contractual risk transfer, risk allocation and data breach response.

Vimala Devassy

Courtney Warren 
Marsh & McLennan Agency

Joel Fehrman

Kristen Woodrum 
BakerHostetler – Moderator

Concurrent Session #2B:

Funding 20/20

One common denominator in the development of all medical devices is the need for capital.  Finding capital is an ever changing landscape made up of personal relationships, economic development organizations, investor groups and networks, and large aggregators of capital and funding opportunities.  This panel brings together experts members of the capital community to discuss what investors are looking for and where how best companies can find and access the money needed to develop their products.

Dennis Ford
Life Science Nation

Ibraheem Badejo 
Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Christine Thiesing

David Huizenga
Tao Life Sciences -Moderator

2:45pm - 3:45pm — Concurrent Sessions #3

Concurrent Session #3A:

Sponsored by King & Spalding

Best Practices for Leveraging Your Intellectual Property Rights to Attract Capital and Secure Deals

A start-up venture with quality intellectual property (“IP”) assets is more likely than its less IP-rich competitors to have a sustainable competitive advantage that will allow it to succeed in the marketplace.  Our panelists — successful entrepreneurs and investors — will discuss how a new medical device venture can create and use an IP protection strategy to attract funding and customers and achieve long-term commercial success.

Todd Creech

Partner, HealthQuest Capital

Stephen Snowdy

CEO, Visioneering Technologies

Jay Yadav

CEO, MiRus

Scott Petty

King & Spalding

Concurrent Session #3B:

Sponsored by Write2Market

Beyond the press release: Integrated marketing strategies for medtech and med device

Effective B2B healthcare marketers know press releases don’t move the meter for most growth stage medtech and med device companies. Great stories do. How do you find, produce and distribute stories that make metrics driven marketing programs sing? Attendees will learn from each level of the organization, from the CEO through scientific program directors responsible for supporting business development and marketing. We will discuss the why, who and how to build strategic, integrated, value-based marketing programs that drive measurable results even with limited internal teams and compliance constraints.

Lori Chmura
CEO, Dune Medical Devices

Michael Krachon 
Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Isoray

Deepal Panchal 
Program Director, GCMI and T3 Labs

Paul Snyder
VP Healthcare, Write2Market – moderator

3:45pm - 4:15pm — Networking Break

During this Networking Break, we will also announce Pitch Company finalists, who will present on Day 2 of the conference.

Sponsored by

4:15pm - 5:15pm — Concurrent Sessions #4

Concurrent Session #4A:

Innovation: Hype or Reality?

When is innovation hype or reality? How do you tell the difference? Join us for the ‘Innovation: Hype or Reality’ panel as we discuss how industry professionals scrutinize technology to determine its merit. We have two great panelists who bring a multitude of perspectives from academia, large industry, start-up, and venture capital.

Bob Guldberg

Georgia Tech

Gregg Tobin


Lance Black

TMC Innovation Institute – Moderator

Concurrent Session #4B:

Innovative Business Models

Getting a medical product approved and on the market is full of challenges. In a time when resources and bandwidth are scarce, strategic thinking can make all the difference. Panel will discuss different approaches to product development and share strategies for how to move fast with limited resources.

David Calabrese

The Buy Side

Dr. Jayne Morgan


David Perryman

Drug Innovations Ventures at Emory

Nicole Morris

Georgia Tech

5:15pm - 6:30pm — Poster Session & PitchRounds Elevator Pitches

Poster Sessions will highlight emerging technologies from Universities around the region.

PitchRounds Elevator Pitches will provide our PitchRound companies three minutes to share their story in lighting round presentations.

6:30pm - 8:00pm — Gala Reception / Spotlight Award Presentation

Pitch finalists will be announced.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

8:00am - 9:15am — Breakfast / Registration / Exhibits Open
8:30 - 9:15am — PitchRounds #3
9:00am - 10:00am — Morning Keynote Panel: The Politics of Innovation

How does the political landscape influence investment in innovation in the US medtech industry?  How has the role of government in the development of new innovative medical devices evolved in recent years?  What should the medtech industry be anticipating during this new administration transition period?  This panel will provide insight on federal policies, processes, programs that support innovation and entrepreneurship in the medtech sector, as well as advice on working with government and political leaders to accelerate industry growth.

Craig Buerstatte
Acting Director, Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship
US Department of Commerce, EDA

Russ Lipari
Founder & CEO
Health Connect South

Ashley Wittorf
Executive Director & Sr. Vice President
AdvaMed Accel

Tiffany Wilson (Moderator)
GCMI & T3 Labs

10:00 - 10:15am — PitchRound Company Presentation #1
10:15am - 10:30am — PitchRound Company Presentation #2
10:30am - 10:45pm — PitchRound Company Presentation #3
10:45am - 11:00m — Networking Break
11:00am - 11:15am — PitchRound Company Presentation #4
11:15am - 11:30am — PitchRound Company Presentation #5
11:30am - 12:15pm — Concurrent Session #5

Concurrent Session #5A:

Regulatory and Reimbursement Strategies to Ensure a Successful Product Launch

Regulatory professionals control the type and quality of studies performed to support FDA clearance, which, in turn, provide the evidence to support favorable coverage decisions. As such, it is imperative that companies develop parallel regulatory, clinical and reimbursement paths that address the needs of both FDA and the payers. This panel will focus on tactics to use during the regulatory process to drive a successful product launch. Whether you are a large or small company, have a product in the pipeline or on the market, this panel will provide useful insights.

Bill Kitchens

Arnall Golden Gregory

Machelle Shields

Butler Snow

Christine Scifert


Linda Braddon – Moderator

Secure BioMed Evaluations

Concurrent Session #5B:

The Intersection of Digital Health and MedTech Innovation

Corporations have always been focused on innovation, but connecting with and utilizing this help (especially for an earlier stage innovation) can be difficult to accomplish successfully.  Join our panel of corporate innovators, corporate acceleration specialists, academic specialists and companies that have successfully navigated some of these partnerships to hear how it is being done today, and how you might be able to take advantage for your large or small company.

Dr. Omer Inan

Georgia Tech

Mehul Udani


Dan Clark

Linear Health Sciences

Karan Sorensen

Sorensen Strategies

Aron Starosta – Moderator


12:15pm - 1:30pm — Lunch Keynote: Dr. Billy Cohn, J&J/ PitchRound Winner Announced

PitchRounds Winner Announced

Plenary SpeakerDr. William E. “Billy” Cohn, Vice President, J&J Medical Devices Companies and Director of the Center for Device Innovation, Houston

Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Cohn was Director of the Center for Technology and Innovation and Director of the legendary Cullen Cardiovascular Research Laboratory at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston.  Billy is a noted cardiovascular surgeon and visionary serial inventor.  He is a Professor of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine and an Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering at both Rice University and the University of Houston.  His major research interests have been focused on decreasing the invasiveness of medical procedures in a wide variety of fields.

Dr. Cohn has been intimately involved in the development of the continuous-flow, totally implantable, artificial heart.  In 2011, Dr. Cohn and Dr. O. H. Frazier successfully implanted the first pulseless total heart replacement device in a human patient.  Dr. Cohn has a passion for medical device development and has more than 90 US patents granted or pending for his medical innovations that have provided the core technology for six venture-backed medical start-ups.

His numerous awards include an honorary doctorate in science from Oberlin College, the Distinguished Scientist Award, given by the MacDonald Fund, and the Edison Award for excellence in human-centered design and innovation for the SentreHEART® Lariat®.  In 2000, Dr. Cohn was named the distinguished Inventor of the Year by the U.S. Intellectual Property Owners Association.  In 2014 he was named Outstanding Inventor of the Year by the Houston IPO.  In addition, in 2014 he received the Innovation award at ICI in Tel Aviv for inventing the TVA everLINQ system for percutaneous AV fistula creation and for founding TVA Medical.  In 2015, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for healthcare innovation by the Houston Technology Center.  Lastly, before joining J&J, he was a Venture Partner at Santé Ventures and was the Chief Medical Officer for BiVACOR USA and for Reliant Heart.

After obtaining an undergraduate degree in Biology and Chemistry from Oberlin College in Ohio, Billy went on to receive his Doctor of Medicine from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.  He then completed seven years of general surgical and cardiothoracic surgical training at the Baylor College of Medicine Affiliated Hospitals and a one-year cardiothoracic fellowship at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital. After completion of his training, he stayed on as a staff Cardiothoracic surgeon at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and as a full-time faculty of Harvard Medical School for ten years before being recruited back to his hometown of Houston.

1:30pm — Conference Adjourned

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