Starting Life Sciences Company: April 17, 2014

Overcoming Challenges starting a Life Sciences Company:  ENET meeting, April 17, 2014  


Ten days from now, Thursday April 17, 2014 at 630pm, the IEEE Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET) will present a distinguished panel on “Overcoming Challenges starting a Life Sciences Company”.   Although I will not be moderator that evening, I did recruit the speaker from the Medical Device field and was moderator for another of the speakers for another group.  This ENET meeting is FREE!  Pizza and soft drinks will be served.  It will be held in Cambridge, at the MTC – Microsoft Technology Center, One Cambridge Center, in Kendall Square, across the street from the CIC.


Not unlike any start up, a Life Science startup has challenges that include raising capital, building strategic partnerships, recruiting, motivating and retaining top scientific talent and compliance with regulatory bodies and commercialization. Yet, consider the following: It typically takes 10-15 years and a $1B (that’s B for a billion) to get a drug on the market. The medical device market is a 5 -sided market that includes the patient, physician, provider, payer and regulator. Yes, starting a Life Science business is a daunting task, to say the least, and comes with its unique challenges. Lucky for us, we are in Boston, the biotech hub and the slew of Life Science IPOs lately reassures that starting a life science company and growing it to its greatness is worth every bit of our passion and time.


The panel includes:


  • Lisa Sasso, MBA, CPCC, ACC, Co-founder and Director, Medical Development Group (MDG) and Founder and President of Medical Development Partners, LLC (MDP).  Prior to MDP, Lisa was the co-founder of Radi Medical Systems, Inc., a high tech medical device distributor specializing in innovative cardiology products. During her six-year tenure as President/CEO, she grew the company from inception to revenues of $28M with profitability.


  • Pravin R. Chaturvedi, Ph.D., CEO, IndUS Pharmaceuticals, and currently maintains multiple roles as the Chief Executive Officer of Boston-based IndUS Pharmaceuticals and Florida-based Oceanyx Pharmaceuticals. He is also the Chief Scientific Officer of San Francisco-based Napo Pharmaceuticals. He is a serial entrepreneur and has been the founder or co-founder of Oceanyx, IndUS and Scion Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Chaturvedi has served or currently remains on the boards of Scion, TiE Boston, IndUS, Sindu, Oceanyx, FuelEd and Cellanyx.  Dr. Chaturvedi is also an investor and as a member of TiE Angels spoke on a panel I moderated for 128 Innovation Capital Group.


This should be a great meeting for ENET, moderated by one of our group’s Board members and rising stars, Praveen Bansal, M.S, Founder and CEO, TFC BioSciences,

a Worcester-based life sciences company with a mission to develop and commercialize smart tools for Drug Discovery.



For more information on, or to register for, this April 17, 2014 ENET event, go to


Hopefully, this  first event will be helpful to entrepreneurs  wand would-be entrepreneurs  for the small and early stage companies I represent.  Hope to see you at this our next  ENET meeting in Kendall Square, Cambridge – Life Sciences Hub of the Universe” – April 17!



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I remain active in ENET, a Waltham and Cambridge based group that aids entrepreneurs, small and early stage companies, and people who invest or work in those companies.


Our meeting last week in Waltham marked ENET’s 24th year.  May 2014 will mark five years since my first election as ENET Chairman.


In February 2014,  I moderated  a panel for the IEEE Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET) on Co-Founders and Core Team – finding them, protecting yourself, managing expectations”.


The meeting’s focus was on improving your chances for success by having both the requisite technical and problem solving experience and also marketing, sales and operation experience, and how to find and recruit the right team members.


Our speakers that night were –



  • Rob May, CEO and Co-Founder, of Backupify , a  leading provider of backup and recovery solutions for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications. Rob is a frequent speaker and avid writer, with his Business Pundit blog and  recently named to Boston Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” business leaders.


  • Adam McGowan, Founder and CEO,  Firefield, an idea accelerator that offers a 16-week program that ignites ideas into early stage products, partnering with entrepreneurs.  Also, a serial startup founder, Adam is Boston Ambassador for CoFoundersLab, ,  a national organization focused on matchmaking for entrepreneurs co-founders.


I was the 4th and final speaker that February evening, speaking on the subject of Seven (7) Key Protections Co-Founders should seek.


To see my slides and those of the three other speakers and a 4th speaker who was unable to attend, LINK:



I was also the moderator for ENET’s September 3, 2013, on “Ready, Set, Launch. Knowing when you’re ready & How to start a company”.  70 attended our kickoff meeting in the new location at Constant Contact in Waltham and we had four excellent speakers:



For more information and speaker slides from the September 3, 2013 meeting, LINK:


For both the September and February meetings, I was aided by my son William Adelson, as co-organizer.   William recruited  2 of the 4 speakers on September 3.  During his service with ENET, William also worked as  Social Media Co-Manager  and was elected to the ENET Ad Board.  He is a Second Lt. in the Massachusetts National Guard, and now on leave from ENET, as he left in late February to attend the U.S. Army flight school in Ft. Rucker, AL, where he will be training to be an Army helicopter pilot during the next 16 months.


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