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2021 Agenda

Spread out over two days full of leading industry innovators and networking opportunities.

MedTech Innovation Forum 2021 Agenda

Thursday, October 28, 2021

7:00 – 8:00 am PDT


Networking Breakfast

8:00 – 8:15 am PDT


Welcome and Introduction

Bill Carpou, CEO, Octane

8:15 – 9:00 am PDT


SPACs: A New Solution to Healthcare Funding

James V. (Jim) Mazzo, Executive Chairman, Neurotech, Chief Executive Officer, Avellino Labs, Advisor, Zeiss, Advisor, Bain Consulting, Board Member, Centricity Vision Inc. (Moderator)

Brent Saunders, Executive Chairman, The Beauty Health Company and Former Chairman & CEO, Allergan (Joining remotely.)

Omar Ishrak, Former CEO & Chairman of the Board, Medtronic (Joining remotely.)

Brad Conlan, CEO, Bimini Health

Delilah Panio, Vice President, US Capital Formation, TMX Group

Jeffrey Steinfeld, Securities Litigation Attorney, Winston & Strawn LLP

9:00 – 9:30 am PDT


Advancing Clinical Trials

Clinical trials help researchers find new ways to prevent and detect cancer and other serious illness, and they can also help improve the quality of life for patients. But clinical trials are not always accessible and some patients may even be skeptical of their value. Add to this the rigid eligibility requirements of some studies and it seems we still have challenges to overcome as Orange County becomes a major hub of medical and health care innovation. In this session we’ll talk about the merits and challenges of clinical trial leadership.

Edward S. Kim, MBA, MD, FACP, FASCO, Physician-in-Chief, City of Hope Orange County, Vice Physician-in-Chief, City of Hope National Medical Center (Moderator)

Santosh Kesari, MD, PhD, FANA, NBPS, Providence Southern California

Danny Nguyen, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research

Sherman  Johnson, Grateful Patient

9:30 – 10:00 am PDT


Networking & Exhibits 

10:00 – 10:40 am PDT


Preparing for Tomorrow’s Pandemic Yesterday

How will collaboration accelerate and advance future endeavors? What worked and what didn’t with this pandemic? How will we pivot to ensure more efficient response and success for future pandemics?

Davis Nordell, Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Senior Analyst and Tax Senior Manager, RSM

I. Obi Emeruwa, MD, MBA, Clinical Instructor, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA & Translational Director, UCLA Biodesign

Susanna Rustad, Chief Procurement Officer, Executive Director, Virtual Care, UCI Health

David Winter, PhD, Catalyst Project Officer, BARDA

10:00 – 10:40 am PDT


Fast Pitch Group 1

Sponsored By: J.P. Morgan Chase

Ceresti Health

Dr. Hologram

Nested Knowledge



10:40 am – 11:20 pm PDT


FDA Clearance

What’s new at the FDA? What changes occurred over the past year and how have people adjusted? What will stick and what will go back to normal? How does this impact timelines and costs?

Scott Whitcup, MD, Founder & CEO, Akrivista and Whitecap Biosciences (Moderator)

Bruce Albala, PhD, Associate Dean of Innovation and Clinical Trials, Professor of Neurology and Director in the Center for Clinical Research

Mary Edwards, Vice President, Regulatory and Clinical Affairs, Surgical Structural Heart, Edwards Lifesciences

Malvina Eydelman, MD, Expert Medical Officer, Senior Medical Advisor and Director of FDA’s Office of Ophthalmic, Anesthesia, Respiratory, ENT, & Dental Devices, FDA

Mark Leahey, President & CEO, Medical Device Manufacturers Association

10:40 am  – 11:20 pm PDT


Fast Pitch Group 1 & Group 2

Sponsored By: J.P. Morgan Chase




i-Lumen Scientific, Inc.

Smartlens, Inc.

Arvetas Biosciences

11:20 am – 12:00 pm PDT


Precision Medicine

Applications of precision medicine inpatient treatment to optimize efficiency or therapeutic benefit for particular groups of patients. How has genetic and molecular profiling contributed to the success and applications of precision medicine?

Matt Bresnahan, Partner, Wilson Sonsini (Moderator)

Suzzette Arnal, Director, Product Management, Hematopathology and Coagulation, Quest Diagnostics

Joseph Boyd, Global Head, Sales & Marketing, Avellino

Michael Howell, Chief Scientific Officer, DermTech

11:20 am – 12:00 pm PDT


Fast Pitch Group 2

D&P Bioinnovations

Siva Therapeutics 


Vital Metrix, Inc.

Wise IOT

Innovative Healing Solutions LLC


12:00 – 1:00 pm PDT



1:00 – 1:40 pm PDT


Establishing Orange County as a Leader in Pediatric MedTech

How can we make Orange County a national leader in pediatric medtech? Join our panel as we discuss strategies to remove barriers to launch a groundswell in pediatric medtech. We’ll be discussing resources, research, pilot projects, and partnership opportunities. Our panel will share strategies to leverage a pediatric pipeline for product development and sales, along with FDA updates, as we explore ways to streamline pediatric device development.

Sharief Taraman, MD, DABPN, DABPM, FAAP, Chief Medical Officer, Cognoa, Chief of Neurology, CHOC Children’s (Moderator)

John Laschinger, MD, VP of Medical Affairs, Advanced Technology, Edwards Lifesciences

Phil Martie, Founder & CEO, Nicolette Inc.

John Parker, Founder & CEO, Springhood Ventures

Terence Sanger, MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, CHOC

1:00 pm – 1:40 pm PDT


Fast Pitch Group 3

Sponsored By: Greenlight Guru

Nathan Eskstein, Senior Account Executive, Greenlight Guru (Moderator)

CARI Health

Caring Closures (Safe Rx)

Telesair, Inc

Vena Vitals

Divyze, Inc.


1:40 – 2:20 pm PDT


Healthcare AI

How are we creating an end-to-end ecosystem of world-class Healthcare and AI experts that collaborate to solve complex healthcare problems? By establishing, attracting, and retaining the best companies, talent and jobs in SoCal to address Individualized Health and Medical Strategies that transform the way we prevent illness (wellness), treat illness (therapeutics) and coordinate care (efficiency). Additionally, will focus on health equity and once formed in SoCal reach both a national and global population.

Ramin Mousavi, CEO, Cathworks (Moderator)

Bill Carpou, CEO, Octane

Anthony Chang, MD, MBA, MPH, MS, Chief Intelligence and Innovation Officer, The Sharon Disney Lund Medical Intelligence and Innovation Institute, Medical Director, CHOC Children’s Heart Failure Program

Daniel Chow, MD, MBA, Co-Director, Center for Artificial Intelligence in Diagnostic Medicine, UCI School of Medicine

Chris Huff, Chief Strategy Officer, Kofax

Jennifer McCaney, PhD, Executive Director, UCLA Biodesign

1:40 – 2:00 pm PDT


Fast Pitch Group 3 (Continued)

Sponsored By: Greenlight Guru

Nathan Eskstein, Senior Account Executive, Greenlight Guru (Moderator)

SafetySpect Inc

Senseer Health Inc.

TrakPoint Solutions Inc.

2:20 – 2:30 pm PDT


Networking & Exhibits

2:30 – 5:00 pm PDT


LaunchPad SBDC Company Presentations

A highlight of each year’s MedTech Innovation Forum (MTIF) are the presentations by companies who have recently been through the LaunchPad SBDC evaluation process. The LaunchPad presentations are the result of select medical technology companies who have recently been through the LaunchPad evaluation process. It is one of the most highly anticipated   sessions of Octane’s annual MedTech Innovation Forum.

Henry Miller, Global Managing Partner, Life Sciences, Diversified Executive Search (Moderator)

Presenting Companies:

IRegained Inc.: Vineet Johnson, PhD, Founder, President & CEO

Fast Biomedical: Joseph Muldoon, CEO & Chairman of the Board, Fast Biomedical

Square In The Eye: Heidi Kershaw, Founder & CEO

Remmie Health: Jane Zhang, Co-Founder & CEO

QT Medical: Ruey-Kang Chang, MD, MPH, Co-Founder & CEO

Celestial Therapeutics: Ajay Gupta, PhD, Co-Founder, President, Chairman & CEO

Venova Medical: Erik van der Burg, Co-Founder & CEO and Shant Vartanian, MD, Co-Founder & CMO

Investor Judges:

Milo Bissin, Director, Silicon Valley Bank

Len Brandt, Brandt Ventures

David Byram, Managing Director, Value, Access & Medical, Syneos Health Consulting

Thierry Weissenburger, Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner, Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles

5:00 – 5:15 pm PDT


Closing Remarks

Tom Mitro, President & CEO, Aerie Pharmaceuticals 

5:15 – 7:00 pm PDT


Networking Cocktail Reception
Friday, October 29, 2021

7:15 – 8:00 am PDT


Networking Breakfast

8:00 – 9:00 am PDT


Breakfast with Experts Sessions

9:00 – 9:15 pm PDT


Networking & Exhibits

9:15 – 9:30 am PDT


Welcome and Introduction

Tom Mitro, President & CEO of Aerie Pharmaceuticals

9:30 – 10:15 am PDT


Fireside Chat with Barry Arbuckle, President & CEO, Memorial Care

Our keynote will address how medical device and other med-tech suppliers need to understand how COVID changed the way that health systems will view the purchase and use of products ranging from implantable devices (heart valves, orthopedic implants, etc.) to diagnostic instruments and down to daily low-tech consumables. It will help med-tech companies understand the right way to approach health systems and the right way to package their offerings to you and your colleagues in the post-COVID ‘new’ world.

Barry Arbuckle, President & CEO, Memorial Care

Clay Wilemon, President & Chief Commercial Officer, APATICS (Interviewer)

10:15 – 10:40 pm PDT


Networking & Exhibits

10:40 – 11:20 am PDT


Innovation in Mental Health

The question is no longer whether technology will transform mental health care, but when and how it will occur. 2020 was an unprecedented year for investment in mental health start-ups. According to Rock Health, the venture capital industry invested $1.8 billion in mental health startups in 2020, a threefold increase over 2019.

Jonathan Menkes, Partner, Knobbe Martens (Moderator)

Rick Afable, MD, MPH, FACP, President & Board Chair, MindOC / BeWell Orange County

Naveen Jonathan, PhD, LMFT, Clinical Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Marriage & Family Therapy, Crean College of Health & Behavioral Sciences, Chapman University

Evan Levine, CEO & Chairman, PsyBio Therapeutics

Yona Shtern, CEO, Hapbee

11:20 am – 12:00 pm PDT


Advancing Collaboration with Innovative Products, Services, and Partnerships

What are key tools to ensuring success in this new hybrid environment?  How will companies take advantage of the virtual world to improve products, services, and partnerships?  How will companies adjust to flexible work schedules to retain employees? Does it vary by age of company? How are the virtual workforce and virtual services operating successfully?

Maneesh Goyal, COO, Mayo Clinic

Cherie Henket, Sr. Vice President, Global Human Resources, MicroVention

Karla Kraft, Shareholder, Stradling

Alyssa Scholz, NCIDQ, Principal, Global Healthcare Practice Area Leader, Gensler

Thierry Weissenburger, Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner, Consulate General of Canada, Los Angeles

12:00 – 1:00 pm PDT


MedTech and Life Science Diversity

How can we best increase the awareness, understanding, and participation of racial and ethnic minorities in the medtech industry? What specific strategies and goals will help us to improve representation in clinical trials, understand different disease states in minority populations, develop solutions to recruit and retain minority physicians, researchers, and other stakeholders in research and product development, and identify unmet needs in advancing research on health issues unique to minorities?

Brian Slizgi, Partner, Pharmaceutical R&D Advisory, PwC

Stephanie Manson Brown, MD, MBBS, MRCS, MFPM, Vice President, Head of Clinical Development, Aesthetic Medicine, Allergan Aesthetics at AbbVie

Tim Pratt, Executive Director, Clinical Development, Syneos Health

Frantz Tiffeau, Senior Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, Edwards Lifesciences

Nikki Sidi, Vice President, Global Strategic Marketing, Surgical, Johnson & Johnson Vision

1:00 – 1:40 pm PDT


Acceleration in Neuro Intervention in OC

How is Orange County proving to be a leader in the acceleration of Neuro Intervention? What key products are leading the pathway?

Earl Slee, Vice President, Technology, Strategy and Business Development, Medtronic Brain Therapies, Irvine, CA (Retired, Oct 2020) (Moderator)

Dave Ferrera, CEO, RC Medical

Kiarash Golshani, MD, Vice Chair of Administrative Affairs, UCI Department of Neurological Surgery

Claire Henchcliffe, MD, DPhil, Chair & Stanley van den Noort Professor of Neurology, University of California, Irvine

Azadeh Nasibi, MBA, Vice President, Business Development, Strategy, & Integration | Neurovascular, Medtornic

1:40 – 2:10 pm PDT


Biodesign 2.0: Charting The Future For Health Technology Innovation

Dr. Makower will present remotely from the Bay Area. 

Josh Makower, MD, MBA, Professor of Medicine & Bioengineering, Director & Co-Founder, Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign

2:10 – 2:40 pm PDT


The Changing Landscape of Acquisitions

Consolidation, process changes, and cash advantages in post-pandemic world have altered the landscape of acquisitions. Are these changes continuing through 2022? How do they advance healthcare and accelerate innovation and growth?

Rema Awad, Partner, K&L Gates

Ryan Keefer, Partner, PwC

Nia Stefani, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Xnergy

Jeffry Weinhuff, Managing Partner, Visionary Venture Fund

2:40 – 2:45 pm PDT


Closing Remarks