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2022 Agenda

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

Octane’s Medical Innovation Forum 2022 Agenda

Thursday, October 27, 2022

7:00 – 8:00 am PDT


Registration & Networking Breakfast

7:00 – 8:00 am PDT


Octane Capital and Growth Breakfast (Invite Only)

8:00 – 8:15 am PDT


Kicking off Octane’s Medical Innovation Forum with Welcome and Introduction

Bill Carpou, CEO, Octane

Dominique Worthington, VP & GM, CEF Management, Critical Care and Advanced Energy, Medtronic


8:15 – 8:35 am PDT


Defining Entrepreneurial Intelligence (EI)

What is EI? What is the DNA required for successful entrepreneurship? How does this impact one’s ability to pivot in times of a macro economic recession? How does knowing yourself better than anyone else help you to spearhead your team’s formation?

Michelle J. Patterson, Founder & CEO, Touchpointe, Patterson Protocol; CEO, California Women’s Conference

8:35 – 9:15 am PDT


Innovation and Ideation to Meet Unmet Patient Needs

From startups to well established businesses, how has innovation been driven by unmet patient needs?  How has this impacted the growth and scalability of the startup?  How has medical innovation allowed well established business to expand?  How can you set up your business model to ensure your company continues to innovate at each stage, and not become obsolete?

Tom Evegan, Principal, Strategy & Management Consulting, RSM (Moderator)

MK Raheja, Ph.D., Head of R & D, Surgical Instrumentations, Johnson & Johnson Vision

Bobak Azamian, MD, PhD, CEO, Tarsus Pharmaceuticals

Rabi Narula, Partner, Knobbe Martens

Deepak Kumar Sahu, MBA, Partner, Alira Health

Alpesh Amin, MD, MBA, MACP, Chair, UCI Department of Medicine & Executive Director, Hospital Medicine

9:15 – 9:40 am PDT


Keynote & Fireside Chat

How does diversity impact ROI within all stages of business development? Discussing critical information on the value of a diverse business team and diverse clinical trials, to optimize products and sales. Defining key steps to successfully diversify at the beginning stages of business development to ensure optimal results.

Quita Beeler Highsmith, MBA, VP, Chief Diversity Officer, Genentech
Interviewed by Ed Kim, Senior Vice President & Physician-in-Chief, City of Hope

9:40 – 10:00 am PDT


Networking & Refreshment Break sponsored by Promedica

10:00 – 10:40 am PDT


Funding: How to Raise Capital in Challenging Times

From ideation to proof of concept seed funding, non-dilutive grants, crowd equity funding, and family offices to private equity, series A funding, and beyond, this session will highlight your options to access capital and key success factors in doing so. What are the appropriate investors at each stage of the company? What do these investors look for? How to position your company best for different types of investors?

Scott Whitcup, CEO, Whitecap Biosciences (Moderator)

Greg Brooks, B.Sc, Chief Business Officer, Cloudbreak Therapeutics

Jason Tester, CFO, The Horowitz Group

Xandra Laskowski, Founder and CEO of OSEA Angel Investors

Jeffry Weinhuff, Managing Partner, Visionary Venture Fund

10:40 am – 11:20 pm PDT


Clinical Trials: Optimizing Budget, Timelines, and Resources

How to set up Clinical Trials without breaking your bank and dragging out your timelines. Discussing the common pitfalls of Clinical Trial set up, how to avoid delays, and best path forward to ultimately achieve FDA Approval.

Edward S Kim, MD, MBA, FACP, FASCO, Physician-in-Chief and Senior VP, Orange County, City of Hope (Moderator)

Tim Pratt, PhD MBA, Executive Director – Clinical Development, Therapeutic Strategy & Innovation: Medical Device & Diagnostics

Tenley Koepnick, VP Clinical Affairs, Edwards Lifesciences

Daniela Bota, MD, Vice Dean for Clinical Research, School of Medicine UCI

Jyoti Malhotra, MD, MPH,  Director of Thoracic Medical Oncology, City of Hope

10:40 – 12:00 pm PDT


Top medical innovation startup companies vetted by Octane will be in the spotlight in the Startup Showcase room! 

Location: Santa Clara, Santa Barbara, Rancho Las Palmas

10:52 AM  | CVAC Systems (Allen J. Ruszkowski)

11:02 AM | NuEnerchi (Sam Young)

11:12 AM | Skin Happy (Dr. Julie Kenner)

11:22 AM | Trillen Medical (Jeremy Koff)

11:32 AM  | Polybiomics (Bahram Bahrami)

11:42 AM | Single Pass Inc. (Bill Colone)

11:52 AM | Insilicotrials (Luca Emili)

11:20 am – 12:00 pm PDT


Innovative Products require Innovative Payment Incentives and Refined Payment Processes

Highlighting hospital and physician incentives to successfully incorporate innovative products and services with properly set-
up reimbursements and payment processes. Outline of the steps, tools, and best practices for properly managed payment systems.

Jeff Evanson, Chief Commercial Officer, Outlook Therapeutics (Moderator)

Mark Domyahn, MBA, Partner JD Lymon

Synthia Laura Molina, Managing Director, Central IQ

Chance Scott, Partner, Life Sciences, Guidehouse

Nima Ziraknejad, Ph.D., P.Eng., Chief Executive Officer, NZ Technologies Inc.

12:00 – 1:20 pm PDT


Lunch (12:00 – 1:00 pm PST)
Presentation of the Medical Innovation Prize (1:00 – 1:20 pm PST)

This award will recognize an individual in the community who has greatly contributed to the increasing knowledge and transformation of existing process and business models to better serve changing needs and expectations.

Presented by Octane CEO, Bill Carpou

1:20 – 2:00 pm PDT


Attract and Manage a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB)

What is the advantage of successfully set up a Scientific Advisory Board? The Diversity of the Advisory Board exponentially benefits the company. Identifying the key attributes and experience skill set of the SAB participants to optimize the value.

Marcy DeWalt, Executive Director, Professional Relations, Allergan (Moderator)

Aidan Raney, MD, FACC, Director of Structural Heart Disease, Providence Health, Southern California

Jacqueline Jacques, Chief Research Officer, Special Situations at Thorne HealthTech

Benjamin Esque, Founder & CEO, RESQ Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

1:20 – 2:40 pm PDT


Top medical innovation startup companies vetted by Octane will be in the spotlight in the Startup Showcase room!

Location: Santa Clara, Santa Barbara, Rancho Las Palmas

1:32 PM  | NZ Technologies Inc. (Dr. Nima Ziraknejad)

1:42 PM | PionEar Technologies, Inc. (Dr. Ida Pavlichenko)

1:52 PM | XENSE INC (Ying Zhao)

2:02 PM | Mycrodose (Chad Conner)

2:12 PM | NERD BIO (Elmar Nurmemmedov)

2:22 PM | RXPlace (Patty Bollenbach)

2:32 PM | Implandata Ophthalmic Products (Max G Ostermeier)


2:00 – 2:40 pm PDT


Innovation within AI Implementation 

Highlighting the integral aspects of AI in its innovative solutions and opportunities in healthcare. The duality of innovation and intelligence with healthcare and how is moving the needle forward on healthcare iniquities with solutions.

Robert Podlesni, CPO, Revolv3, Inc

Anthony Chang, MD, MBA, MPH MS, Chief Intelligence and Innovation Officer, Founder and Medical Director, The Sharon Disney Lund Medical Intelligence and Innovation Institute (MI3), CHOC

Zeeshan Subzwari, Managing Director,

Scott Sandland, CEO,

Saina Danner, MSc, Health Care IT Implementation and Founder, YaYaYee

Mike Linnert, CEO and Founder of Actium Health

2:00 – 3:00 pm PDT


Women on Boards Workshop

Location: Berkeley / Anaheim Room

Corporations are more productive, profitable and innovative when they have diverse boards. More women on corporate boards is not just desirable, it is essential. So, what do corporate boards look for when they recruit and how do smart, experienced women prepare to be found and appointed to corporate boards? This workshop will feature real life stories, experiences from women who have served on corporate boards. And tips and tools to help women better prepare and promote themselves. Sponsored by University Lab Partners.

Introductions: Joyce Averna, Chair, Octane’s Women on Boards Committee

Moderator: Linda DiMario, Octane Foundation for Innovation

Featured speakers: Julie Hill, Member Board of Directors at Anthem, Inc. & Ronee Hagen, Retired President and Chief Executive Officer, Polymer Group, Inc.

2:40 – 3:00 pm PDT


Fireside Chat

Susan Walsh, PhD, Director of the Life Sciences Concentration and Associate Professor of Molecular/Cell Biology, SOKA University of America

Interviewed by Bill Carpou, CEO, Octane

2:40 – 3:20 pm PDT


(Invite Only)

Autri Chattopadhyay, Partner at MBX Capital

Lisa Walker, President, Tech Coast Angels

Len Brandt, CEO, D2M Venture Development 

Mike Stone, CFA, CIO and Partner, Sunstone Management

3:00 – 3:30 pm PDT


Afternoon Break

3:30 – 5:00 pm PDT


LaunchPad SBDC Company Presentations

A highlight of each year’s Medical  Innovation Forum 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 Medical Innovation Forum

Presenting Companies:

Watershed Therapeutics

Promedix Inc.

Thrive Lab

Mimosa DX


Karen Deschaine, Partner, Cooley
Volker Hüther, Managing Member Global Bridge LLC & Vice President of Tech Coast Angels OC
Len Brandt, CEO, D2M Venture Development

Learn more.

Intermission Announcements:

Carol DiStanislao, Managing Director, Octane Capital & Growth

Earl Slee, Chair of CEO Peer Group

5:00 – 7:00 pm PDT



The Catalina Ballroom

We are thrilled to be able to gather attendees together to solidify the connections made throughout the day at this invaluable networking event!  Strategics, entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts will all be in attendance.  The event will feature various beers, light hors d’oeuvres, and libations.  Live music from The CoverUps Band who bring back the lush, big, and melodic sound of the great 80s, mixed with today’s best hits.

Friday, October 28, 2022

7:15 – 8:00 am PDT


Registration & Networking Exhibitor Breakfast

8:15 – 8:30 am PDT


Welcome and Introduction of Breakfast with the Experts

8:30am – 10:00 am PDT


Breakfast with Experts Sessions

Each expert will host 2 x 45 minute sessions at a round table for 10.  The expert selects their topic and attendees sign up to attend their sessions of choice.

10:00 – 10:40 am PDT


Your #1 Capital: Employee Retention

The challenge of employee recruitment, management, and retention has grown exponentially. Gaps in the workforce remain the most challenging aspect for all businesses. What solutions have been successful in managing these gaps? What resources are available for accessing employees? How does the recruitment process impact the success of employee retention?

John Wicker, Shareholder, Stradling (Moderator)

Rod “RJ” Swartwood President, HR Prime, LLC

Doug Fauth, Sr Director, Global Talent Acquisition & Development, MicroVention-Terumo

Ian O. Williamson, PhD, Dean, The UCI Paul Merage School of Business


10:10 – 11:20 pm PDT


Top medical innovation startup companies vetted by Octane will be in the spotlight in the Startup Showcase room!

Location: Santa Clara, Santa Barbara, Rancho Las Palmas

10:12 AM  | Rootines (Tamera Jackson)

10:22 AM | JAL Therapeutics (David Maricich)

10:32 AM | Covellus (Bradley Beach)

10:42 AM | Catalyst Robotics ( Eddie Massey III)

10:52 AM | Neuraura (Pierra Wijdenes)

11:02 AM | SafetySpect (Kenneth Barton) 

11:12 AM | Indian Wells Medical, Inc (Jay Lenker)

11:22 AM | AitMed (Dr. Gary Chen)

10:40 – 11:20 am PDT


Optimizing Clinical Performance and Patient Outcomes with the Power of XR

From brain surgery to behavioral health, extended reality (XR) technologies are significantly advancing clinical training, patient engagement, surgical planning and interventions, pain management and mood disorders. Join Hoag’s panel of thought leaders to gain insights on how XR that was originally developed for military applications and readiness is adopted into health care, enabling clinicians and surgeons to further optimize patient outcomes. Attendees will better understand how XR is innovating and reshaping the delivery of health care.

Haleh Armian, MSc, Director of Biomedical Innovation Ventures, CATALiST, Hoag Hospital (Introduction & Q&A)

Robert Louis, M.D., F.A.A.N.S, Empower360 Endowed Chair in Skull Base and Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery, Chief, Division of Neurosurgery, Director, Skull Base and Pituitary Tumor Program, Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute, Hoag – XR Technologies are Making Brain Surgery Less Invasive and More Precise to Prepare and Guide Higher Performing Outcomes.

Alon Zuckerman, President & COO, Surgical Theater, Inc. – Once Virtually Impossible is Now Extended Reality: Creating Superior Outcomes through XR Visualization.

John Lyon, CEO and Co-Founder, HMDmdNext Generation Visualization for the Medical Metaverse.

Gita Barry, EVP and GM, Immersive Healthcare, Penumbra, Inc. – The Role of XR in Rehabilitation, Wellness, and Beyond.

11:20 am – 12:00 pm PDT


How to Plan for a Successful Strategic Exit

Understanding EBITA, Company Management Team, Investor Metrics to evaluate your business and set up a successful purchase

Moderator: Jason Lee, Partner, K&L Gates

Kip Roberts, Senior Director, M&A & Strategy, Cranial & Spinal Technologies, Medtronic

Fauad Hasan, CEO, Ornovi, Inc.

Peter Ulrich, CEO of Titan Spine

Ohki Murai, Managing Director, PWC

Ramin Mousavi, CEO, & Board of Directors, Cathworks

12:00 – 2:00 pm PDT


Keynote Lunch and LaunchPad SBDC Presentations

Cristian Tomasetti, PhD, Director, Center for Cancer Prevention and Early Detection, City of Hope

Presenting Companies:




Botanisol Analytics

Volker Hüther, Managing Member Global Bridge LLC & Vice President of Tech Coast Angels OC
Len Brandt, CEO, D2M Venture Development
Pat Hwang, Venture Partner, Heedfirst Ventures


Intermission Announcement:

Dave Beck, Vice President, Octane Capital & Growth

2:00 – 2:10 pm PDT


Closing Comments
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