2023 Agenda

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

2023 Agenda

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

7:00 – 8:00 am PDT


Registration & Networking Breakfast

7:30 – 8:30 am PDT


Octane Capital and Growth Breakfast (Invite Only)

8:15 – 8:30 am PDT


Welcome and Introduction

Cheryl Wood, Senior Signature Event Manager, Octane

Bill Carpou, CEO, Octane

EMCEE – Nazli Azimi, Bioniz – Defining Entrepreneurial Intelligence – EI


8:30 – 8:55 am PDT


Generative AI – The Angst and the Excitement

What are the personal and professional tools required to successfully move from ideation stage to commercialization?  How has the merging of medical technology and therapeutics with digital therapeutics impacted entrepreneurialism?

Harvey Castro, MD, MBA, Author, ChatGPT Healthcare

8:55 – 9:45 am PDT


The Evolving Funding Environment

Turn the impossible to possible. What are the current options in the funding environment that are most successful during these changing times? How should you navigate in an environment with higher cost of capital and how does this impact your strategic exit?

Keynote Overview

Dan Gil, CEO, Pelage Pharmaceuticals

Panel Discussion:
Dan Gill
, CEO, Pelage Pharmaceuticals
Pranjal Gamghir, Managing Director, Healthcare Investment Banking, Citi Bank
Scott Joslyn, Chief Innovation Officer, UCI Health
Jeffry Weinhuff, Managing Partner, Visionary Ventures

9:45 – 10:15 am PDT


Morning Break

10:15 – 10:45 am PDT


Overcoming Roadblocks Efficiently

How to strategically advance into new market pathways, educating people about the needs and value, and establishing commercialization success.

Jim Mazzo, Executive Chairman, Neurotech (Moderator)

Bobak Azamian, MD, PhD, CEO and Chairman, Tarsus Pharmaceuticals

Christopher P J Barty, CTO and Executive Director, Lumitron Technologies

Samuel R. Browd, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington Department of Neurological Surgery, and Co-Founder, Chief Medical Officer, Board Member, Proprio

11:10 – 12:00 pm PDT


Fast Pitch Group 1

Octane Portfolio Companies / LaunchPad SBDC

David Beck, General Manager, Haystax

6 companies present on main stage (5 min presentation for each company followed by a 10 minute audience Q&A)

12:00 – 1:00 pm PDT


Lunch – Medical Innovation Prize Awards Luncheon

David R. Braxton, MD, Chief of Molecular Pathology Services at Hoag Family Cancer Institute, Subspecialist Pathologist in Digestive Diseases, Cancer Genomics & Precision Medicine

John Cupp, MD, Surgical and Hematopathologist, Director of Digital Pathology, IT Physician Champion, Department of Pathology, Hoag Hospital

1:00 – 1:30 pm PDT


The Role of Hospitals with Innovative Product Development

The partnership between hospitals and early-stage companies involves navigating multiple departments and stakeholders, as well as addressing a wide range of topics. What are the responsibilities of a clinical champion? What is the best way to engage, when, and with whom? What resources are required to support companies’ needs, milestones, clinical studies, and evaluations? Is there a way for the hospital to leverage its institutional resources and help companies demonstrate clinical utility and value? In what ways can hospitals and clinicians’ feedback accelerate product development, FDA approval, and commercialization?

Anthony Chang, MD, MBA, MPH, Chief Intelligence and Innovations Officer, Children’s Hospital of Orange County (Moderator)

Haleh Armian, Director of Biomedical Innovation Ventures, Hoag

Joanna Develter, Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs Critical Care, Edwards Lifesciences

Tad Funahashi, MD, Chief Innovation & Transformation Officer, Kaiser

Ryan Kelly, Chief Innovation Officer, Innovation Labs

Edward S Kim, MD, MBA, Senior Vice President and Physician-in-Chief, City of Hope Orange County

1:30 – 2:00 pm PDT


Improving Payer and Provider Value Leveraging AI

How can AI be used to improve payment integrity and take friction out of the payer, provider ecosystem.  Early planning with reimbursement strategy.  Battle with payers, solutions around margins, staff increases. The value of designation for enhanced reimbursed pathway.  The value of AI with coding.

Clay Wilemon, CEO & Chairman, 4L Data Intelligence (Moderator)

Douglas Farquhar, Vice President of Strategy, Reliant Health 

2:00 – 3:15 pm PDT


Capital Assist Octane Portfolio Companies (5 Companies)

Octane portfolio companies that have graduated from Octane’s LaunchPad accelerator sponsored by the SBDC will pitch their products to our investor ecosystem with key strategics and physicians.

Carol Distanislao, Managing Director, Capital and Growth

Winners announced and awarded the People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice awards

3:15 – 3:30 pm PDT


Afternoon Break

3:30 – 4:10 pm PDT


Digital Pathology: Back to the Present, Leap to the Future

The practice of Pathology in U.S. hospitals continues to operate just as it has for the last 100 years, whereby a tissue biopsy is fixed in chemicals, manually processed, stained with dyes, and sectioned onto glass slides. Pathologists then view these slides via microscopes and perform tissue-based tests in order to provide a disease diagnosis. Digital Pathology is a relatively new sub-field that utilizes computer-based technology and AI to scan/digitize specimen slides, generate and manage biopsy information as well as provide virtual microscopy. Hoag has partnered with innovative companies to revolutionize Digital Pathology with an end to end solution from real time data image acquisition to data optimization, storage and management.

Join Hoag’s panel of physician thought leaders and partner companies to gain insights on how we are collaborating to transform conventional pathology and embrace Digital Pathology in our community to improve patient outcomes, streamline clinical workflow, and lower health care costs.

Michael Brant-Zawadzki, Senior Physician Executive, Hoag Hospital, The Ron and Sandi Simon Endowed Chair, Executive Medical Director, Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute (Moderator)

David R. Braxton MD, Chief of Molecular Pathology Services, Hoag Family Cancer Institute, Subspecialist Pathologist in Digestive Diseases, Cancer Genomics & Precision Medicine

John Cupp, MD, Surgical and Hematopathologist, Director of Digital Pathology, IT Physician Champion, Department of Pathology, Hoag Hospital

Chris Freudiger, PhD, CTO & Co-Founder, Invenio Imaging – Streamlining Intraoperative Pathology with Laser Imaging and Artificial Intelligence

Kenneth Tang, MS, CEO and Co-Founder, Precidx The Elephant in Digital Pathology

Matthew Nuñez, President & Chief Business Officer, SmartHealth Dx Transforming Pathology Processes; Maximizing Data and Time

4:35 – 5:15 pm PDT


Successful Investment Strategies

Marty Waters, Partner, Wilson Sonsini (Moderator)
Ramin Valian, Vice President Eye Care, Abbvie

5:15 – 7:15 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. 

Thursday, October 26, 2023

8:00 – 8:30 am PDT


Registration & Networking Exhibitor Breakfast

8:30am – 10:00 am PDT


Welcome and Introduction of Breakfast with the Experts

Each expert will host 2 x 40 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 – 10:20 am PDT


Networking Break

10:20 – 11:00 am PDT


Optimizing Talent Resources to Build a Positive Internal Culture

Highlighting specific strategies to build a culture of inclusion with a focus on recruiting a balanced talent team. Addressing the current times and providing a futurist outlook on talent attraction and retention.

Janet Clardy, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Experian (Moderator)

Joshua Benton, Principal, Human-Centered Design, RSM US LLP

Shelly Carolan, Managing Partner, Commercial Healthcare, WittKiefer

Kimberly Cates, Global Head of HR, Mentor LLC

Doug Fauth, Senior Director, Global Talent Acquisition, MicroVention, Inc

Reg Chhen Stewart, PhD, Vice President, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Chapman University


11:00 – 11:30 pm PDT


Mistakes and Lessons Learned from Startups.  An insight into the success path of InBrace.

Bill Carpou, CEO, Octane

Clint Carnell, Founder, Greyspace; Executive Chairman, Geneo; Founder & Board Member, OrangeTwist; CEO, InBrace


11:30 – 1:00 pm PDT


Capital Assist Octane Portfolio Company Presentations (5 Companies)

People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice Winners Announced


1:00 – 1:40 pm PDT


National & Global Regulatory AI Initiatives

Malpractice exposure and regulatory exposure for AI initiatives and development.

Angela Aristidou, Professor, Stanford CASBS

1:40 – 2:30 pm PDT


Fast Pitch Group 2: Octane Portfolio Companies / LaunchPad SBDC

6 companies present on main stage (5 min presentation for each company followed by a10 minute audience Q&A)

2:30 – 3:00 pm PDT


Afternoon Break

3:00 – 3:45 pm PDT


Funding Women Founded and Technology Companies

3:45 – 4:00 pm PDT


Closing Comments

4:00 – 6:00 pm PDT


Closing Reception — Hosted by Women Leaders of Octane

Sponsored by Microvention – All registered attendees welcome!

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