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Recap: 11th Annual Ophthalmology Tech Forum at Balboa Bay Resort

The 11th Annual Ophthalmology Tech Forum, held on June 8-9 at the prestigious Balboa Bay Resort, was a resounding success. The event, organized by Octane, brought together physicians, innovative entrepreneurs, and industry experts from the medical field to discuss the latest advancements and opportunities in ophthalmology technology. With a range of engaging panel discussions, keynote interviews, and company presentations, the Forum provided a platform for knowledge exchange and collaboration. Let’s recap some of the highlights from this year’s event.

Opening Remarks and Emcee:

The event kicked off with opening comments by Octane’s CEO, Bill Carpou, who set the stage for an exciting and productive Forum. The emcee for the event was Yari Mitchell, President of Y Factor Consulting Inc. Yari, a seasoned executive leader with extensive experience in the ophthalmic medical device industry, brought her expertise to guide the discussions throughout the Forum.


Panel Discussions and Keynote Interviews:

The Forum featured a series of engaging panel discussions that covered various topics pertinent to the ophthalmic industry. These included the State of the Ophthalmic Industry Report, Innovations in the Posterior Segment, Disruptive Innovations, the Investment Landscape, and Bringing Unmet Needs to the Market. The panels provided a platform for key opinion leaders to share their insights and perspectives, fostering collaborative opportunities among physicians, entrepreneurs, and industry experts.


A keynote interview with Mark Leahey, President & CEO of MDMA (Medical Device Manufacturers Association), provided valuable insights into the broader landscape of the medical device industry and its intersection with ophthalmology. The interview shed light on emerging trends and challenges faced by the industry, offering attendees a broader perspective.


A fireside chat with Brent Saunders, Chairman and CEO of Bausch & Lomb, moderated by Jim Mazzo, Executive Chairman of Neurotech and Co-Founder of Octane, was another highlight of the event. This conversation delved into the changing landscape of eyecare, challenges faced by eye surgeons, and the role of digital solutions in shaping the future of the industry.


Company Presentations and Acquisitions:

The Forum also showcased company presentations that allowed emerging ophthalmology tech companies to pitch their ideas and solutions. These presentations provided a platform for networking, collaboration, and potential investment opportunities.Congratulations to Marie Csete, CEO of OkuloVision, for winning the People’s Choice award! OkuloVision, founded in 2022, is revolutionizing the treatment of central vision loss through their innovative cone progenitor cell (CPC) therapy. With promising results in animal models, OkuloVision is seeking seed funding of $5M to advance clinical manufacturing and pivotal dose-finding studies.


We also applaud John VeLure, CEO of i-Lumen Scientific, for securing the prestigious Judge’s Choice award. i-Lumen Scientific™ is a pioneering retinal biotech company dedicated to enhancing eyesight in patients with nonexudative age-related macular degeneration (dAMD), addressing a significant unmet need in ophthalmology. Discover more about all the presenting companies and their groundbreaking work and the future of ophthalmic. Presenting companies included Implandata Ophthalmic Products, Pixium Vision, and Viewpoint Therapeutics. View the presenting companies here


Attendees were also informed about significant acquisitions within the industry, such as the Alcon and Aerie acquisitions. These developments highlighted the evolving landscape of the ophthalmology sector and its potential impact on innovation and patient care.



The 11th Annual Ophthalmology Tech Forum was a resounding success, thanks to the collaboration of sponsors, attendees, and participants. The event provided a unique opportunity for physicians, entrepreneurs, service providers and industry experts to come together, exchange knowledge, and explore potential partnerships. The insightful panel discussions, keynote interviews, and company presentations showcased the latest advancements in ophthalmology technology and emphasized the importance of innovation in improving patient care. With the success of this year’s Forum, anticipation is high for the 2024 edition, where even more breakthroughs and collaborations are expected to unfold.


View the full list of speakers and see the agenda here!


Octane convenes and enables the Southern California tech and medtech business ecosystem by connecting people, resources, and capital. We impact our community through LaunchPad SBDC, a top-performing accelerator, Octane Capital & Growth, a platform to provide companies with capital and growth resources, Ignite Series, in-person and on-demand leading content, and Octane Foundation for Innovation, focused on furthering our mission while advancing diversity and inclusiveness.  Learn more at octaneoc.org. For more information, visit www.octaneoc.org.


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