Harvard successfully hosted its second event on Student Pathways to Healthcare Innovation last Wednesday, April the 25th. Four speakers talked for fifteen minutes each on their experiences and advice for traveling in the biotech entrepreneurial world. Dr. Youseph Yazdi, the Executive Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design, inspired the crowd and especially professors with the innovative approaches his initiative is taking to teach medical design. He believes firmly that the widely regarded saying “bench to bedside” is missing a fundamental step: the inspiration for medical technology must come from a medical need thus changing the saying to from “bedside to bench to bedside”. Eric Elenko explained how his company, PureTech Ventures, takes an incubator style approach to the venture capital model. He hopes through using his own team as the initial board and organizing body they can faster start and develop new ventures before handing the company off to a new leadership. John Simon of General Catalyst Partners explained the nuances of being a medtech entrepreneur and taking a company that he started through to the public sphere. He emphasized the importance of taking the high risk leap to start a company as it is is hugely rewarding and stressed that the only failure is failure of trying. Lastly, Ravi Pamnani of the Stanford Biodesign Program discussed the process for becoming a medtech entrepreneur and especially the importance of having a world class team each with more than one expertise. The event was a wild success in the eyes of the audience who found it to be one of the most insightful speaker showcases on the topic at Harvard thus far.
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