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Nearly a quarter of ISSCR members say they want to start a business. We gathered the experts to answer threshold questions: where to start, or if you should start at all.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Join us for a new one-day work shop on the business end of science. You'll meet with entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders as we explore the many paths from lab bench to market – where to start, or if you should start at all.

The full-day program will host panel discussions on building a business model and pitch, attracting investment, and real stories from the people doing it. Lunch and an evening reception will provide networking opportunities.

Investigational therapies, new tools, and promising technologies are quickly advancing in stem cell science and regenerative medicine. In step, more than 20 percent of ISSCR members surveyed indicate near-term plans to start a business or an interest in doing so. This workshop is designed for you.

Location: Boston Convention and Exhibition Center
Date: 23 June, 2020 
Time: 08:30-16:00 (program) 16:00-18:00 (networking reception)
Sustenance: Lunch provided.

Registration Fees: $205 (trainee members), $225 (full/affiliate members), $245 (non-ISSCR members). All pricing USD.

New business starts here.



Speakers + Topics

Welcoming Remarks Banner

[ Welcome to the business of discovery. ]

Brock Reeve

[Program Committee]
Brock Reeve, MPhil, MBA

Executive Director
Harvard Stem Cell Institute

Topic 1 | The Pitch. The Plan.

[ Starting a business in stem cell research and regenerative medicine comes with its own set of threshold questions, challenges, and considerations. Explore the elements of a successful pitch and business plan unique to this space. ]

Paul Tesar

[Program Committee + Session Chair]
Paul Tesar, PhD

Co-Founder, Convelo



Andrea Armstrong, BA, MA
Chief Administrative Officer
Celsius Therapeutics


Mark Fishman, MD
Professor, Harvard University
Chairman, Semma Therapeutics


Christina Isacson, PhD
Chief Business Officer
Magenta Therapeutics


[ Where to go, who to talk to, and what they'll be looking for. Hear from a spectrum of investors from incubator to Wall Street. ]

Stephen Freedman

[Program Committee + Session Chair]
Stephen Freedman, PhD

Vice President for Corporate Liaison and Ventures
Gladstone Institutes


Douglas Crawford, PhD
Managing Director, Mission Bay Capital
General Manager, MBC Biolabs


Ann DeWitt, PhD, MBA
General Partner, The Engine
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Michal Preminger, PhD, MBA
Head, Johnson & Johnson Innovation
East North America


Ruth McKernan, PhD
Venture Partner
Dementia Discovery Fund

Matt McMahon

Matt McMahon, PhD
Director, SEED
NIH, Office of Extramural Research

Stories from the frontline

[ Join entrepreneurs as they share their journeys from discovery to business. Hear their paths, approaches, and lessons learned. ]

Katherine High

[Program Committee + Session Chair]
Katherine A. High, MD

Co-Founder, Spark Therapeutics
Professor Emerita, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania


Derrick Rossi, PhD
President & Chief Executive Officer
Convelo Therapeutics


Sarindr "Ik" Bhumiratana, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer & Co-Founder

Liu headshot - cropped_approved_resize

Tina Liu, MBA
Chief Executive Officer
Ally Therapeutics


Sangeeta Bhatia, MD, PhD
Massachusetts Institute of Technology &
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Founder, Hepregen, Glympse Bio, Satellite Bio

Who Should Attend?

New, curious, or aspiring entrepreneurs interested in starting a business, moving discoveries from the bench to market.

How to Register

Registration is available for the workshop only, or as part of registration for the ISSCR 2020 Annual Meeting. If you have already registered for ISSCR 2020, you may modify your existing registration to include the Workshop.

On-site registration is only offered when space is still available. Seating is limited and registration will close when sold-out. Register early to reserve your spot!



Workshop registration is only refundable before 08 May. To request, email a cancellation notice to: Please note, a $50 cancellation fee will apply.