20+ Top Industry Thought Leaders, Investors, and Entrepreneurs to Appear at the CED Life Science Conference 2017

Top Gathering of Life Science Innovators in the Southeast
February 28-March 1, 2017 in Raleigh, NC

DURHAM, NC, February 23, 2017 — Top industry leaders, investors, and entrepreneurs will converge next week to explore life science innovation at the Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) Life Science Conference, February 28-March 1 in Raleigh, N.C. The full two-day agenda includes twenty-five speakers who will address how the best and brightest in the life science industry are “solving tomorrow.”

The main conference agenda will start with remarks from North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Anthony Copeland. Featured speakers include several of the most celebrated names in life science:

  • Robert Califf, Former Commissioner, Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Murali Doraiswamy, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Health System
  • James Greenwood, CEO, Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)
  • Mark McClellan, Director and Professor of Business, Medicine and Health Policy, Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy
  • Robin Smith, CEO, Orig3n

Several of the most active, influential investors from across the country will appear on two panels:

“Follow the Money”

  • Moderated by Charles E. Merritt, Special Advisor; Manager of Venture Capital Multiplier Fund, Hatteras Venture Partners
  • Steve Hall, General Partner, Lilly Ventures
  • Kadir Kadhiresan, Vice President, Venture Investments, J&J Development Corp.
  • Nilesh Kumar, Partner, Novo Ventures
  • Nick Naclerio, Founding Partner, Illumina Ventures

“Trends in Corporate Funding for 2017 and Beyond”

  • Moderated by Adele Oliva, Partner & Co-founder, 1315 Capital
  • Karen Akinsanya, Associate Vice President, Scientific Assessment, Merck
  • Ibraheem Badejo, Senior Director, New Ventures, J&J Innovation Center
  • Alan Kriz, Strategic Alliance Manager, Bayer CropScience
  • Megann Vaughn Watters, Associate Vice President, LabCorp

“As one of the fastest growing life science hubs in the country, the Research Triangle is an area with great management teams and technologies. I am looking forward to attending the CED Life Science Conference and finding compelling investment opportunities,” said Adele Oliva of 1315 Capital.

Some of North Carolina’s most successful entrepreneurs will be featured during the following sessions:

“Big Deals”

  • Moderated by Cindy Whitehead, CEO, The Pink Ceiling
  • Shelia Mikhail, former CEO, Bamboo Therapeutics
  • Nathan Stasko, CEO, Novan, Inc.

ScaleUp Company Presentations

  • Steve Butts, CEO, Arrivo Management, LLC
  • Myla Lai-Goldman, Chief Executive Officer, GeneCentric Diagnostics, Inc.
  • Drew Schiller, CEO & Co-founder, Validic
  • Kelly Smith, Director of Microbials Development, AgBiome

In addition to speakers and panels, over 50 of the region’s most innovative, disruptive entrepreneurial companies have been selected to exhibit in the Innovation Room, giving all conference attendees access to connect in person with these emerging entrepreneurs during several networking breaks and an evening reception. Twenty-three (23) of these companies have been chosen to present in the Showcase and Lightning Rounds on the main stage. The Showcase, Lightning Round and Innovation Room companies represent a diversity of life science sub-sectors, including: biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, medical devices, healthcare IT/digital health, diagnostics, drug delivery, animal health, consumer product, and AgTech.

The conference concludes on the afternoon of March 1 with the presentation of the Life Science Leadership Award, recognizing an individual who has made a significant impact on the life science community in North Carolina. This year’s award recipient is Art Pappas, Managing Partner, Pappas Capital. The award will be presented by William A. Hawkins III, Former Chairman and CEO, Medtronic.

The full conference agenda can be found at: www.cednc.org/LSC 

The CED Life Conference 2017 theme is “Solving Tomorrow”. NC’s most innovative life science companies will share how they are creating and finding solutions to shape a better future. The conference aims to connect these entrepreneurs with investors who seek to foster the growth of emerging companies transforming the life science community. Global thought leaders will share their diverse perspectives on how innovation today will improve patient outcomes and extend lives. The exciting, collaborative environment of this year’s conference joins together the greater life science community in the mission of solving tomorrow.

From on-stage presentations to one-one-one networking in the Innovation Room, the CED Life Science Conference is the most efficient, cost-effective way to meet the top life science companies in the region. The conference also features high-level networking events and services including sophisticated partnering software. Partnering allows attendees to schedule private meetings to maximize connections at the conference. It is included with registration for entrepreneurs, investors, sponsors, and university professionals.

Online registration closes at midnight. To learn more about the conference and register, visit www.cednc.org/LSC 

On-site registration will be available on Tuesday, February 28 starting at 8am.

As always, CED members receive the best rates. For more information on becoming a member, please go to cednc.org/join

The conference is presented in partnership with the North Carolina Biotechnology Center and the North Carolina Biosciences Organization.

Media interested in attending the conference should contact Emily McLoughlin at emcloughlin@cednc.org or 919-800-7165.


About CED

CED is the largest and longest-running network for entrepreneurs in the country. CED’s network propels emerging Triangle companies into highly successful businesses. Members include a wide range of startup and growth stage companies, investors, corporate partners, academics, service providers, and individuals interested in benefiting from CED’s powerfully connected network.

About the North Carolina Biotechnology Center

The North Carolina Biotechnology Center leads life science technology based economic development for North Carolina by supporting the progression of ideas from research lab to the marketplace. NCBiotech invests in technology development through grants, in company development through loans, and in economic development through infrastructure grants. The Biotech Center’s programs and activities target emerging sectors and work across North Carolina to develop strengths that yield jobs in the life sciences.


NCBIO is the trade association for North Carolina’s life sciences industry. The Organization has more than 160 members working in human and animal therapeutics, diagnostics, medical devices, and agricultural and industrial biotechnology.

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