Venture Café Cambridge
1 Broadway,5th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142

April 25, 2019

3:00 – 8:30 PM



BIO Connect 2019

Save the date for Venture Cafe’s BIO Connect mini-conference, taking place on April 25th, 2019. Our annual mini-conference will feature the latest business, technology, and regulatory developments in drugs and therapeutics. Join experts, innovators, and investors for a dialogue about funding and successes in the sector.Click here to register!


If you’re interested in sponsoring Bio Connect contact Ruth Saunders










3:00 PM – 5:00 PM   OFFICE HOURS

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM   PANEL: FUNDING LIFE SCIENCES (Havana Room)

5:30 PM – 8:00 PM   DEMO

6:15 PM – 7:15 PM SHARK TANK




OFFICE HOURS (3:00 PM - 5:00 PM)

PANEL: Funding Life Sciences (5:00 PM – 6:00 PM)

Industry experts and thought-leaders representing venture capital and entrepreneurship community will offer perspectives on the capital ecosystem from both sides of the table. Join us as Martha Farmer from North Shore InnoVentures leads a discussion on ways to fund life sciences from grants to venture investment.

(Room: Havana)


Anil Achyuta, Director of External Innovation L’Oreal

Martha Farmer, Founder
North Shore InnoVentures

Martha Farmer, Founder, North Shore InnoVentures

Dr. Martha C. Farmer, PhD – is the Founder of North Shore InnoVentures, a non-profit life sciences incubator in Beverly, MA. She serves on the Board of two companies, Atentiv and TSRL, on the SAB of Virtech Bio, and on the Board of Advisors of Endicott College, among others. She started her industry career at Baxter Healthcare. She earned a BS in zoology and a PhD in physiology from Duke University, did postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University and was a Medical Ethics Fellow at Harvard University. 30 publications; 3 patents.









Anil Achyuta, Director of External Innovation L’Oreal

Isaac B. Stoner, Co-Founder
Octagon Therapeutics

Isaac B. Stoner, Co-Founder, Octagon Therapeutics

Isaac currently serves as co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Octagon Therapeutics, a drug discovery company targeting metabolic vulnerabilities in disease-causing cells. Isaac also serves as Advisor to KdT Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on the intersection of computational technologies with life science innovation. Prior to Octagon, Isaac was an early hire at several successful startups, including Firefly BioWorks and Ion Torrent, and spent time in venture capital.









Anil Achyuta, Director of External Innovation L’Oreal

Shaoyu Chang, Vice President
FC Capital

Shaoyu Chang, Vice President, FC Capital

Shaoyu is Vice President at FC Capital, a cross-border venture capital fund specializing in life sciences and healthcare investments. Shaoyu takes an active leadership role the full lifecycle of investment, from origination and evaluation to execution and management. Previously, Shaoyu served as Investment Manager for VI Ventures, a Hong Kong-based healthcare VC firm. Prior to that, Shaoyu was Director of Investor Research at Life Science Nation and Research Scholar at Duke University.









Anil Achyuta, Director of External Innovation L’Oreal

Rhie-young Lim, Founder,
Life Canvas Technologies

Rhie-young Lim, Founder, Life Canvas Technologies

Rhie-young Lim is the co-founder and VP of Operations at LifeCanvas Technologies Inc. where she oversees the company’s daily operations, marketing, global sales and strategy. Prior to joining LifeCanvas, Rhie drove marketing initiatives for MIT’s entrepreneurship education arm, and launched the institute’s first entrepreneurship bootcamp overseas in Seoul with the South Korean government. She also served as CNBC’s Seoul correspondent for 4 years doing live hits on the South Korean stock market.














Anil Achyuta, Director of External Innovation L’Oreal

Brian Gallagher, Partner

Brian Gallagher, Partner, Abingworth

Dr. Gallagher is a Partner at Abingworth since 2018. He has >20 years of investing, BD, operational and R&D experience. Previously he was a Partner at SR One since 2010. He was with Sirtris responsible for Corp Dev, operations and integration following the $720M acquisition by GSK (2008). He was with Alantos and played key roles in the R&D and BD activities prior to the $300M acquisition by Amgen (2007). He began his career in R&D at Eisai. He received his MS/PhD degrees in organic chemistry from Michigan and BS in chemistry from Massachusetts.




DEMO (5:30 PM – 8:00 PM)
SHARK TANK (6:15 PM - 7:15 PM)

SHARK TANK (6:15 PM – 7:15 PM)

BIO Connect is hosting its annual Life Sciences Shark Tank. This was a huge success in 2017 and 2018. Five life science entrepreneurs will pitch a panel of investors. It is a great platform to pitch, meet and build relationships with investors in the Life Sciences sector.


Aisha Nabiyeva, Supply Chain R&D Retail Business Services

Avi Spier 

Avi Spier, Novartis

Avi Spier is Director or NIBR BD&L, Search and Evaluation with Novartis.
In 2001, Dr. Spier co-founded La Jolla based Allon Therapeutics, Inc. and led the peptide therapeutic neurodegenerative disease-focused company as its President and CEO through two financing rounds and up to its entry onto the Toronto Stock Exchange. In 2004, Dr. Spier joined the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), as its Director of Business Development. In 2012 Dr. Spier was appointed Director of BD&L in NIBR, with responsibility for search and evaluation activities for the Cardiovascular, Metabolic and Diabetes (CVM), Global Discovery Chemistry (GDC), Chemical Biology and Therapeutics (CBT), GNF Systems and the Microbiome organizations of NIBR. Dr. Spier was educated in Biological Sciences at Oxford University, received his Ph.D. in molecular neuroscience from Cambridge University at the MRC-Laboratory of Molecular Biology and trained as a postdoc at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), La Jolla, CA.







Aisha Nabiyeva, Supply Chain R&D Retail Business Services

Anh Ngo,
Ascentia Asset Management

Anh Ngo, Ascentia Asset Management

Anh is an Instructor of Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine Fellow at Harvard Medical School, BIDMC. Dr. Ngo received his BS, MBA, and MD from the University of California Irvine. Anh completed his anesthesiology residency at the USC Keck School of Medicine. He has been involved with several companies, including a boutique investment firm and a medical group merger and acquisition exit valued in the mid-eight figure range. Anh is also a member of Mass Medical Angels (MA2) and part of a life sciences hedge fund, Ascentia Asset Management.








Martha Farmer

North Shore InnoVentures

Rhie-young Lim

Life Canvas Technologies

Isaac B. Stoner

Octagon Therapeutics

Shaoyu Chang

FC Capital

Brian Gallagher


Avi Spier


Anh Ngo

Ascentia Asset Management

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