Tales From the Road2018-12-08T20:22:58+00:00

Tales From The Road

This panel brings together biotech and medtech entrepreneurs to tell their stories of raising capital. You’ll hear their firsthand accounts of navigating the fundraising process and raising capital. Topics may include:

• What stumbling blocks had they hit?
• How had they solved the issues, and what had they learned about raising capital?
• How did they go about finding potential investors, and how did they determine which investors they should pursue?

The panel discusses what the early stage fundraising process was like for them and how others can build an outbound marketing campaign to raise money.


Renata Meyer, Managing Director, Golden Seeds

Renata Meyer is a Managing Director at Golden Seeds, where she focuses on early-stage investing in biotechnology and genomics. Her experience has spanned strategic planning as well as all phases of R&D, including basic laboratory methodology, animal studies, and clinical trials. Renata has consulted for and held positions at such major healthcare and biotechnology companies as Pfizer, QLT PhotoTherapeutics, and Abbott International. She has been involved in the development of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and nutritional products. Renata’s work involves combining her interests in biotechnology, genomics, health and business to facilitate and enable innovation that will make a positive impact on the world. Her passion is the nascent, NY-based bio-economy. Renata holds a BSc from Brown University, a PhD in Molecular Genetics from McGill University, and an MBA from Columbia Business School.


Ilana Odess, CEO, Woven Orthopedics

Ms. Odess has spent her entire career within the healthcare & science industries and has held senior executive roles for multinational companies and start-ups such as Israel Chemicals, Johnson & Johnson, Advanced Stent Technologies, CID. As an operator, Ms. Odess is an expert in leading companies from concept to clinical application and has created multiple businesses acquired by multi-billion dollar medical device companies, negotiated over 30 worldwide partnerships, and commenced direct corporate operations in Israel for Johnson & Johnson. As an investor, Ms. Odess has led international medical technology investments and management buyouts for an international family office and led Johnson & Johnson’s acquisition of two businesses. Ms. Odess has been recognized for her ability to create successful innovative solutions and has received both a Frost & Sullivan award for innovation and the state of Connecticut’s “2014 Woman of the Year” award for Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership. Ms. Odess graduated with a BS in Biochemistry and an MBA from Bar-Ilan University.

James Biggins, CEO, Access Vascular

After shadowing physicians in a Boston hospital and witnessing first-hand the delay in administering antibiotics to a severely ill patient due to infection risks from a catheter, Jim Biggins knew there had to be a better way. Leveraging his engineering expertise and experience with hydrogels, he applied those skills to found Access Vascular in 2015, with the goal of reinventing venous access. Jim has previously held engineering and new product development positions at Ocular Therapeutix, Boston Scientific and Medtronic. In these roles, he launched more than a dozen medical technology products from concept through commercialization. He also has been a partner in a venture creation group with responsibility for identifying opportunities, initiating companies and developing business strategies. Jim earned an M.B.A from Babson College and a B.S. in Plastics Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Jim Iversen, CEO, Sen-Jam Pharmaceuticals

Jim Iversen is a growth-focused Senior Executive and Board Member with more than 30 years of success spanning energy, transportation, distribution, enterprise, software, warehouse management, life science, consumer products, and engineering. Leveraging extensive experience in strategic, resourceful leadership, Jim is a valuable asset for small to mid-sized companies requiring expert assistance with business growth and development, evaluating and positioning selling, turnaround management, and strategic planning. His broad areas of expertise include business strategy, leadership training and development, company culture, and business growth. Throughout his executive career, Jim has held leadership positions with JMI Capital Group, Northern Reliability, M&I Strategic Partners, W&H Systems, Horizon Foods, and AL Systems. He is currently the CEO of JMI Capital Group, which provides companies with business strategy and M&A advisory services. In this role, Jim has been responsible for advising a leading Enterprise Resource Planning software company, resulting in a successful sale and a 25% IRR, and a leading supply chain company, resulting in a successful sale and 36% IRR. In a previous role as CEO of M&I Strategic Partners, which provides businesses with software solutions, Jim led the acquisition of AL Systems and Mincron Software Solutions, resulting in a significant increase in each company’s revenue and EBITDA growth.

Tyler Wanke, CEO, Innoblative Designs

Tyler Wanke is the CEO of Innoblative, a Chicago and Boston-based advanced energy device company innovating the treatment of early stage breast cancer.

He co-invented the original Innoblative technology while in Medical school at Northwestern University, and since has raised over $3M for Innoblative, including National Science Foundation (NSF) grant funding. Innoblative is in final stages of product development and clinical trials.

He also co-founded EDGe Surgical, an Orthopaedic and Spine MedTech company, and volunteers on a Board of Cures Within Reach (CWR), a non-profit dedicated to funding the re-purposing of existing drugs and devices to treat patients with limited other treatment options.

He has an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, a Masters of Engineering Management from Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering, and a BS in Neurobiology from University of Wisconsin – Madison.

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