Sponsored by the Korea-Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), the Korea Pitch Challenge aims to showcase innovative early-stage companies from South Korea. South Korea’s life science ecosystem has been growing at a very rapid pace, and we are excited to be able to showcase these promising technologies through RESI Philadelphia. 6 companies across biotech and medtech sectors will be presenting a short pitch of their company, and the panel of judges consisting of active industry experts will provide constructive feedback.


• George Syrmalis, CEO, The iQ Group Global
Dr. Syrmalis is the Executive Chairman and CEO of The iQ Group Global, where he formulates the Group’s strategy and leads the team to execute on that strategy. As an innovative biotechnology strategist and successful life science entrepreneur trained in Nuclear Medicine-radiation immunology, Dr. Syrmalis, through The iQ Group Global, is evolving the biotech sector and develop a portfolio of cutting-edge biotechnologies that advance medicine. In 2011, he established iQnovate Ltd. (NSX: IQN), a global intellectual property asset management organization and a member of The iQ Group Global. IQN is the majority owner of GBSG, a biosensor diagnostic technology company focused on commercializing the Saliva Glucose Biosensor in Greater China. Previously, Dr. Syrmalis founded and led as the CEO and Chairman The Bionuclear Group SA, incorporating Antisoma SA, Bionuclear Institute of Diagnosis and Therapy SA, Bionuclear Research and Development SA, and Vitalcheck SA. From 2005 onwards, Dr. Syrmalis continued his career as advisor to the Biopharmaceutical industry, advising on translational clinical trials, biomarkers and strategy to commercialize novel biologic entities in the areas of oncology, epilepsy and autoimmune diseases. He is a member of the American Academy of Pharmaceutical Physicians.


• Hemmie Chang, Partner, Foley Hoag LLP
As Chair of Foley Hoag’s Licensing & Strategic Alliances Practice, partner Hemmie Chang regularly handles high profile intellectual property matters. Clients routinely benefit from Hemmie’s strategic business perspective and legal acumen from her two-plus decades of experience within the bio pharmaceutical, medical device, gene and cell therapy and genomics sectors. She advises both established and emerging companies on a wide variety of licensing matters, from development to marketing deals – all of which involve a broad range of intellectual property assets, from patents to trade secrets, brand names to copyright. Hemmie is also Co-Chair of the Life Sciences Group and active within the firm’s Business Department and Technology practice groups.

• Nilay Thaker, Associate, ARCH Venture Partners
Nilay Thakar focuses on identifying and evaluating new life sciences technologies and provides operating assistance to early-stage portfolio companies. He has authored 7 peer-reviewed publications with greater than 150 citations in the areas of neuroscience, stem cell biology, intracellular signalling, and epigenetics. Previously, Dr. Thakar led the turnaround of an Australian biotech start-up Stem Cells Limited, served as a Think Tank Advisor at the Australian Academy of Sciences, and worked as an Analyst at Dendright Pty Ltd, a biotech start-up developing a Rheumatoid Arthritis therapeutic. Dr. Thakar also conceived an app to help blind Australians use public transport and was selected a Finalist for Queensland Government Open Data Award. Dr. Thakar holds a B.S. in Biochemistry (High-Distinction honors), a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the University of Queensland in Australia, and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

• Sundeep Lal, CEO and Founder, BioConnexUS
Sundeep is CEO and Founder of BioConnexUS, LLC and Senior Managing Director and Head of Healthcare Investment Banking for Auctus Capital Partners. In both of these companies he is working with emerging growth life sciences companies to help raise capital, help in business development relationships and global commercialization. He brings over twenty years of healthcare leadership experience in med-tech and pharma in US and Emerging Markets with expertise in strategy, BD, hospital solutions sales, business model innovation and new products at Medtronic & Merck. At Merck, Sundeep was in multiple licensing and business development roles spanning 7 years. At Medtronic, Sundeep was based out of Singapore for six years covering Asia-Pacific. At Merck & Co, he was in global roles based of corporate HQ in NJ, USA. He currently spend his time in New York and Singapore.

• Yao Li Ho, Director of Business Development, LYFE Capital
Yao Ho is a Senior Director of Business Development at LYFE Capital. Previously, he was a part of Yangtze River Pharmaceutical Group, where he was a BD Manager. At Yangtze River Pharmaceutical Group, he was part of a team that would help the parent organization source, evaluate, coordinate due diligence and negotiate with potential international partners for pharmaceuticals, biologics and medical devices. Yao has also worked at various diagnostics, nanotechnology and digital health startups where he started as an R&D Engineer and was a member of the founding team at other companies. Yao is an MBA graduate from Tsinghua University in partnership with MIT and Bachelor’s in Biomedical Engineering from UC-Irvine with a specialization in bio-photonics and research in microfluidics.