Blog 2020-06-29T21:47:51+00:00

Checking in for the New Year

January 5th, 2021|Blog|

So here we are in 2021.  This is not the typical new year.  The past year has not been an easy one.  It has taken a toll on all of us, and likely will continue to do so for some time to come. Even in the context of start-up biotech companies and founders, it has been a year of stress and adjustments.  Work changes – working from home, shutting labs, re-opening labs, working in shifts, in masks.  Home changes – new routines, whole families sharing one space for work, for school, for living.  Isolation – loss of contact, few or no in-person meetings, no handshakes, a world on-line where everyone is typically an image of head and shoulders. All of us figuring out how to make and grow personal connections in the virtual world. I could say the new year is so atypical and the world so topsy-turvy that one [...]

Rain and Sunshine

October 4th, 2020|Blog|

I heard this phrase on the radio a few weeks ago, “rain and sunshine – you need both to grow” and it stuck with me.  It could be that 30 weeks into the Covid world here in SF there has been both rain and sunshine in the rolling timeline of work and life.  But in a larger context, I can look back at the longer timeline and say yes, you need both to grow.  There is the good and the bad and we learn from both and we advance from both. As an entrepreneur, I think about this – the positive things in my journey, such as all of the colleagues that have helped me along the path forward.  And not just folks that were already part of my circle of colleagues and friends, but also individuals I have recently met, who have been willing to provide advice, provide introductions [...]

Did you miss this talk? Really?

February 16th, 2020|Blog|

I love the biotech-life sciences-healthcare scene in San Francisco. So much happening! So many companies, constant news on new drugs, new tools, new results, new approaches. There is a continual flow of seminars, panel discussions, fireside chats and other formats for gathering information. But that’s what surprises me - that not everyone, or even a majority of people I know, take full advantage of the supply of events (or even attend with some regularity). For me, these events provide many things: a source of information for on-going research and company activities, a forum for networking with a wide variety of people in the industry and the opportunity to hear different perspectives, particularly about how to start, grow, and maintain a fledgling biotech endeavor. Last week I attended the Drug Hunter Award and associated seminar at UCSF. Dr. Richard Miller was the recipient of the award for his work in bringing [...]

Refine and Evolve

October 24th, 2019|Blog|

It’s been a busy start to the Fall season in my world of startups.  A new class has just started at IndieBio.  UCSF Catalyst recently finished a round of progress updates for its awardees and is already looking at the next round of proposals. UC Davis is gearing up its Venture Catalyst companies to prep for investor events. All of this activity involves communication. It reminds me of the importance for startup companies (and all of us) to learn focus and tailoring in presenting our message. I remember how struck I was at the last IndieBio demo day for the spring class. Quite an evolution from where they started out four months earlier. The companies had made key leaps in messaging their offerings. Focus and refine the points.  Certain messages resonate with an audience.  And what resonates may dependent on the type of audience. The class presenting at the demo [...]

Dancing in the dark

August 22nd, 2019|Blog, Groundworks|

Eighteen months of darkness     When an applicant files an application for a patent, the first publication generally is 18 months from that first filing date. The first date may be the filing date of the provisional application in the US or the priority filing in another country.     There are a few exceptions. On the quicker side, an application on Track One (accelerated prosecution track) may issue and therefore publish before the 18 months. On the darkness side, for US only filings, there is the possibility of a non-publication request.     Why does this all matter? When you are trying to figure out who else is out there doing something similar, whether a competitor has filed on a related idea or beaten you to the punch, you are looking at the present state of things as it was 18 months ago. It’s somewhat like the folks [...]

Celebrate the Milestones!

August 8th, 2019|Blog, Musings|

When I look back on my PhD thesis, the time is memorable.  What holds no memories however, is actually crossing the finish line.  When I completed the draft of my thesis, I left for my post-doctoral position.  There was no ceremony, no fanfare, nothing to mark the day. That is why I was so delighted when I attended the recent thesis talk for PhD candidate Leeanne, a young women I met through the mentoring program at Women in Bio.  Her “thesis day” was marked by celebration, memories, acknowledgements and lessons learned. Two aspects most impressed me.  The first was the intro to the event.  Leeanne’s thesis advisor introduced Leeanne by reflecting on her growth, not only as a PhD candidate, but as a resilient and determined woman.  It was personal and warm.  Given that PhD candidates spend many years in a lab (some as short as 4-5 years, others much [...]

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