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Yale Startups in Formation (YSIF) is a program for entrepreneurial faculty founded and directed by Yale Ventures. Each YSIF meeting is designed to be partly educational and partly new venture seminar, aiming to serve Yale innovators and their co-founders as these teams launch their businesses and formulate their go-to-market strategies. Each session includes opening remarks from a Yale Ventures corporate partner, a featured presenter, and a highlighted faculty venture team.

Spring 2022 Sessions

With approximately 1.3 billion people living with some form of vision impairmentsight-restoring therapy for the visually impaired and blind is a major unmet medical need. Ocular gene therapy is a rational choice for restoring vision or preventing the loss of vision because most blinding diseases originate in cellular components of the eye, a compartment that is optimally suited for the delivery of genes. The eye particularly well-suited for diagnostic and therapeutic exploration: easy access, small volume, high internal compartmentalization, and stable cell populations. The optical transparency of the eye allows direct visualization with high-resolution imaging and precise evaluation of disease stage and response to therapy. Moreover, the relative immune privilege of the eye, especially the subretinal space, reduces adverse responses to injected vectors and gene products and many of these diseases have a genetic origin or genetic component.

In this session, Dr. Sahel will provide an overview of the field, describe major advances in the field of ocular gene therapy, and discuss proof-of-concept studies which are under way to evaluate the safety and efficacy of human gene therapies, with special focus on his own work in neuroprotection, optogenetics and clinical trials. Dima Kuzmin will discuss the venture potential in this promising space.

YSIF 4-22

Spring 2022 Recaps

THURSDAY, MARCH 10, 2022

TOPIC: The Health of Women: An Exploding "Niche" Market

Host: James Boyle, Ph.D., Exec. Director of Venture Development, Yale University

Moderator: Morag Grassie, Associate Director, Blavatnik Fund, Yale University

Chat Moderator: Michelle McQueen, Communications Officer, Yale University

Expert Panelists:

  • Carolynn M. Mazure, Professor, Yale University
  • Amy Millman, Founder, StageNext
  • A.G. Breitenstein, Founder, Folx Health

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2022

TOPIC: Climbing the Regulatory Mountain: What Innovators Need to Know!

Host: James Boyle, Ph.D., Exec. Director of Venture Development, Yale University

Moderator: Jacqueline Howard, Reporter, CNN Health

Expert Panelists:

  • Deanna R. Gaskin, Partner, Sidley
  • Ariel Seeley, Associate Director, US. Food and Drug Administration
  • Alex Smith, Senior Director, Sidley

THURSDAY, JANUARY 20, 2022

TOPIC: Home Health Strategy

 

Host: James Boyle, Ph.D., Exec. Director of Venture Development, Yale University

Moderator: Katie Jennings, Staff writer, Healthcare, Forbes

Expert Panelists:

  • Dr. Olukemi Akande, Physician Executive Director, Post-Acute Services, Yale New Haven Hospital
  • Brenton Fargnoli, MD, Managing Partner, AlleyCorp Healthcare Fund
  • Michael P. Botos, Partner/Principal, EY-Parthenon Strategy Consulting
  • Christine Lum Lung, MD, MBA, CEO, Co-Founder, Origin Healthcare

2021 Fall Session Recaps

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2021

TOPIC: When the Hospital is Your Customer

 

Host: James Boyle, Ph.D., Exec. Director of Venture Development, Yale University

Moderator: Casey Ross, STAT News

Expert Panelists:

  • Richard Torres, Applikate Co-Founder
  • Michael Levene, Applikate Co-Founder
  • Matt Storeygard, CT Innovations
  • Michael Apkon, Sand Street Advisors

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2021

TOPIC: When the Hospital is Your Customer

 

Host: James Boyle, Ph.D., Exec. Director of Venture Development, Yale University

Moderator: Casey Ross, STAT News

Expert Panelists:

  • Richard Torres, Applikate Co-Founder
  • Michael Levene, Applikate Co-Founder
  • Matt Storeygard, CT Innovations
  • Michael Apkon, Sand Street Advisors

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

TOPIC: Digital Health

 

Host: James Boyle, Ph.D., Exec. Director of Venture Development, Yale University

Moderator: Brian Gormley, Reporter and Special Writer covering life sciences, Wall Street Journal

Expert Panelists:

  • Alex Waldron, Chief Executive Officer at Wellinks
  • Ellen Su, Chief Product Officer at Wellinks, Inc.
  • Adam Chekroud, Co-Founder, Spring Health
  • Eddie Martucci, Founder and CEO at Akili Interactive Labs

2021 Spring Session Recaps

THURSDAY, JUNE 24, 2021

TOPIC: Advanced Therapies - RNA Therapeutics: RigImmune

 

Host: James Boyle

Moderator: Roy Herbst, MD, PhD: Ensign Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology) and Professor of Pharmacology; Chief of Medical Oncology, Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital; Associate Cancer Center Director, Translational Science

Expert Panelists:

  • Anna Marie Pyle, PhD, Co-Founder, RIGImmune, Inc.. Sterling Professor of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology; Investigator Howard Hughes Med Inst; Prof Chemistry
  • Akiko Iwasaki, PhD, Co-Founder, RIGImmune, Inc.. Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Immunobiology and Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases); Professor of Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • Marty Driscoll, Executive Chair, RIGImmune, Inc.
  • Donald Corcoran, Advisor: Business Development, RIGImmune, Inc.

THURSDAY, MAY 6, 2021

TOPIC: Where is Medtech Going?

  • HOST: Dr. James Boyle, Exec. Director of Venture Development, Yale University
  • SPEAKERS
    • Dan Volz, President, Medtronic Neurovascular
    • Marc Goldberg, Managing Director at BioVentures Investors
    • Sri Muthu, CEO & Managing Founder, HealthVenture 

THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 2021

TOPIC: Gene Therapy 2.0: AAV beyond monogenic gene correction

OVERVIEWGene therapy using adeno-associated virus (AAV) as a vector has emerged as a novel therapeutic modality that has the potential to lead to substantial disease modification in many monogenic disorders, or perhaps even cures. The approach has been further boosted by the recent approval of two AAV-based gene therapies by the US FDA, and a multitude of initial public offerings and mergers and acquisitions in the space. However, the success of the AAV gene therapies has thus far been mainly confined to replacing monogenic defects in the retina, the liver, and the brain. In this talk, I will explore the current state of AAV gene therapy and its recent clinical and financial progress, as well as its potential applicability beyond simple gene correction and the importance of meta-analysis and evidence-based planning in gene therapy clinical trial design.

  • HOST: Dr. James Boyle, Exec. Director of Venture Development, Yale University
  • MODERATOR: Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD, Ensign Professor of Medicine, Professor of Pharmacology, Chief of Medical Oncology, Director, Thoracic Oncology Research Program Associate Director for Translational Research, Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center, Yale School of Medicine
  • FEATURED SPEAKER: Dr. Dmitry ‘Dima’ Kuzmin MSc, Managing Partner of 4BIO Capital

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021

TOPIC: The Winning Investor Pitch

OVERVIEWLearn the art of building and delivering a winning investor pitch with perspectives from Stephen “Zam” Zamierowski from Deloitte moderated by Evan Kipperman from Wiggin & Dana. This interactive presentation will provide insights on how to effectively communicate your innovation and the necessary elements that investors want to hear. You will be able to interact with the presenters in a Q&A session that follows.

  • HOST: Dr. James Boyle, Exec. Director of Venture Development, Yale University
  • MODERATOR: Evan Kipperman, Partner, Wiggin & Dana
  • FEATURED SPEAKER: Stephen “Zam” Zamierowski, Managing Director, Deloitte

 

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2021, 4:30-6:00 PM 

TOPIC: Rare Diseases: Inside the Veil of Business Development Evaluations

OVERVIEW: With investment levels in rare & ultra-rare diseases increasing, are they all attractive for biotechs & venture capital? What factors are executives & investors looking for in new opportunities? Please join a panel of industry veterans for discussion and Q&A “Inside the Veil” of rare disease business development evaluations.

HOST: Dr. James Boyle, Exec. Director of Venture Development, Yale University

MODERATOR: Dr. Akansha Bhargava, Blavatnik Fellow, Yale University

PANELISTS

  1. Richard Brodsky, Founder & Strategy Lead, Naveos Biopharma Consulting, Yale Entrepreneur-in-Residence

  2. Behrad Derakhshan, PhD, Chief Business Officer at Edgewise Therapeutics

  3. Jeremy Springhorn, Ph.D., Chief Business Officer, Syros Pharmaceuticals

2020 Fall Session Recaps

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2020, 4:30-6:00 PM

TOPIC: How to Raise Angel Capital (VIDEO) (PRESENTATION DECK)
HOST: Dr. James Boyle, Exec. Director of Venture Development, Yale University
MODERATOR: Kristin King, MBA, VP of Corporate Development & Strategy: Defibtech
PRESENTERS/AGENDA:
• Ziad H. Moukheiber: President and CEO, Boston Harbor Angels Inc.
• Anthony Gellert: Founder, Livingston Ventures
Alva Health Spotlight:
• Sandra Saldana, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Alva Health
• Kevin Sheth, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Alva Health & Professor of Neurology and
Neurosurgery, Yale University
• Hitten Zaveri, PhD: Chief Technical Officer of Alva Health & Assistant Professor, Yale
University
• Julie Gionfriddo: Director, FML

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2020, 4:30-6:00 PM


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2020, 4:30-6:00 PM


THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2020, 4:30-6:00 PM

  • HOST: Dr. James Boyle, Exec. Director of Venture Development, Yale University
  • OPENING REMARKS: Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR)
  • PRESENTER: Susan Kelley, MD, Independent Consultant (PDF)
  • FACULTY SPEAKER: Ya Ha, Yale Associate Professor of Pharmacology

Past Speakers

YSIF Past Speakers chart

For Yale investigators seeking to participate as well as external business experts seeking to join the EIR corps, please contact Jim Boyle at Yale Ventures.