From Bench to Boardroom

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Thursday, May 10th, 3 – 4:30PM, Zinner Breakout Room

In a joint production from the Brigham Research Institute (BRI) and the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio), a panel of three experts came together on Thursday in a lively discussion moderated by Frank S. David, MD, PhD, Innovation Strategist at the BRI. Panelists included Rakhshita Dhar, MD, Ashis Saha, PhD, and Vinit Nijhawan, B.A.Sc. This event was a great opportunity for attendees to learn more about how to turn their idea into a viable product or service, as well as network with experts with a wide range of knowledge in the legal, business, pharmaceutical and life sciences fields.

Dr. David held a dialogue with the panelists, asking questions about entrepreneurship, including how to determine the feasibility of a technology and what goes into the commercialization of a product. The panelists, with diverse backgrounds, offered advice and suggestions from their own unique perspectives. Vinit Nijhawan mentioned the differentiation between ‘explorers’ versus ‘exploiters’. The world needs both types of people; those who have a great idea (explorers) and those who understand where the demand is and who is going to pay for that product or service (exploiters). Much like any scientific endeavor, collaboration and relationship building is of the utmost importance. He then asked the crowd to shout out major problems in the world; responses ranged from Alzheimer’s and hunger to obesity and loneliness. He pointed out that explorers seek to identify the absolute root causes of a problem and figure out how to address it. Each speaker emphasized the need to actively seek resources, such as those available at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

As the event concluded, the speakers reiterated that more than just a good idea is required in any entrepreneurial endeavor; there needs to be undying passion for the product and a constantly motivated mindset. This engaging forum helped spread awareness of the mission of MassBio and its collaboration with BWH, as well as informing how innovative ideas can be turned into viable products or services.