B2B Program


Friday, April 21

Great Hall BC, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

(All times are CDT — schedule and location subject to change)

7:30 - 8:30am



(included with registration)

8:30 - 9:30am



Welcome and Opening Keynote (Found in translation: A vision scientist’s journey)

Dr. Graves narrates the ever-evolving path of a vision scientist.

Keynote speaker: Adrienne Graves, PhD
Former CEO, Santen, Inc.; Chair of the Board, Iveric Bio

9:30 - 10am
Networking break
10 - 11am









How to get started

Get practical advice from seasoned experts on topics such as generating marketable ideas, building a team, tech transfer best practices and when/how to protect your intellectual property.

Session chairs:
Cheryl Rowe-Rendleman, PhD and Kazuo Tsubota, MD, PhD, FARVO, MBA

Thurein Htoo, MS, MBA — Evolution of an idea
Thomas W. Chalberg, PhD — Phase appropriate steps for building a team
Cynthia A. Toth, MD — Tech transfer: What to do, what not to do
Kazuo Tsubota, MD — An international perspective
Louis C. Cullman, Esq. — When to protect your idea

Q&A Discussion Panel


11 - 11:30am
Networking break
11:30am - 12:30pm








Hear from industry insiders as they share insights and tips for generating funding. Topics will cover how to create a “pitch deck” for your product, the role of startup accelerators and the perspective of venture capital.

Session chairs:
Dan Chao, MD, PhD and Amanda Roberts, PhD

Suchismita Acharya, PhD — Creating a 'pitch deck'
Hema Ramkumar, MD — Accelerators
Stella Robertson, PhD, FARVO — View of venture capital

Q&A Discussion Panel: Raising early-stage funds


12:30 - 1:30pm




Networking lunch: Tabletop discussions

Engage with session speakers to discuss program topics.

(Lunch included with registration)

1:30 - 2:30pm









When and how to interact with the regulators

 Learn from the regulators- Gain insights on how to handle interactions and timing with the regulators, followed by a moderated Q&A. Topics include early-stage meetings, combination products and Genus decision.

Session chairs:
Gary Novack, PhD and Scott Whitcup, MD, FARVO

Tieuvi Nguyen, PhD (Center for Devices and Radiological Health, FDA)
Saho Murakami, MD (Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency, MHLW) 
Kristine Tucker, MBA (Sr. Vice President, Global Regulatory Affairs, Bausch + Lomb)

Q&A Discussion


2:30 - 3pm
Networking break


3 - 4pm











Personal stories from startups

Join this 'fireside chat' to hear from industry leaders as they discuss their experiences working in startups and getting started on the commercialization pipeline. Topics include:

  • A personal perspective of a founder and entrepreneur
  • What it's like to work in Big Pharma Countering some current bad press in the industry 
  • Working in large Pharma and starting a biotech
  • SBIR/STTR process and NIH Bootcamp 
  • How best to work with your Tech Transfer office
  • Starting a Biotech / Using SBIR grant funding to start 

Session chairs:
Amanda Roberts, PhD and Barbara Wirostko, MD, FARVO

Suchismita Acharya, PhD
Susan Orr, OD
Alon Harris, MS, PhD, FARVO
Darius Kharabi, JD, MBA

4 - 4:30pm
Networking break


4:30 - 6pm














Eye Pitch

If you have an entrepreneurial mindset and little to no experience moving an idea forward through the pipeline, this session is for you. Learn how to successfully navigate through unknown territory. Presenters will be selected in a competitive process to present pitches. Expert feedback by specialists in the eye and vision space will be provided at the end of each presentation. The session ends in a Q&A with the expert panelists. This is your opportunity to learn from the best.

Session chairs:
Grace Chang, MD, PhD and Scott Whitcup, MD, FARVO

Pitch reviewers and panelists:
Patrick Johnson, PhD; Barbara Wirostko, MD, FARVO; Susan Orr, OD; Grace Chang, MD, PhD and Scott Whitcup, MD, FARVO


  • Karanjit Kooner, MD- Novel Squid Glaucoma micro-Shunt (SGS) 
  • Jacqueline M. Lopes de Faria, MD, PhD- Non  invasive treatment for  Diabetic Retinopathy: A new paradigm
  • Henry Shin, PhD- PPAR-alpha oral pharmacotherapy for diabetic retinal diseases
  • Jan Skerswetat, PhD- PerZeption revolutionizes personalized, fully-automated vision tests for clinical and remote applications 
  • Manuel Opitz, MSc, MBA- Can you double adherence and triple vision outcomes in anti-VEGF therapy?
  • Tom Gadek, PhD- MCAL 201 for Evaporative Dry Eye
6 - 7pm








Networking hour/Eye Pitch posters

Network with your peers while perusing additional poster “pitches” during this closing reception. The session ends in a Q&A with the expert panelists.

Poster reviewer:
Larry Wheeler, PhD

Poster presentations:

  • Ahmad Najafi, MD- Artificial intelligence and creation of a personalized database for retinal nerve fiber layer contour
  • Eduardo Rocha, MD, PhD- Eyedrops containing insulin in nanoemulsions
  • Haolan Qi, MD, and Xu Guancan, MD- Revolutionizing Cataract Surgery: Predicting Visual Acuity with Critical Flicker Fusion

(Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres included with registration)

B2B sponsorship information
View the high-impact opportunities available to promote your brand throughout the Bench to Bedside Meeting