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Alumni Entrepreneurs, Industry Leaders to Visit KGI for Event Series

With a series of three events in late April, Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) will host influential alumni entrepreneurs and industry leaders as part of panel discussions and the annual business plan competition.

“Throughout its history, KGI has worked closely with startup companies, and helped faculty launch spin-off companies,” said Jim Sterling, professor and co-founder of Claremont Biosolutions. “Being entrepreneurial is one of our core values.”

Joel West, professor and co-founder of Shield Pharma, added: “New companies are the engine of growth for the biomedical industries, particularly here in California.”

“That is why we prepare our students to understand the business dynamics of these firms, whether to work at these companies or to start their own.”

For the upcoming series of entrepreneurship events, visitors can RSVP at kgi.edu/events.

Industry Talk Featuring Wild Earth Chief Scientific Officer Ron Shigeta

Date and time: April 22 from 12-1 p.m.
Location: 517-137

Ron Shigeta completed his academic training at Princeton, Stanford, and Harvard Medical School. He is a 15-year veteran of the biotech industry in the Bay Area, working at Affymetrix, and as a serial biotech startup entrepreneur. He is the Chief Scientific Officer at Wild Earth, a company that received $550,000 from Mark Cuban on Shark Tank recently. The CEO of Wild Earth is Ryan Bethencourt, a KGI Advisory Council member.

Entrepreneurial Panel Featuring Three KGI Alumni

Date and time: April 23 from 4-6 p.m.
Location: 517-165 (Founders Room)

While coverage of entrepreneurs tends to focus on their successes, there are often bumps along the way. These three alumni entrepreneurs will talk about their path from KGI to becoming entrepreneurs, their respective visions and companies they are building. They will then focus on a specific challenge they addressed, and offer insights. The three alumni include: Will Raasch, MBS ’09  (Founder/CEO of WeHealth), Abasi Ene-Obong, PPM ’14 (Founder/CEO of 54gene), and Ross Steinberg, MBS ’18 (Founder/CEO of SEEK Athletics).

ALS 458 Business Plan Competition

Date and time: April 30 from 3-6:30 p.m.
Location: 517-165 (Founders Room)

KGI’s 16th annual Business Plan Competition will feature KGI students presenting their business plans for seed-stage funding to a panel of industry executives and investors. This year’s competition features six plans for academic spin-offs and existing startup life science companies in Southern California. The competition’s judges will include PerceptiMed CEO and KGI Board Chair Emeritus Robert Curry; Analytik Jena Vice President and KGI Advisory Council Member Sean Gallagher; and Immatics Chief Medical Officer Stephen Eck.