Highlights from the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference

Highlights from the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference

Posted on February 15th, 2022

The annual JP Morgan healthcare conference was a success for SPARK at Stanford and associated startup companies. As in year’s past, SPARK Business Development Manager Jeewon Kim met with multiple representatives from industry to connect SPARK projects with needed resources. These meetings successfully connected SPARK startups with industry and introduced even more industry companies to the SPARK program.

During the healthcare conference, Dr. Kim met with approximately 30 industry companies to introduce the SPARK program and represent about 30 SPARK past and present projects with interest in industry partners, including recent startup companies. Industry companies included venture capital and investment firms, pharmaceutical VC arms, and contract research organizations (CROs), and Dr. Kim customized those meetings to align with the industry company’s interest. As a result of those meetings, SPARK connected about 15 of the SPARK principal investigators to meet with companies that showed interest. SPARK PIs and startup company CEOs and CFOs are now having follow-up meetings with industry that may lead to productive partnerships.

Dr. Kim noted that many industry representatives were interested in neurodegenerative diseases and aging-related disease, as well as cancer and inflammatory disease. Some companies were only interested in platforms, especially those with AI capabilities that can increase the odds of success, Dr. Kim added.

SPARK also supported 12 SPARK GLOBAL projects to participate in JP Morgan independently. The teams reported back that they had productive conversations with industry, and since it was the first time attending JP Morgan for some of the GLOBAL teams, they found the experience very helpful.

Dr. Kim also reached out to VCs and pharmaceutical VC arms that were not yet aware of the SPARK program. Dr. Kim said the industry groups were impressed with SPARK’s 59% success rate and impressed by the devotion and generosity of our advisors. The investment firms were even more impressed that SPARK accomplished this success with only a fraction of industry level funding, underscoring the importance of the advisors’ role.

Lastly, SPARK wants to thank Bernard Fallon, Managing Director of Industry Research, Investor Outreach, and Education at Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), for his continued support throughout the years helping academic programs like SPARK participate in these events.