Yale Innovation Summit highlights entrepreneurial research

Desirée Plata participates in the Tech Pitch Contest at the Yale Innovation Summit May 9.
Desirée Plata, the John J. Lee Assistant Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, participates in the Tech Pitch Contest at the Yale Innovation Summit May 9.

Almost 1,000 investors, entrepreneurs, and scientists gathered May 9 at the Yale School of Management for the Yale Innovation Summit, one of the premier annual showcases for the university’s tech and biotech talent.

The summit, hosted by the Office of Cooperative Research, featured keynote speakers from industry and investment communities as well as biotech and tech pitches by Yale innovators judged by dozens of the most preeminent venture capital investors in the country.  

Jon Soderstrom, managing Director of the Office of Cooperative Research said the Summit has rapidly evolved into a premier showcase for faculty, entrepreneurs and investors alike.  

This year we doubled the number of investment funds attending the event,’’ said Jon Soderstrom, managing director of OCR.  “Representatives from over 60 funds were present, some coming from as far away as Singapore and China, interested in exploring investment opportunities emerging out of Yale’s world class research.”

The day also featured more than 70 ePosterboards in the courtyard of SOM highlighting Yale Innovations along with talks and panel discussions with a variety of experts on topics such as the impact of emerging technology on health care, biotech opportunities in China and Asia, trends in biotech investing, and blockchain and internet security. 

The summit culminated with the announcements of winners of the Blavatnik Awards, which provide generous research grants to top Yale faculty from the Blavatnik Family Foundation. The foundation recently announced a new $15 million grant to The Blavatnik Fund for Innovation at Yale, which advances entrepreneurship in the life sciences at Yale and expedites the development, application, and commercialization of breakthrough research. Watch a video highlighting award winners and finalists:

The 2018 awardees and their research projects

  • Anna Pyle and Akiko Iwasaki
    • RIG-I agonists as next-gen immunotherapies”
  • Alanna Schepartz
    • Cell permeable miniature proteins: demonstrated platform superiority against third party platforms”
  • Jeffrey Bender
    • Novel Oligonucleotide Strategy to Specifically Inhibit IL-17A Gene Expression shows In Vivo Activity in Animal Model of Multiple Sclerosis.”
  • Aaron Ring
    • Engineered IL-18 immunotherapy: An untapped cytokine pathway”
  • Paul Turner
    • Phage therapy increases effectiveness of antibiotics for treating multi-drug resistant bacterial infections”

Winners of 2018 Tech Pitches and their companies

Winners of 2018 Biotech pitches and their companies

  • Paul Turner/Ben Chan — Paci-PHI, First Place
  •  Anthony van den Pol — Pacific Oncovirus, Second Place
  •  Anna Pyle — Innatia, Third Place

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Media Contact

Bill Hathaway: william.hathaway@yale.edu, 203-432-1322