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WIB-Chicago: Humanize Your Data through Storytelling, October 24, 2016

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Thursday, June 13, 2019

On October 24, 2016, WIB-Chicago hosted a hugely successful workshop with Executive Coach and Communications Trainer, Jennie Moreau. Jennie has utilized her extensive theater training and experience to create a process for developing and delivering powerful presentations.

Her interactive workshop focused on engaging participants in a series of on-site exercises that helped them understand how to project themselves to their listeners - engaging and communicating with those listeners more effectively. Participants also learned about the tonal quality of their voices, and how they can make data heavy presentations more interesting by connecting with their audiences effectively through storytelling and voice modulation.

The workshop had a large turnout, and participants left the workshop recognizing critical aspects of their presentation skills and how to improve upon them.

WIB-Chicago would like to thank our event sponsors - Ohmx Corporation and Northwestern University.

  

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WIB-Chicago: Start-Up Challenge 2.0, September 27, 2016

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Thursday, June 13, 2019

Leaders of five local, women-led companies participated in WIB-Chicago’s second annual “Start-Up Challenge” on September 27, 2016. Representatives from LanzaTech, 4D Healthware, MAG Optics, Novalex, and PraxiCut LLC gave dynamic presentations on their companies to our panel of experts, which provided insightful feedback on maximizing the effectiveness of the pitches.

Congratulations to Geeta Singh, co-founder and Chief Business Officer of MAG Optics, for winning the cash prize. Over 50 attendees enjoyed networking and supporting our local entrepreneurs. WIB-Chicago would like to thank our panel of experts, Alicia Loffler, Nancy Sullivan, Marta New, and Kapila Viges, for sharing their time and expertise.

WIB-Chicago also would like to thank our sponsors for this wonderful event, Horizon Pharma; Marshall, Gerstein & Borun; and MATTER, for your continued support of our organization and the local life sciences community.

– Heather R. Kissling

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WIB-Chicago: “Choose Your Own Adventure" Panel Discussion, August 16, 2016

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Thursday, June 13, 2019

“Choose Your Own Adventure - A Panel Discussion of Careers in the Life Sciences and Beyond”

On August 16, 2016, with a spectacular view of the Chicago skyline, WIB-Chicago enjoyed a stellar turnout for our career panel event, “Choose Your Own Adventure - A Panel Discussion of Careers in Life Sciences & Beyond,” hosted and sponsored by the Chicago law firm, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

The event panel was moderated by the firm’s partner, Lee Tumminello, and consisted of panelists Colleen Roberts, Chief Compliance & Legal Officer at Valence Health, and Sanjida Chowdhury, Senior Director of Financial Government Compliance at Fresenius Kabi.

The panelists discussed the non-traditional career paths they took to reach the senior roles they hold today in pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. The collective advice they gave to young job seekers was to network and create your own job description. The panelists agreed that career seekers should not be defeated by the word “no.” Instead, the panel emphasized persistence and self-advocacy. “Don’t take no for an answer” and “Blaze a new path” was the universal message they conveyed. Colleen and Sanjida further emphasized the importance of paying attention to markets trends, new emerging industries, and technologies that combine your skill set. They gave this advice because  - given the ever-changing business landscape in healthcare and life sciences – one’s new role may not yet exist until she creates it for herself!

The evening concluded with a light networking session where audience members had the opportunity to further interact with the panelists and ask additional questions.

- Ana Mrejeru, WIB-Chicago Communications Co-Chair

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WIB-Chicago: Symphony in the Park, July 20, 2016

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Thursday, June 13, 2019

On July 20, 2016, WIB-Chicago held its summer “Symphony in the Park” - an annual networking event at Millennium Park. The event was an engaging networking session with a symphony performance as well as projected images from National Geographic photographers. During the event women from various backgrounds shared their views on their experiences in the life sciences industry, and held interesting discussions on work-life balance. Attendees had a wonderful time listening to music while enjoying food and refreshing drinks. Symphony in the Park was a truly delightful Chicago evening full of fun, music, and great company!

- Aparna Yellapa, WIB-Chicago Communications Co-Chair

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WIB-Chicago: Strategies for Female Entrepreneurs, May 26, 2016

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Thursday, June 13, 2019

Strategies for Female Entrepreneurs to Secure Funding and Protect their Company's IP

On May 26, 2016, with the generous support of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, WIB-Chicago held a roundtable discussion focusing on Strategies for Female Entrepreneurs to Secure Funding and Protect Their Company’s IP.

Chapter Chair, Alis Gjeci, made the opening remarks and recognized Elese Hanson, Co-Chair of the WIB-Chicago Programming Committee as the Volunteer of the Month. Kimberly Smith, partner at Katten, served as the event’s moderator and kicked off the discussion by introducing the evening’s panel, which included:

Star Cunningham, Founder and CEO, 4D Healthware
Gule Sheikh, COO, EasyScripts by TG Healthcare Corporation
Nina Nashif, Founder and CEO, Healthbox
Nicole Walker, Director, Venture Capital, Baird Capital
Nancy Sullivan, CEO and Senior Managing Director, IllinoisVENTURES
Brian Sodikoff, Partner, co-head of Patent Litigation, Katten Muchin Rosenman

The panelists’ unique professional backgrounds and diverse experiences made for an interesting discussion on start-ups in the healthcare arena and on the importance of obtaining funding and securing IP protection. The investors shared their “dos” and “don’ts” when seeking funding, and provided tips on when and how to approach venture capital firms.

Entrepreneurs, Star Cunningham and Gule Sheikh shared their experiences of starting their businesses, and discussed the challenges and rewards they have encountered in their careers as women entrepreneurs. They emphasized the importance of patience, believing in yourself, and in seizing the right opportunity at the right time.

Guests had the opportunity to network before and after the main event. This event provided a delightful opportunity to hear from industry experts, as well as unwind after work and meet other members of the community.

- Tanya Ignjatovic, Ph.D.

 

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WIB-Chicago: "Biosimilars 2.0" Panel Discussion, March 10, 2016

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Thursday, June 13, 2019

The WIB Chicago Chapter kicked off Women’s History Month by honoring Debra Kurtz, of Kurtz Consulting Inc., whose work on a portable breast pump was a revolution for women in the workplace. Debra shared the inspiring story of how the Medela breast pump came to be and provided insight into her career in the medical device arena.

WIB-Chicago also established the “Volunteer of the Month” award, recognizing volunteers who have had a significant impact in making our chapter run smoothly. The first recipient of this award was Ana Mrejeru, our chapter’s Communications Co-Chair.  Ana has done a wonderful job in her position, helping with WIB-Chicago’s social media sites and programming publications.

For the main event, we were delighted to reunite our expert panel from last year’s Biosimilars event to discuss new developments in the regulation and approval of biosimilars. The panel included regulatory expertise from Dr. Sharon Ayd and legal expertise from Kirsten Anderson, Kevin Nelson, and Emily Winfield.

The panelists discussed the recent Amgen v. Sandoz case, its implications in terms of how the statutory scheme will work, both in terms of the “patent dance” and the pre-marketing notice provision, in addition to the likely legal challenges that lie ahead. The panel also discussed risks associated with product development (and strategies to minimize that risk), in addition to the current state of regulatory guidance from the FDA.

Overall, the evening’s discussion made it clear that there are many changes ahead in this field. WIB’s Chicago chapter looks forward to a biosimilars 3.0 panel in 2017. Stay tuned!

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WIB-Chicago: iGIANT Roundtable Discussion, February 16, 2016

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Thursday, June 13, 2019

Chicago iGIANT Roundtable: Impact of Gender/ Sex on Innovation and Novel Technologies

On February 16, 2016, WIB-Chicago was pleased to showcase a truly outstanding panel of 12 speakers, half were physicians and half were health tech entrepreneurs, with quite a few of these women working in both realms as physician entrepreneurs.

Challenges our clinical panel discussed were health disparities between men and women, for example, public misconception about cardiac disease and Alzheimer’s disease, both of which disproportionately kill more women than men. Another concern was how to leverage the critical role of women as primary caretakers in families, responsible for patient follow-up care and understanding medical information.

Our entrepreneur panelists noted that although fewer women start companies or file IP for their inventions, the ones that do launch companies emerge with higher success rates than male peers. A separate concern is designing medical devices and new technology (such as brain scans or wearable pacemakers) with female users and their anatomical considerations in mind.

Key action items which our panelists suggested for improving the medical landscape included for women was to “take a seat at the table” volunteering for leadership in medical education and hospital boards. Through networks and sponsors, women can build their confidence to file more patents, pitch new ideas to investors without fear of rejection, and to join venture capital firms as partners.

- Ana Mrejeru, Communications Co-Chair

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WIB-Chicago: YWIB Speed Networking & Mentoring Event, January 23rd, 2016

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Thursday, June 13, 2019

On January 23, 2016, the WIB-Chicago Young Women In Bio Committee hosted a networking and mentoring event. Over 75 girls, ranging in ages from 10 to 18 years old, had an opportunity to speak with women who have careers in the life sciences. Twelve mentors volunteered and provided guidance on education and insight on their careers. The mentors were research scientists in the academic field and both start-up and large health science companies. In addition, the mentors had experience in consulting, entrepreneurship, biosimilar development finance and patent law. The “speed networking” format of the event allowed the girls to begin learning the life-long skill of networking, and to have the opportunity to meet successful professional women of various ethnicities at different stages of their careers. The event was sponsored by Marshall Gerstein & Borun LLP. In attendance were member of Girls 4 Science (G4S), a nonprofit organization dedicated to exposing girls in Chicago to science, technology, engineering and math.

- Sharon M. Sintich

 

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