Letter from the President, 2012


Plans for Sustainability: My Vision for 2012

As I reflect back on the work of Biodesign Alumni Association for 2011, I am struck by one thought – we made it. Under the exceptional leadership of Evan Anderson (Fellow ‘03-‘04) and his founding team, the Biodesign Alumni Association was formed in 2009 and quickly developed into what it is today. 2011 was a particularly outstanding year for the group.

Some 2011 highlights include our Tableside Chat Series where our alums were connected to some of the most dynamic leaders in medtech – Erik van der Burg (Siesta Medical and Founder of Ignyte Bioventures), Ken Martin (Sadra), Karen Talmadge (Kyphon), Stephen Oesterle (Medtronic), Lisa Earnhardt (Intersect ENT), Reza Zadno (Visiogen), and Beverly Huss (Vibrynt); and our Happy Hour Events sponsored by Venture Capital greats such as Morganthaler Ventures and NEA – where we provided a forum for our alums to connect with their peers and strengthen their network.

Our 2011 Biodesign Alumni Annual Event was exceptional. Our alums had the opportunity to sit down with medtech legends such as John Abele, Ginger Graham, Bobe Croce, Eberhard Grube, and Simon Stertzer. Our Annual Event Panel Discussion with the Ardian Leadership team – including Andrew Cleeland, Greg Bakan, and Karun Naga – was an incredible success. Our alums received insight into what it takes to start, run, and exit a successful medical device company.

Looking back on the quality programming and opportunities that we provided to our alums in 2011, it might be easy to sit back and think – ok, cool. We’re good.

But no, this is only the beginning.

Our alums are a powerhouse of medtech entrepreneurs and visionaries. We each play an important roll today in medtech, and will knock it out of the park in the near future – some of us already have. Interested in a snap shot of what we have accomplished already? As of May 2011, products invented and developed by our alumni have treated over 55,000 patients, companies founded by our alumni (there have been over 20 founded so far) have created over 350 new jobs, and over 200 patents have been filed by our alumni. Pretty impressive.

As I took over as President, I was struck by the importance of working to maintain and grow this incredible alumni association. Our networking, professional development, and service initiatives and programs must be on par with our incredible group of alumni.

2009 to 2011 were important years of exploration and growth. In 2012, I pledge to (1) Drive value for you, our alumni, and (2) create sustainability and predictability.

(1) Drive Value

We will strive to continue to give you one-on-one access to the most important people in our industry. We also want to keep you connected with your peers, our most valuable resource, in a meaningful way. Through all of this, I promise to listen to you, and bring you the programming that you want and deserve. One area that we have begun to explore is a policy initiative – how do we make our voices heard in this time of tectonic change in our industry (changes at FDA, health insurance reform, patent reform, cost effectiveness, etc)? And once our voice is heard, what should we say?

(2) Create Sustainability and Predictability

I want this association to be around for many, many years to come. And not just be around, I want it to be great. I want it to be the premier medtech alumni association. Although our growth was impressive in our early years – it is clear that we need to put structure in place. Therefore. we have formed a non-profit association and incorporated with the state of California, we are revamping the website, we are forming alliances with donors so that we can fund our programming tomorrow and reduce ticket prices today, and we are making a name for ourselves.

2012 and beyond shows great promise for our association. Please continue to participate, share your wisdom, and let us know what you want. We are here for you – our alumni – today, tomorrow, and beyond. May you have an incredibly successful and rewarding 2012.

Not a contributing member for 2012? Join now!

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