BU’s Tech, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll Event Collides Investors, Researchers and Entrepreneurs

Tech Drugs Rock n' Roll event took place on July 14, 2015 in BU's Metcalf Ballroom. Photograph by Esther Ro.

Tech Drugs Rock n’ Roll event took place on July 14, 2015 in BU’s Metcalf Ballroom. Photograph by Esther Ro.

The Office of Technology Development at Boston University recently hosted its 6th annual Tech, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll (TDRR) networking conference at Boston University’s Metcalf Ballroom.

Each year, TDRR aims to create interaction between the academic and startup worlds, connecting the university’s scientists and engineers with local entrepreneurs, investors and innovators. The event gives Boston University researchers in the fields of life sciences, physical sciences, medical technology, as well as student-based ventures the chance to showcase their emerging technologies.

The event has traditionally included live music and this year’s TDRR featured the music of Kingsley Flood, a rising folk-rock band that has won three Boston Music Awards including Album of the Year.

For the first time, TDRR included a “Funder Alley.” Companies like Pfizer CTI, Sanofi, Consortia for Improving Medicine with Innovation & Technology (CIMIT), Boston Biomedical Innovation Center (B-BIC), Mass Medical Angels, Allied Minds, Rockport Capital and VentureWell staffed booths at the event for attendees to ask questions, get information or simply network.

“TDRR is a great event because it brings together the entire innovation community – investigators, funders, and non-profits. Similar to last year, TDRR provided B-BIC and CIMIT the opportunity to speak with researchers in detail about their projects, in a relaxed and casual atmosphere,” said Marc Filerman, accelerator executive with CIMIT. “This unique combination enabled us to highlight B-BIC’s and CIMIT’s capabilities and to learn about interesting, innovative work happening within the BU research and entrepreneurial community. All-in-all a great event.”

With this year’s addition of Funder Alley, TDRR offered a “unique opportunity to get exposure to the Boston ecosystem,” noted Frank Hoonakker, the CEO of eNovalys, a French digital chemistry startup exploring the possibility of moving to Boston.

“We expected to meet with some potential customers, like Novartis and Roche, and we hoped to learn a bit about Boston’s chemical and pharmaceutical communities but the event far exceeded our expectations,” Hoonakker said. “We managed to meet numerous potential clients and investors.”

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Photograph by Esther Ro.

The program also included the presentation of the Innovator of the Year award to Dr. David Salant of Boston University School of Medicine and Chief of Nephrology at Boston Medical Center.

“The success of Dr. Salant’s research lays in his continued perseverance and focus on patients’ unmet needs,” said BU Office of Technology Development Managing Director Vinit Nijhawan.

“His invaluable contributions to the field of nephrology and glomerular diseases, and the commercialization of his recent discoveries by Euroimmun for early diagnosis of kidney disease make him the perfect candidate for the Innovator of the Year Award.”

Robert Schultz

Robert Schultz

    Robert Schultz has an MBA in Information Systems from University of Massachusetts-Boston and a BS in International Business from Northeastern University, where he served as Business Manager for the university’s largest student publication, The Northeastern News. Schultz is an experienced healthcare technology startup enthusiast who was involved with the patient monitoring company Aware Engineering through the MassBio MassCONNECT program.

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