Our conversation about the future of venture capital continues with Jim Dreher, founder and managing partner of Option3, LLC. Jim is a medical device entrepreneur who, over the past 20 years, has founded and helped launch a number of highly valued start-ups, including General Surgical Innovations, Inc. (GSI), Embolic Protection, Inc. (EPI), AccessClosure, Inc. and HotSpur Technologies. GSI went public in 1996 and was acquired by Tyco Healthcare in 1999. EPI was acquired by Boston Scientific in 2001. HotSpur Technologies was acquired by Teleflex in 2012 and AccessClosure was recently acquired by Cardinal Health in April, 2014. Jim is currently Founder & Managing Partner of Option3, a medical device incubator focusing on fast-to-market technologies. Option3’s first two spin-out companies, Axiom Technology Partners & Atsina Surgical, were also acquired by Teleflex (Axiom in 2012 & most recently Atsina in August of 2015). When Jim is not playing hockey, baseball, or basketball with his son Dash, he also serves as an Industry Mentor & Advisor to UCLA’s MedTech Innovation Program. Prior to his entrepreneurial career, Jim held various US and International Senior Management positions at Johnson & Johnson and Baxter Healthcare. Jim has authored and co-authored a number of patents and patent applications. He attended the Sorbonne University in Paris and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wabash College, where he also serves on the College’s Advisory Board for The Center for Innovation, Business, and Entrepreneurship (CIBE).
Jim will be introduced by Kara Kavensky, Kara is a strategic marketing specialist, writer/storyteller, and business consultant – sharing and cultivating stories of impact. Her focus is helping companies grow via strategic storytelling and creating connections via networking.
Kicking off our signature “unpitch competition” will be Chelsea Linder, Chelsea leads gener8tor’s gBETA Indy program, a free, seven-week accelerator for early-stage companies with local roots. Each program is capped at five teams, and requires no fees and no equity.
Our “unpitch competition” features local entrepreneurs sharing the stories of their journey and struggles to you. They are open to questions, thoughts and valuable insight from the audience at each event. The first of these is James Norris, VP of Finance of Springbuk. Springbuk builds software to help benefits and healthcare professionals communicate, connect, and glean insights from their health data. Their technology empowers individuals to make smarter healthcare decisions.
The second participant in our “unpitch competition” is Oscar Morales, Managing Director of VisionTech. Oscar brings a diverse background in startups, capital formation and life sciences. Oscar received his bachelor’s of science degree in medical technology from the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas an MBA from the University of Colorado. Oscar is co-founder and Managing Director at VisionTech Partners, a management consulting company that provides business services for early-stage technology companies as well as capital resources through its VisionTech Angel network. In 2009, Oscar co-founded the StepStone Angels network in Indiana. Today, VisionTech Angels is one of Indiana’s largest and most active angel networks in the state. In 2002, Oscar co-founded BioStorage Technologies in Indianapolis which was acquired by Brooks Automation in December 2015. Prior to BioStorage, Oscar served as director of specialty services at Covance Central Laboratories in Indianapolis. He was also the general manager for Frontline Laboratory Network, a Colorado-based startup venture consisting of a consortium of hospital laboratories and Mayo Medical Laboratories.
To give us a talk on the state of venture capital in Indiana from an outsider’s view, we welcome Ron Watson. Ron is a Principal and member of the Lewis & Clark Ventures investment team, based in St. Louis. He finds the best investments for the fund and then helps drive growth and increase operational efficiency for their portfolio companies. I leads deal-sourcing and relationship-building efforts across the Midwest, with a current focus on Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Texas. He is on the Board at Beam Dental, and serves as a board observer at four other LACV portfolio companies: Blue Medora, Datica, Springbuk and Territory.