October 24, 2017
3 min read

OCTANe to bring broad audience to Medical Technology Innovation Forum

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Bill Carpou

Healio.com/OSN recently spoke with Bill Carpou, CEO of OCTANe, about the upcoming Medical Technology Innovation Forum on Oct. 30 and 31 in Newport Beach, California.


Healio.com /OSN : Who are you trying to reach with this medical technology summit, and what are your goals and purpose?


Carpou: The audience is research institutions, entrepreneurs, investors, and both big and small companies with a focus on and interest in “med tech.” Some conferences are just investor conferences and some are just for companies to present, but we have a broad audience that is divided fairly equally among the constituents — that is the power of OCTANe.

Regarding purpose, first we want to pull together the Southern California med tech community. Our conferences are about creating the proper “collisions” that enable entrepreneurs to create and grow new companies.

Second is content. We want anyone associated with med tech to leave the conference having learned something new. One of the key things we are seeing this year is the introduction of new technologies, for example, artificial intelligence and virtual and augmented reality, and how they might start to fit into med tech. We want to talk about these new technologies as applications inside certain companies and what their products and services could be to enhance patient outcomes.

Third, we want to make investor introductions to our LaunchPad companies. Every company that has presented at LaunchPad has gone on to raise money, so it is a pretty high honor to be one of the presenting companies and reflects quality deal flow for investors.


Healio.com /OSN : How many years has this program been going on, and what is new this year?


Carpou: This is the 12th year, and we have evolved into having a more intimate panel format. We went from having individual speakers to having big panels to now having three or four people on a panel to provide high-quality content and input. We have a fundamentally high-quality speaker lineup. Omar Ishrak, the CEO of Medtronic, is giving one of the keynotes. All our speakers have a lot of gravitas and a lot of credibility in the life sciences community.


Healio.com /OSN : Is there any specific thing that you are excited about?


Carpou: Omar is going to talk about value-based health care; that is a personal passion of his.

One of the panels that I think is really interesting is called “Anatomy of Success,” which is basically looking at Orange County med tech startups that have then gone on to be acquired or have had some other liquidity event. So it is a look at what the formula is to be able to repeat that. We are putting focus on Southern California to say we are competitive with other med tech ecosystems. We are putting a focus on Orange County as an affordable and attractive destination for companies to locate, and with that, how to expand into Europe and Asia.


In addition to the LaunchPad presentations, another interesting thing we are going to do is have a panel of deans of many of the local university engineering schools talk about the talent pool — what they are creating, what kind of curriculum they are building, and the matching of their curriculum to what industry needs. More engineers are graduated from universities in Southern California than any other place in the country, by a fairly wide margin. I think it is an impressive set-up to have the deans of engineering of these key institutions — UC Irvine, USC, UCLA, UCSD, Caltech — talk about why that is occurring and how they are building a curriculum to match industry. OCTANe has now brought the university ecosystem together through all of Southern California.


Healio.com /OSN : What do you want attendees to take away from the meeting?


Carpou: OCTANe is more than just a provider of great conferences. We introduce investors to companies and companies to investors. We provide great content, and we are relevant on how to grow and expand your business.

We have a broad reach, both internationally and domestically, and pull people in from key places such as New York, Washington, D.C., Boston and Minneapolis. It is definitely not exclusively an Orange County meeting. There is some discussion as to why Orange County is good in these areas, but fundamentally anybody could and should participate, and will gain knowledge and content regardless of where they are, domestically or internationally.

OCTANe meetings for 2018 are already scheduled: May 31 and June 1 for the Technology Innovation Forum, June 29 and 30 for the Ophthalmology Technology Summit, and Oct. 29 and 30 for the Medical Technology Innovation Forum.

Disclosure: Carpou reports he is CEO of OCTANe.