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Utah Technology Innovation Summit to offer technology entrepreneurs insights into early-stage funding, international markets

As part of the second annual Utah Technology Innovation Summit, taking place on Apr. 1 at the Little America Hotel, science-based technology entrepreneurs and innovators will have the opportunity to learn best practices to accelerate their early-stage companies.

In addition to tracks focused on innovation trends and policy issues affecting Utah, the 2019 Summit will feature a business development track to empower attendees to learn how to best launch a new product in international markets, how Utah can attract foreign direct investment in deep technology and how entrepreneurs can position their technology to be ready for follow-on investments from angel, seed and other investment firms.

“Science-based technologies are at the forefront of creating economic growth opportunities,” said Barbara Araneo, Ph.D., USTAR acting executive director. “However, without sound business development milestones, practices and due diligence, a technology might never advance from development to commercialized product. This track will help entrepreneurs further refine their early stage business development plans.”

The business development track will include two breakout sessions, the first titled, International Markets – Soft Landings and Foreign Direct Investment Opportunities, and a second on Early Stage Funding in Utah’s Innovation Ecosystem.

Miles Hansen, president and CEO of World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah) will lead the session on international challenges and opportunities for deep technology entrepreneurs. The session will help firms navigate how to protect intellectual property overseas, different regulatory processes and other market entry challenges.

Hansen will be joined on the panel by June Chen, managing partner at Mountain Pacific Venture Fund, a fund focused on investing in early-stage life sciences, as well as LDD Partners, a boutique strategic management consulting and angel investing firm, and Church & State, a non-profit business incubator. Through her work at Mountain Pacific Venture Fund, Chen has successfully helped secure international follow-on funding rounds for several Utah life sciences companies.

In addition to Hansen and Chen, the panel will feature Antonia Zierer, executive director of Invest in Bavaria, which helps technology companies explore business opportunities in Germany, as well as Denver Lough, president and CEO of PolarityTE, a rapidly growing life sciences company headquartered in Utah.

The second business development breakout session will discuss challenges and opportunities for early stage companies in securing funding in Utah. The conversation will be led by Jeff Bowman and Neela Pack, attorneys for Dorsey & Whitney LLP who provide strategic advice for emerging growth technology companies. They will be joined by Rose Maizner, a partner at Renewable Tech Ventures; Hoonmo Lee, CEO of TY BIO Investments, Inc., a life sciences investment firm; and Chris Calder, director of Epic Ventures, a Utah investment firm.

In addition to the breakout session tracks on tech & policy, both the morning and afternoon plenary sessions will explore trends at the state and federal levels in innovation policy.

Dr. Brian E. Shiozawa, regional director of intergovernmental and external affairs for Region 8 of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will give the keynote remarks during the morning plenary session.

Dr. Shiozawa, an emergency physician from Utah, was appointed as Regional Director in Region 8 by the President in December 2017. In his role, Dr. Shiozawa leads the Denver-based office of Health and Human Services, ensuring the Department maintains close contact with state, local, and tribal partners and addresses the needs of communities and individuals in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.

Prior to his appointment to his current position, Dr. Shiozawa served as a two-term member of the Utah Legislature, representing District 8 in the Utah Senate from 2013 to 2017. During his time as a state senator, Dr. Shiozawa sponsored and passed over 50 bills covering a range of health care related issues, including opioid overdose, assault and technology.

To learn more about the Utah Technology Innovation Summit and to view the full agenda, visit utahinnovationsummit.org. Registration includes breakfast, lunch, parking and all conference sessions and materials.

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