Archive for category Big Data -Cloud -IoT-Software -Mobile -Entrepreneurship

Challenges and Opportunities in DevOps


Image result for devopsAfter Agile and Waterfall, recent red hot trend in creating optimum software engineering culture in organizations, has been DevOps. DevOps is about unifying software development and operations and aligning it with shared business and product objectives. Creating smoothly functioning DevOps culture helps organizations shorten development cycles and ensure dependable and timely releases.

With DevOps enabling real-time visibility in every layer of software construction, the risk of rapid innovation is reduced as communication barriers are dissolved between teams and feedback loops are shortened. Objective single source data through shared dashboard reduces finger pointing. Companies that have not yet adopted DevOps, increasingly feel the pressure to do so. However, when companies seek to adopt DevOps, they also face challenges.

Image result for not tools, cultureCreating a smoothly functioning DevOps culture, requires creating an optimum environment for the shift in mindset to take hold and enabling a smooth transition process through soft and hard skills training.  Traditionally, goals of Development and Operations are not aligned and handovers between different teams are costly and time consuming. A company seeking to adopt DevOps culture, needs to overcome this mentality and create product aligned team culture, away from project based culture. This is a major mindset shift that may require restructuring in staff and reporting lines, in addition to skills based training. While there is high barrier to entry with microservices, the move to automation and continuous delivery is facilitated by replacing or changing older legacy infrastructure to microservices architecture.

In any organization but more so in one seeking to adopt DevOps culture, people on the team are going to be the most important resources, for a smooth transition. Adopting newer tools may be effective only to the extent that staff receives training to use them and the tools are well integrated with the existing infrastructure.  A shift in culture must be gradual and include change management training to help people embrace the change. It will be easier to bring Dev and Ops teams on board to adopting newer tools if the focus is moved away from personalities and preferences to broader picture and larger, overarching goals of the company.  While the change may be scary at first, adoption may be smoother with objective data and feedback loops from small scale deployments and other teams to see the benefits of it working in real time.

Image result for tieinflectExciting track at TiE Inflect 2018, the largest entrepreneurship conference to take place in May at Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, will feature VCs and industry leaders discussing trends, opportunities, and strategies to deal with challenges. Entrepreneurs with eyes towards innovation in DevOps will also get to do a deep dive in the Startup bootcamp, and may learn to become investor ready, learn to effectively network and maximize visibility, and fine tune presentations and pitches. Register for the conference at www.tieinflect.org .

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Continuing Innovation in CyberSecurity – check out track at TiEInflect 2018


Image result for cybersecurityCloud revolution that began over a decade ago, has transformed business models and working practices around cybersecurity. And yet continuous innovation is imperative when it comes to cybersecurity. Cybercrime damages are expected to rise to $6 trillion annually, by 2021. Hence cybersecurity and cloudsecurity represent a rapidly growing market today with the potential for revenues in excess of $10 billion by 2022.  

Image result for cybersecurity, dataIncreasing cybersecurity threats have encouraged organizations to leverage technology advances, and fight back with a variety of strategies and tactics. For instance, leveraging big data, enables a security solution provider to see bigger patterns and connect the dots to understand the threats. Similarly, deep learning, an advanced form of artificial intelligence, has made a huge impact on cyber security. When a machine learns what a malicious code looks like, it can identify unknown codes as benign or malicious with extremely high accuracy, and in real time.  Other technology solutions that have been implemented include, running applications in containers (e.g. Docker), instead of virtual machines, advances in virtual customer premise equipment (vCPE), and more flexible, open and cloud-based WAN technologies rather than proprietary or specialized WAN technologies.  

These and other strategies are aimed at identifying management systems, people and devices accessing the networks, verification of authorization levels, advanced threat analytics to flag behavioral changes, and virtualized security to follow and protect the data whereever it goes. Largest entrepreneurship conference, TiEInflect 2018, to take place in Santa Clara Convention Center, in May, will again feature focused Cybersecurity track with exciting keynotes and speakers from leading cloud and cyber security companies. Register for the conference at www.tieinflect.org .

 

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Technology disruptors like AI & Data reshaping Marketing & Advertising with improved personalization & enhanced targeting


Technology is impacting every area of our lives. Blending marketing and advertising with technology dubbed MarTech and AdTech, is entirely changing the marketing landscape. When combined with big data and AI, there is now greater efficiency in advertising and marketing; from building, managing, delivering and optimizing campaigns, to placing, buying, and selling ads, to targeting to most optimum potential buyers.

Image result for what is martechBut it’s not about build it and they will come or turn it on and it will deliver. Often martech purchase decisions underdeliver. As an entrepreneur, if you plan to lead your company through various stages of business lifecycle from seed stage to growth stage to expansion and maturity, then you will encounter an array of marketing challenges that will require different strategies and tactics.  While in earlier phase, your focus will be on building customer and prospect lists to drive product awareness, it will soon evolve into tracking and accessing purchasing activities, supporting customer segmentation based on demographics, past purchase history and gaining deeper insight about the customer to support segmentation and personalized targeting.

At TiEInflect 2018, the largest entrepreneurship conference to take place in May at Santa Clara Convention Center, a focused track on MarTech will feature exciting topics like “Marketing to the power of AI”, “Marketing maturity model for entrepreneurs” and more. Register for the conference at www.tieinflect.org .

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Where are VCs investing in DevOps


Image result for non copyrighted images, devops, VCsIn software engineering culture, unifying software development and software operation is gaining great momentum. Automation and monitoring at all steps of software construction from integration, testing, releasing to deployment, and infrastructure management, DevOps shortens development cycles, ensures more dependable releases and is more closely aligned with business objectives. Recent M&A activities of DevOps companies like AppDynamics and Automic Software and $100M+ investments in DevOps solution providers like UIPath,, XebiaLabs and Tricentis points to the red hot market, ripe of entrepreneurial innovation.

VCs have clearly embraced this transformation in culture and processes as a more efficient organizational culture for development and deployment practices.  But as yet, DevOps sector is in the early phase. There will be incredible new opportunities for entrepreneurs in this sector, in the next few years. A panel of industry leaders will discuss and opine on new opportunities for entrepreneurs, at TiE Inflect 2018. Register for the largest entrepreneurship conference with exciting tracks in Blockchain, FinTech, DevOps, HealthTech, CyberSecurity, MarTech and more to take place in in May, in Santa Clara, CA  at www.tieinflect.org .

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Blockchain: Delivering Internet of Value, a new platform to reshape the world of business


Invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 for use in the cryptocurrency bitcoin, blockchain enabled first digital currency without the need of a trusted central authority and has since inspired many other applications and has emerged as a major area of focus for entrepreneurs. According to Patrick M. Byrne, “The main event isn’t bitcoin. It’s using blockchain to disrupt other industries and Wall Street”.

Image result for blockchain technologySo what exactly is blockchain and what kind of potential it holds?  Blockchain refers to continuously growing list of records called blocks that are linked and secured using cryptography and each block contains timestamp and transaction data that cannot be modified. So the transaction details are permanent and unalterable. This removes the need for verification by independent third party and a blockchain can be managed by peer to peer network.

Blockchain technologies enable confident transactions and deliver value in payments, settlements and securities processing by rendering all transactions safer, faster, cheaper, secure and transparent.  In the words of William Mougayar, “The blockchain symbolizes a shift in power from the center to the edges of the networks”. This technology will drive benefits for transecting individuals and institutions and will impact nearly all major industries. If you are an entrepreneur, you won’t want to miss Blockchain track at TiE Inflect 2018 and learn from the best minds on challenges and opportunities inherent in this technology.  Register for the conference at www.tieinflect.org .

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Life Sciences Industry Outlook for 2018: Post BiotechShowcase & JPM


Image result for Biotech Showcase 2018, JPM18JPM 2018 and concurrent events just ended with what may be one of its biggest draws.  As many as 10,000 people from life science industry and its related sectors are likely to have descended upon the city, during last four days.  In addition to JPM event itself, everything health was under review and up for discussion at various conferences including at EBD Group & Demy Colten’s #BiotechShowcase #DigitalMedicine #BTS18 and #WuXiGlobalForum2018 . Networking and deal making continued late in the nights at various receptions held across the city. Receptions by legal firms like #WilsonSonsini #MoFoLLP #ReedSmithLLP attracted some of the biggest crowds.

IMG_20180110_170128791.jpgOverall the tone for 2018, seemed highly optimistic.  BiotechShowcase held a media roundup and echoes of optimism were heard from almost all panelists @barbara_ryan12 @TriangleInsight @CarolineYLChen @adamfeuerstein @statnews @SFBIZronleuty @BrittanyMeiling @endpts @juliet_preston @medcitynews @ldtimmerman .

Image result for biotech innovationThere is a general agreement that the pace of #innovation in biotech greatly accelerated in 2017 and is likely to continue. According to Luke Timmeerman, “sheer velocity of news in healthtech innovation is fascinating”. Transformative therapies across huge and diverse range of diseases are increasingly focusing on cures and going beyond the short term treatment focus. The surge of innovation has been led by focus on oncology although concern was also raised in one of the panels that we still continue to get stymied and realize how friggin smart the disease of cancer is and if we will truly crack the code on cancer in the immediate upcoming years. All signs are however, that next year we may see critical data from some clinical trials in immuno-oncology space that can cause market spikes.

Here are some areas of concern raised in some of the panels. In 2017, a slight dip was observed in the areas of orphan and rare diseases. Also there seemed to be a general consensus that we need smart policies that incentivize new anti microbial drugs and other treatments for infectious diseases. Due to increasing resistance of antibiotics, there is an ongoing and real fear for some of the infectious diseases to turn into pandemics. These are areas that bold entrepreneurs may focus on. Also medical devices continues to remain somewhat underfunded. Discussions around accelerating healthcare costs and drug pricing issues creeped over into many panels. Entrepreneurs with disruptive pricing innovation in product development as well as healthcare can easily have a tremendous leverage. It can’t be overstressed that finding effective pricing solutions holds key to continued and sustainable growth in healthcare sector.

Discussion in one of the panels focused for a few minutes around large investments in life sciences and if that indicated a healthtech bubble that may be due for a crash.  Indeed, some experts observed that pace of 2017 is unlikely to continue and there may well be a slight dip in 2018. But overall the consensus seemed to be, that a steep and deep pipeline of innovation in R&D is likely to prevent a crash, and the venture funding blizzard is likely to continue. Overall, the feeling among investors and healthcare experts was that among the industry, there is a strong focus on science and people are pursuing innovation with discipline that will ensure unprecedented mechanisms and novel medicines. All this activity is taking healthcare to a new level of cures and sustainability and stability from temporary treatment focus. Exciting indeed to be living in this era of amazing healthcare innovation.

 

 

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Biotech Showcase 2018 Preview: What it will mean to be living in the era of cures & more VC money


Lunch plenary sessions are always a huge draw at Biotech Showcase and are very exciting. On day one, a panel moderated by Sara Radcliff from CLSA will take a 60,000 feet view and will discuss what the future holds for biotechnology and life science sector. Biotechnology is increasingly going beyond treatment to focusing on cures. Day 2 panel moderated by Alice Valder Curran from Hogan Lovells with Eric Aguiar from Aisling, Philippe Lopes-Fernandes from Merck and Camille Samuels from Venrock will discuss “what it means to be in the era of cures”. The panel will discuss how public and private markets are still catching up with new policies on coverage, pricing, and liability issues, making it even more challenging to decide what product candidates to pursue.  Lunch panel on day 3 moderated by Ellen Corenswet from Covington & Burling LLP and populated by prominent VCs and industry experts will reflect on 2017 surge of venture capital.
Image result for future of healthcareImage result for healthcare venture capital

Besides all day information packed sessions focused on key diseases that are getting attention http://bit.ly/2pA45B7 , there are interesting panels and sessions on treatment modalities that are the garnering attention of investors and entrepreneurs http://bit.ly/2CjET4G .  And then there will be panels discussing investment in healthcare, what to expect in 2018 from investment perspective and what are likely to be new drivers of innovation in drug development, and new targets, new trends and new combinations in treatment.

Besides three action packed days, the evenings will be packed with countless receptions and networking will continue late into the night. Concurrent 36th annual J P Morgan Healthcare Conference is expecting 400+ public and private companies to deliver presentations to over 8000 attendees. San Francisco will be taken over by everything health for three days, from January 8th through 10th, 2018.  

While JPM conference is by invitation only event, registration is open for Biotech Showcase at conferences@ebdgroup.com or at https://ebdgroup.knect365.com/biotech-showcase/agenda/1

 

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Biotech Showcase 2018 Preview: Treatment focus on microbiome, regenerative medicine, gene & immuno therapies


Image result for biotech showcase 2018Biotech Showcase taking place concurrently with the J P Morgan event in San Francisco, will host more than 3,500 attendees and 900+ investors. This event considered to be a critical strategic benchmark for business development activities in biotech, medtech, pharma and digital health, is regarded as among the year’s most important investor meeting place and sets the tone for financial health in these sectors, for the coming year.  Speakers and attendees at Biotech Showcase, will participate, network and listen to over 400 company presentations. Over 2,100 companies from 50+ countries will participate.  Besides 7000+ one on one meetings, general sessions will focus on a number of topics that are significantly expected to impact the healthcare arena. Here are some of the treatment modalities that are getting interest from both investors and entrepreneurs.

A panel moderated by Joseph Gulfo, Executive Director at Lewis Center for healthcare innovation and technology with Thomas Hallam, CEO of Leading Biosciences, Arpita Maiti, Senior Director, ES&I at Pfizer, Glenn Nedwin, CEO of Second Genome, will start day one. Microbiome refers to internal ecosystem of bacteria, widely believed to be residing in the gut. By some researchers estimates, over 90% of all diseases can be traced to the gut and health of the microbiome. However, new research on lung, skin, inflammation, immunology, and neuro microbiome is bringing together experts in neuroscience, gastroenterology, microbiology and more to unlock even larger role that microbiota plays in interacting with itself and its human host, in understanding disease and health and better understand possible treatment modalities.Image result for microbiome, neuro

Image result for regenerative medicineA panel moderated by Janet Lambert, CEO at Alliance for Regenerative Medicine will discuss next gen cell based immunotherapies with panelists Robert Preti from Hitachi, Bob Azelby from Juno Therapeutics, Manuel Litchman from Mustang Bio, James Noble from Adaptimmunie, Pascal Touchon from Novartis and Scott Walchko from Fate Therapeutics.  Immunotherapies use body’s immune system’s natural capacity to detect and destroy abnormal cells. Immmunotherapies have generated great deal of interest, specifically for treatment of cancers because these regimens present fewer side effects and have less potential for creating resistance when treating microbial diseases.

Image result for gene therapyGene therapies using genes to treat or prevent diseases, indicate promising though yet risky treatment options. What does the future hold for gene therapies, specially beyond rare diseases?  Bill Lundberg from CRISPR and Geoff Nichol from Biomarin will discuss outlook for gene therapies.  

PS: Here is link to my earlier blog on disease areas that will generate interest and renewed attention in some of the panels http://bit.ly/2pA45B7 . Registration is open for Biotech Showcase at conferences@ebdgroup.com or at https://ebdgroup.knect365.com/biotech-showcase/agenda/1

 

 

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Biotech Showcase 2018 Preview: Disease focus: infectious diseases, metabolic syndrome, skin & more


Biotech Showcase taking place concurrently with the J P Morgan event in San Francisco in January 2018, is an investor and networking conference.  Many partnerships and collaborations will be forged with over over 7000 one on one meetings, with opportunities for eager innovators to seek out enthusiastic investors.  Besides one on one meetings, general sessions will focus on a number of disease areas that are significantly expected to impact the healthcare arena.  More blogs to follow and will highlight focus on new treatment modalities.

Image result for skin diseases highlight internal problemsA panel led by Jennifer Goldstein from Silicon Valley Bank will focus on body’s largest organ that is often misunderstood and frequently underrated, the skin. Panelists Alan Dunton from Purdue Pharma, David Giljohann from Exicure, Jennifer Good from Trevi Therapeutics, Shelley Harman from Aegle and Mark Wilson from MatriSys will discuss early signs and symptoms on the skin that often signal infectious and internal diseases.

Image result for antibiotic resistance, infectious diseaseAntimicrobial resistance or (AMR) is increasingly a prominent public health concern and has been highlighted by both WHO and CDC. Since the discovery of first antibiotic penicillin in 1928, more than 100 compounds have been created but no new class has been found. In panel moderated by Bibhash Mukhopadhyay at New Enterprise Associates, leading anti-microbial drug development experts, Alan Carr of Needham, Julia Gregory from Contrafect, Kenneth Hillan from Achaogen, Gregory Mario from Taxis Pharma, John Rex from F2G, and Chris Stevens from Arsanis will discuss the tailwinds and headwinds in this space that is getting a fresh second look from both experts and investors.

Image result for metabolic syndromeCurrent epidemic of metabolic syndrome will be the focus in a panel moderated by Philip Kenner from ClearView with panelists Deborah Dunsire from DTuit, Tomas Landh from Novo Nordisk, Harith Rajagopalan from Fractyl Labs, and Wendye Robbins from Blade Therapeutics. Having any one of the risk factors like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, obesity, high cholesterol, or high triglycerides can greatly increase health risk.  However having a cluster of these conditions together indicate metabolic syndrome and vastly increase health risk. Metabolic syndrome is on the rise, reaching epidemic proportions according to some health experts.

While JPM conference is by invitation only event, registration is open for Biotech Showcase at conferences@ebdgroup.com or at https://ebdgroup.knect365.com/biotech-showcase/agenda/1

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WSGR 2017 Medical Device Conference


With shrinking pool of serious early stage life science investors and stringent capital requirements, the path for medtech companies has become greatly challenging.  As is the case every year, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati 2017 Medical Device Conference provided a forum for addressing challenges faced by new medtech companies as well as opportunities presented by current trends.


Various speakers and panels addressed these issues from diverse angles and perspectives.  Following a welcome address by
Casey McGlynn, an early morning panel moderated by Donna Petkanics addressed new models for medtech investing.  Panelists Andrew ElBardissi (Deerfield Capital), Eric Milledge (Endeavor Vision SA), Leighton Read (Brandon Capital Partners), and Valeska Schroeder (KCK Group)  discussed how the investors are adapting their financing strategies and business models in response to the newer challenges that medical device companies face.  Milledge opined that it is now crucial for medtech companies to get some regulatory approval before seeking to raise money. Even CE mark could help, said Milledge. ElBardissi offered that if the company is US based and focused on US commercialization strategy then EU approval does not help. He advised that medtech companies “keep the head down and focus on US approval UNLESS there is capital efficient advantage of focusing on EU”. Schroeder said their fund was “geographically agnostic” but they believed that for an early stage medtech company it is important that they not “simply throw capital without a plan”.  but there are values you can get out which may not be revenue based but you can get close to your customer base etc… not go in every country but choosing a small no. of country to go through. Read observed that a company seeking to create larger returns must go after larger markets.

Image result for wilson sonsini medical device conference 2017With the current challenges medtech world has become more global as companies and investors are finding win-win solutions through newer models of partnering by going across continents and countries. Geographically, Pacific Rim has emerged as hot collaboration frontier. A panel moderated by Elton Satusky with CEOs Yue-Teh Jang (Medeon Biodesign), Kewen Jin (Serica Partners, Trevor Moody (M. H. Carnegie & Company), and Norman Weldon (Partisan Management Group), who completed such collaborations, financings and mergers with companies and investors in Asia discussed how these transactions may be structured.  Another panel moderated by Jack Moorman (US-Japan MedTech Frontiers – USJMF), with panelists Kenichi Hata (Terumo Corporation), Masazumi Ishii (AZCA Inc.), Yuichiro Morimoto (Enplas Corporation), and Richard Packer (Asahi Kasei Corporation) discussed collaborations between Japan and Silicon Valley.  Japan has emerged as a major partner in medtech OUS financing and growth strategy.  

Image result for medtech investmentIncreasingly there is a pressure on medtech industry that is unlike most other industries, to show value. Many organizations have now come up with ways to define and measure value creation. Among them, AdvaMed has developed a new framework to assess the value of medical technologies and diagnostics in a broad, patient-centric approach. A panel moderated by Donald May (AdvaMed) with panelists Maneesh Arora (Exact Sciences Corp), Jeff Farkas (Medtronic), and Jo Carol Hiatt (Kaiser Permanente) addressed how companies may leverage value creation to make internal business decisions to allow for more efficient use of capital and to drive discussions with potential investors as well as to keep track of milestones during the commercialization process.

AdvaMed model focuses on following drivers of value creation, 1) clinical outcomes, effectiveness and utility measures 2) non clinical patient impact including impact on caregivers, families, ease of product use, ease of care, financial impact etc. 3) new drivers around value based purchasing, care delivery costs, reduction in readmissions etc. from provider perspectives, and 4) broader public impact on population and communities in terms of whether or not the technology reduces overall cost to the system, helps identify diseases, helps employers reduce absenteeism and so on. May said the model begins with the patient and goes on to incorporate multiple stakeholders and values for all may not always be aligned or the time frames may differ. As an industry, “we need to think of appropriate levels and types of evidence as we think of new value based models of integrated care”, said May. Speakers discussed the need to move away from one number and focus on broad picture with many factors that include clinical as well as economic value, in order to get better outcomes while reducing costs.

Image result for wilson sonsini medical device conference 2017As is the case, WSGR medtech conference provides an excellent forum for investors, startups, and professionals in the industry to come together in a spirit of learning and collaboration. And compared to previous years, it seemed to be even more well attended with hallways abuzz with discussions on partnering. As always, the conference ended with short presentations from select few startups and the announcement of the $25,000 grand prize and Medtech Innovator Award.  But the best was reserved for the last. More networking happened and deals were done as attendees mingled with good food at the reception and as the best wines were uncorked and venture capitalists served as sommeliers and poured wine for the attendees.

 

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