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

Mission to do common good through better health – 2017 HTF Innovation conference – preview

Current discussions on repeal of Obamacare has brought much focus on issues of health and wellness in America and has energized the underserved communities.  The 6th Annual Health Technology Forum Innovation Conference taking place at Stanford University on May 1 and 2, 2017 will explore health and wellness through panels and speakers, with a central focus on technology and on implementation of key health policies.
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What kind of technology innovations may effectively address the unmet needs of the underserved and underrepresented markets?  Can next generation technology solutions provide better access and improve care outcomes? These and other issues will be discussed in outstanding panels. The Innovation Showcase will offer an exclusive networking opportunity to startups and investment community to develop strategic partnerships. The high visibility demo space in the expo corridor will allow startups an opportunity to highlight their offerings.

Every year, health technology forum conference offers phenomenal opportunity to bay area health strategists, providers, venture capitalists, startups, and professionals to come together with a mission to do “common good” through better health.  Please register for the conference at .


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Immunotherapy, Bioinformatics, Devices: EPPICon 2017 Preview


One of the latest most talked about buzzwords in cancer treatment is “immunotherapy” where body’s immune system is used to wage a war against the cancer cells. Cancer cells divide rapidly than ordinary cells and manage to evade the immune system. The focus of a range of immunotherapies is to put body’s immune system on high alert so it can easily locate and destroy cancer cells.

Image result for immunotherapy, bioinformaticsThis year, EPPICon (annual flagship conference at eppicglobal at will focus on Immunotherapy, Bioinformatics, and Devices. Another recent buzzword, “bioinformatics” focuses on harnessing technological advances for management and analysis of data, for cancer immunology and immunotherapy.  The hope is that more reliable and comprehensive picture can emerge of tumor genomics landscape and that can point a way towards more effective personalized medicine.

Immunotherapy often involves delivery of a cocktail of immune drugs to awaken the body’s immune system and put it in a “ready” mode to get rid of the cancer cells. Implantable devices can be used to provide regular dosages of medication for several days or everyday for a few weeks and can be used to make localized delivery.  This convergence of technologies makes it an interesting time for treatment of cancer and other diseases.  

EPPICon, EPPIC’s all day conference will be held on Saturday, March, 25th at Crowne Plaza, Burlingame, CA and has a fabulous lineup of keynotes, speakers, and panels.

Image result for Ira Mellman, genentechMorning keynote, Ira Mellman is VP of Cancer Immunology at Genentech and has an illustrious career in solving most profound health problems with strong research, grounded in science.  He spent 20 years at Yale University School of Medicine, prior to joining Genentech in 2007.  After the keynote, the conference program will continue with excellent speakers and panels with a special speed pitch session thrown in, where startups looking for funding will have an opportunity to pitch to a panel of investors and receive critical feedback, in real time. At the end of the day, 2017 “EPPIC Eleven” awards will be given out to chosen startups, from around the globe.

To register for the conference, please go to .

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Role of IP Due Diligence in Corporate Finance

A panel moderated by Jim Hesling, at Wilson Sonsini Medical Device Conference, with Eric Bell from Spring Rock Ventures, Mir Imran from Incube Ventures, and Gwen Watanabe from Teleflex, discussed the role of IP due diligence in corporate finance.  The panel offered great advice and insights for medtech startups.

From the buy side perspective, InCube Ventures invests in mid to late stage companies and focuses specifically on disruptive innovations that change patients outcomes, said Imran.  While their focus area may be in white space of IP, depending on the technology, Incube does thorough investigation of IP, said Imran.  Also early on they assess if it is incremental innovation of existing solution or a truly disruptive concept.

Also from buy perspective, Watanabe said, during the acquisition process, they like to see entire application, talk with the team and then do complete due diligence on the patent portfolio.  Watanabe said when buying “we also deconstruct claims for validity”.  She added, “we don’t stop at patents, IP also includes grants, know hows, and any other secrets”.  Teleflex also uses software tools to map out the IP area and it operates in 160 countries. They have an external counsel going through the FTO and they pay specific attention to any potential for patent infringement.  Eric Bell from Springrock Ventures, said, they use external counsel to do thorough assessment and clearly consider issued patents versus filed patents, because when issued it provides contextual validity.

Speaking from the sell side perspective, Imran offered lot of great advice to the entrepreneurs. Imran is a serial entrepreneur with several successful companies, and advised that entrepreneur hire a litigator to review their patent portfolio to point out holes and weaknesses as well as areas of strength.  A litigator can have a vastly different perspective than a prosecutor, said Imran.  Both Bell and Imran also suggested that entrepreneurs continue to focus on the IP as the technology moves forward.  Many founders focus strongly on IP earlier and specially when fundraising but then put it on the back burner.  However, as direction changes occur, they become lax on IP and it may not allow for product to be fully covered and it can impact subsequent fundraising.  Also the patent landscape is too crowded and freedom to operate is very important, said Imran.

Panelists asserted that while ongoing IP commitment is extremely important, they agreed that IP alone does not create value.  Real value is created from total context including patient outcomes, regulatory approvals, reimbursement etc.  Some young CEOs do a press release when a patent is filed or approved and Imran advised, they not do it and Watanabe chimed in that they do it when they get FDA approval.  “One thing I do is to step back and think about how I would get around my own patents and then file more patents, so I think like a competitor”, said Imran, himself a holder of hundreds of patents.  Imran said, while patent filings are very expensive and companies can’t do it frivolously, he also suggested that companies file patents in other countries with substantial markets like India and China.  Founder should formalize the process internally in the company so that employees are keeping good lab notebooks and everything is documented to be able to defend obviousness claim, said Imran.  

PS – Please check out exciting jobs offering opportunities to work with disruptive technologies in JOBS category on this blog & please send leads or resume at wd_darshana at hot mail dot com.

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Medtech Emerging Models of Innovation – WSGR 2016 Medtech Conference

A breakout panel at recent Wilson Sonsini Medical Device Conference, with Scott Murano from Wilson Sonsini, Fred Toney from Lean Launchpad, Kevin Wasserstein from Neurotechnology Innovations Translator, and Ryan McGuinness from Triple Ring Tech, discussed new emerging models of innovation for medical technologies.  The panelists shared the methods they use to identify important new innovations, and how they assist in rapidly building product prototypes and help complete first-in-man cases in a cost effective manner.  

Toney, at Lean Launchpad (that was started by Steve Blank), said they cast a wide net and take several contenders through a stringent vetting process and make a final selection to invest in 6-10 companies, with fundable milestones, and clear clinical evidence.  These companies are fostered from early stage and provided guidance, teaching, and tools to understand customers in a deep way.  

At Triple Ring, the driver is to create opportunities for serendipitous events and help create a robust ecosystem and build upon the opportunities that come through the network, said McGuinness.  This model thrives best in Silicon Valley, with an existing thriving ecosystem, though they are trying to export the model to other parts of the country.  The companies are vetted through the expertise of Triple Ring staff in their specific domains.  Triple Ring invests in a small subset of companies that are incubated there but it is not a requirement of participating in the incubator.  More importantly, TRT supports interesting projects or companies with its world class R&D capability.  The focus at TRT is to move quickly to add value and reach the inflection points/ funding milestones.  When data indicates non viability of the idea, “we move quickly and kill easily and cheaply, adding value to the fail fast side of the coin”, said McGuinness.  

Neurotechnology Innovations Translator, that has come out of Ohio State, is not a VC firm but assists medtech companies by providing comprehensive clinic development resources, management and leadership expertise and helping raise investment capital.  In vetting process, Wasserstein said they look for the size of the clinical need the technology seeks to address and the market opportunity it represents.  Starting with some objective criteria, they overlay that with how the company can truly make an impact and how well it would thrive with the ecosystem they can  provide, said Wasserstein.  The Translator has access to excellent advisors, animal lab and engineers on bench for rapid testing, and onsite rapid prototyping facility to move projects forward quickly.

The panel agreed that medtech investing is not dead but companies need to stay focused on solving a problem and have the tenacity, persistence and creativity and look for out of the box resources to help them move forward.

 PS – Please check out exciting jobs offering opportunities to work with disruptive technologies in JOBS category on this blog & please send leads or resume at wd_darshana at hot mail dot com.


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2016 Wilson Sonsini Medical Device Conference Synopsis


2016 Wilson Sonsini Medical Device Conference took place in San Francisco.  While the tone of the conference was upbeat, there was also an acknowledgement of the challenges that medtech companies continue to face.  New and innovative models are emerging to help navigate medtech companies through the challenging landscape.

Considerable discussion focused around monetary challenges.  The conference started with a spotlight on venture capital with two new funds investing in early stage medical technology companies.  Given the shrinking pool of investors interested in medtech companies, it was uplifting to hear from Sante Ventures and Apple Tree Partners about their focus on early stage medtech companies.

Breakout sessions focused on a range of topics that would help them steer a startup through building it and taking it from concept to commercialization, in a cost effective manner.  A panel discussed emerging new methods of innovation to help the company through early prototypes and early first-in-man cases speedily.  Obtaining reimbursement in the changing healthcare system is one of the most significant challenges and a panel addressed the issue of the reimbursement puzzle and ways to accelerate the adoption of new but unreimbursed medical devices.  One panel focused on ways of creating win-win transactions with corporate investors, whereas another focused on new corporate deal models.   

New methods of innovation increasingly include partnerships and collaborations with players outside the US.  With growing interest from Japan in investing in US medtech companies, Japan has emerged as an important partners.  A panel of experts discussed ways in which Japan and Silicon Valley startups are collaborating to finance and develop advanced medical technologies.  Panels also discussed topics like Asian funding strategies and Israeli medtech revolution.  

There were also discussions around more specific technologies and topics.  Topics like off-label promotion and hiring and compensating CEOs were also discussed.  A panel of CEOs with success in launching new products and building sales organizations, discussed evolving commercialization strategies required for product adoption.  One panel focused specifically on the future of innovation in the area of percutaneous valve products that has recently revolutionized the heart valve market.  Another panel discussed IPOs and corporate buyouts and in yet another panel the focus was on role of IP due diligence in corporate finance.

Before the corks came off the wine bottles, with venture capitalists serving as sommeliers, the semi finalists chosen for MedTech Innovator award were spotlighted.  From 430 companies that presented their pitch to a panel of judges (a 30% increase from 2015), 20 semi finalists were selected to present a one minute pitch in a video.  The audience heard their pitch in a 20 minute video.  From these, four were selected to present longer pitchs and answer questions posed by a panel of judges.  The audience then voted to select one of these four and the winner received a $25,000 award.   By then it was time to uncork the wine and get better acquainted with those who poured the wine and who might pour much needed cash into medtech startups.

I will post a few different blogs on some of the panels, over the next few days.  So stay tuned.  Below are some highlights from venture capital spotlight discussion that started the morning.

Venture Capital Spotlight

The Conference opened with a spotlight on venture capital, in a panel moderated by David Cassak in conversation with Joe Cunningham from Sante Ventures and David McIntyre from Apple Tree Partners in discussion with David Cassak.  Sante Ventures and Apple Tree Partners are two new funds that are actively investing in early stage medtech.

Sante Ventures go in typically at Series A round and are generally first institutional investor, said Cunningham.  David McIntyre said that he does not find two areas appealing, digital health and diagnostics, more so because he does not have deep background in investing in digital health; but things are moving in that direction and they have looked at some wearables.  Cunningham also said, “We have done more medtech than IT, and when we look at digital health, we look for profound changes”.

Emphasizing the importance of cost cutting in healthcare, Cunningham said, “if you go out on the street and ask people about the brand of hip or knee replacement they favor, they couldn’t tell you; in healthcare it is not so much about the brand, but the cost”.

PS – Please check out exciting jobs offering opportunities to work with disruptive technologies in JOBS category on this blog & please send leads or resume at wd_darshana at hot mail dot com.

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2016 Health Technology Forum (preview): tackling complex healthcare challenges with gentler focus on “Common Good”

Enabling people to have access to affordable healthcare is not only a challenge for the United States but a significant challenge in many parts of the world.  Given the current population trends, this challenge is going to become more complex and will need creative and out of the box solutions.  With aging populations, lack of clean air and water, and densely crowded mega cities, many people word-wide do not have quick and easy access to meet basic healthcare needs.  Further, rise in chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes, and amazing advances in diagnosing and treating diseases, people are living longer, and very likely will require medical care for longer periods.  

It is likely for instance, that in the next 30 years, the number of Alzheimer’s patients in the US can rise to 20 million.  While state of the art healthcare could be a available to a few in a Western nation like the US, there is a widening chasm between availability of healthcare to the top 1% of population and huge numbers at the bottom of the money pyramid.  According to US Census Bureau, approximately 49 million Americans lacked continuous access to basic healthcare on account of not having healthcare coverage, in 2011.  

Globally, the issues may be slightly different but the question for affordable access to healthcare is just as significant.  Nearly 2.6 billion people worldwide lack proper sanitation facilities, and almost a sixth of the world’s population don’t have access to adequate drinking water.

Health Technology Forum (HTF) attempts to tackle this complex challenge from one vantage point of connecting people worldwide, with common interest in making healthcare better, more accessible, and affordable for everyone, through the use of technology.  HTF is creating the environment for healthcare entrepreneurs, developers, regulators, and community health providers to come together for “common good”, to engage in productive dialogue for creative global solutions, for access to affordable healthcare.  By creating the space for this dialogue and for vital collaborations between healthcare innovators, providers and thought and business leaders, world takes one more tiny step forward to solving its most vexing healthcare challenge.

The 2016 HealthTech Innovation Conference will be on May 22 and 23 at Stanford University.   Pronoy Saha,
 CEO & founder of HealthTech Forum is working tirelessly to make his vision of wide access to affordable healthcare into a reality.  The conference agenda includes great panels and keynotes.  A panel on home and community innovations, will focus on technology advances that can enable people to live longer in their homes.  A panel of medical providers and other experts will discuss new business models for making precision medicine available to the masses, using genomics data, patient generated data, and social data.  A panel of leading investors in healthcare technology will discuss funding trends and will share insights on the criteria they use to determine what, when and who to fund.  This will be an exciting conference tackling hard issues and complex challenges, with soft and gentler focus on the theme of “Common Good”.  Please register at  and don’t forget to bring along business cards.  

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Enhanced Processing of Microscopy Data to Accelerate Research, Speed & Accuracy


Cassandra Boyer and Marc Bruce, Co-founders of Microvolution talked about software based technology to help accelerate medical research, at event.

The primary application of this technology is in microscopy. Traditionally, it takes several minutes to hours for microscopy images to be focused. The process of focusing digital images with mathematical algorithms is called deconvolution. Existing deconvolution technology requires researchers to wait several hours to days to know Shapeif their experiment is a success or a failure, this uses up a great deal of time and causes huge waste because the researcher does not have the proper knowledge to make adjustments to failed experiments in real time.  Because the current software on the market is slow and arduous to use, scientists often make important decisions from images that are blurry and hazy; thus, missing important details leading to low level of accuracy.


Boyer spoke of Microvolution’s deconvolution technology that enhances the speed and accuracy of medical research. Microvolution starts with the Richardson Lucy Algorithm which was originally invented by NASA to deconvolve (focus) the images from the Hubble Space Telescope. Other vendors use this algorithm, but must make mathematical shortcuts in order to achieve speed with their CPU-based software. These shortcuts result in missing data, such as thin filaments that are missing in the image. Microvolution makes no mathematical shortcuts because it harnesses the speed of the GPU, so images are deconvolved with more accuracy—all data are preserved.

Additionally, Microvolution adds unique mathematical algorithms that no other vendor offers which further enhance the accuracy of the images. Microvolution software delivers the most accurate and fastest deconvolution on the market by combining intelligent software programming with the power of a GPU, coupled with unique mathematical algorithms.

Microvolution software improves and enhances the quality of medical research in several significant ways.
* Enhances Speed: Microvolution is up to 200 times faster compared to more traditional approaches. Because Microvolution is so fast, researchers can try different settings with ease in order to optimize the settings so the best possible image is generated. Also, by capturing more images in less time—data sets improve.
* Empowers Researchers to Diminish Phototoxicity and Photobleaching: In traditional microspcopy, imaging with a high power light beam can cause significant damage to the sample. By incorporating Microvolution into your process, every image can be deconvolved in real-time, thus enabling you to dim the light intensity in real-time and realize improved outcomes. Microvolution increases signal and decreases noise in low light conditions where photon counts are limited.
* Reducing Phototoxicity and Photobleaching: Tradition microscopy methods lead to photochemical destruction of dye or flurophores (photobleaching) and cell death due to phototoxicity. Microvolution allows the researcher to turn down light intensity in real-time and diminish photobleaching. By dimming the light during long-term, time-lapse, live-cell experiments, one may diminish the effects of phototoxicity with Microvolution—cells live longer and this leads to higher success rates.
* Improved Accuracy: In addition to the fact that Microvolution does not take mathematical shortcuts, Microvolution incorporates unique mathematical algorithms for Point Spread Function Models and offers unique noise reduction models. No other vendor uses these algorithms; hence, Microvolution’s accuracy is superior. Additionally, it is important to turn off noise suppression when comparing the data from 2 different images. Microvolution is unique in the industry because it enables you to turn off regularization—this enables you to generate accurate data comparisons between 2 images.
* Deep Tissue and Organoid Imaging: Microvolution’s Blind Deconvolution Option enables researchers to achieve better results when one images thick tissues, organioids and 3-D tissue structures.
* Cost and ease of use: Microvolution is very easy to use as was demonstrated during the presentation. Additionally, GPUs cost less than CPUs and by using GPUs, this frees up the CPUs for other tasks like responding to user input.
* Can integrate real-time deconvolution into existing workflow: Seamless, integrated and instantaneous deconvolution with Microvolution technology enhances success rates and increases productivity, said Boyer.

Microvolution is unique in the industry because it offers the ability to use multiple GPU’s at once. This helps researchers deconvolve very large images in seconds instead of hours. As microscopy techniques evolve, image sizes are getting larger; thus, making it more important to implement software that can handle very large images sizes with ease. Microvolution offers instantaneous and integrated deconvolution for widefield, confocal, two-photon, light sheet, and HCA microscopes with the convenience of a MetaMorph® Drop-in or via an ImageJ/Fiji or Micro-Manager 2.0 Plugin.

Marc Bruce demonstrated the speed and accuracy of Microvolution’s software by deconvolving several raw images in seconds during the live demonstration. Clearly, Microvolution technology seems to offer superior processing of microscopy data. The event was followed by Q&A.

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Learn to make “data” matter at TiEcon 2016

Daneil Keys Moran, computer programmer and science fiction writer, once said about Big Data, “You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data”.    Unfortunately, there is a lot of data floating around that does not provide much valuable information.  Data is the foundation of digital business but the challenge is in unlocking the information and value hiding in mounds of data.  Companies like Cisco and their partners, try to capture, organize, prepare, and handle the available data, while also focusing on the speed, consistency and repeatabilty required.   

At “Data Economy” track at TiEcon 2016, emerging industry specific data-enabled business models will be explored.  Track keynote will be given by Anand Oswal (Twitter @aoswal1234), Senior VP of Enterprise Networking Group at Cisco,, responsible for the engineering strategy, architecture, development and execution of the $16B enterprise networking portfolio at Cisco.  Last year, he gave IOT keynote at TiEcon ( .   A holder of 50 US patents, Oswal leads software strategy for Cisco’s emerging technologies like Data Analytics, Cloud, Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Internet of Things (IOT) for the enterprise portfolio. Oswal believes that the impact of the unending stream of data will reach far beyond business and impact every facet of our lives, from politics to sports to entertainment and healthcare.

As an entrepreneur, if your goal is to be a successful disruptor in the data economy market place, then you may want to get the key to unlocking the value hidden in your data.  First of all, through expert data management, you may want to manage diverse sets of data cohesively.  
 With clever analytics, you can get your data to reveal insights that can help you get to better decisions, sustained and improved customer service, and productive overall business relationships.  

At TiEcon 2016, you will get an outstanding opportunity to get immersed in the business of big data, and learn tips, techniques, and strategies to take key steps in becoming a successful data disruptor.  Don’t miss this opportunity to network with like minded professionals, at this two day conference, to be held on May 6 & 7 at Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.  Register for the conference as my friend, at the link .


Global Economy Points a Path to “Destination India” at TiEcon 2016


There used to be a joke going around that was not too flattering, for India.  Here’s how it went.  Having come up with an awesome invention, innovators of a country, sent it to another country.  Inventors in the other country were awed and after much thought, added some new features and sent it on.  More features were added as the invention traveled to more countries, and finally it reached India.  After much thought, India added “made in India” label and sent it on.

That is an old story.  Things are now different.  Disruptive innovations that impact the quality of life and well being of people, are coming out of India at an unprecedented rate.  India has a huge brain power, democratic form of Government, and a growing middle class with aspirations to do better.  Add to that mix, a whole range of diverse problems that are in need of creative solutions, and it all makes a perfect environment for innovation and entrepreneurship.  

As China is rebalancing from manufacturing to consumption economy, India is catching the eye of entrepreneurs and investors, of public and private companies; for market expansion and professional partnerships.  While India had been shielded from global risks because of more robust economic growth and positive policy reforms, with Modi government cracking down on corruption and taking a stab at India’s infamous bureaucracy, India has emerged as a viable destination for all kinds of business partnerships.

Specific track “Destination India” at TiEcon 2016 will explore the opportunities and challenges of doing business in India.  Traditionally, Indian companies were slow to adopt technology.  However, encouraged by government’s “Digital India” program, companies across several industry sectors are going digital.  State governments are stepping up by providing all sorts of help and removing roadblocks.  There is transformation happening in diverse areas from smart cities to remote health to telemedicine to defence to agriculture to robotics to 3D printing to rapidly changing infrastructure of financial transactions.

But no transformation happens in the absence of challenges.  Entrepreneurs and companies better prepared to navigate the challenges will emerge as winners.  Companies seeking to do business with India will have to navigate challenges ranging from dealing with time difference and cultural issues to increasing needs for data security, dealing with hacks, with physical and technology infrastructure issues, with differences in regulatory framework and more.  Companies that will take a lead in doing business with digital India will also play a significant role in helping lay the foundation for framework for future business relationships .  By acting as a connector and facilitating interactions among investors, entrepreneurs, corporations, state government officials, and professionals, TiE is playing a leading role in helping create successful ecosystems for US-India partnerships.  

“Destination India” track will help you leverage the global economy trend by preparing you to do business with one of the most attractive emerging destinations to do business with and if you are an entrepreneur, you will not want to miss the learning and networking at TiEcon, 2016.  Register through the link as my friend and send me a message, if you want to meet up at TiEcon.



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Cloud Success Story: Adobe CEO, Shantanu Narayen at TiEcon 2016

“If your business strategy is to preserve the status quo, it’s not a very compelling strategy”, says Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe Systems.  Found in 1982, in the desktop era, by John Warnock and Charles Gescheke, Adobe Systems historically focused on creativity software products.  As cloud computing became a major disruptor, the challenge for Adobe was to scrap the old approach and switch to selling subscriptions for online access to software packages.  (You may hear all about this success story at TiEcon 2016 – see link at the bottom of this article to register as my friend).

Adobe moved to delivering software on the cloud.  As of 2015, Adobe Systems has about 13,500 employees and a vibrant portfolio of rich internet application software.  Adobe’s stock price has has more than tripled and climbed to over 165% and has a market capitalization of about $40B.  Adobe’s recurring revenue has climbed from 19 percent in 2011 to 70 percent of total revenue today. The number of subscribing customers is more than four million and rising.  Adobe strategy has put customer at the heart of it all.   By enabling customers to create, deliver, and optimize content and applications, Adobe is enhancing our digital experiences profoundly.  Under Narayen’s leadership, all new features in its creative suit now go into its Creative Cloud.  

Shantanu Narayen will deliver grand keynote at TiEcon 2016.  Come and listen how Narayen led the company through the transition, with a relentless focus on product innovation and market expansion.  A company known as a leader in the art of creative software, has transitioned to being a world leader in the science of big data.  

As a company like Adobe competes to stay on top of technology trends, you as an entrepreneur, must learn the strategies to be a successful disruptor, through innovative convergence of mobile technology, social media, big data, and cloud computing.  Don’t miss TiEcon 2016, largest conference focused on innovation and entrepreneurship.   Register as my friend, at the link ..  

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