Product Development in Life Science & High Tech Startups – Co-sponsored by the IEEE Consultants Network (CNET)

January 3, 2017

Speaker Slides

Product Development in a High Tech Startup

Steve Owens

Medtech Startup Product Development

Paul Hartung

Product Development In Life Science & High Tech Startups

Martin Sklar

Navigating the Consultant Landscape in Life Sciences

Rahul Chaturvedi

When any intrepid, smart, maybe even somewhat geeky entrepreneur gets a great idea for a new technology-based product, there are a few steps to take before achieving sustainable profitability; steps that may include applied research, product development research and production. Assuming the envisioned product is something that the world wants or needs, whether in the life sciences or the high tech sector – or perhaps a little of both, lots of questions need be considered in defining the path forward. What is the target market? Is it direct to consumer or B to B? What kind of user interface will be best – cloud infrastructure, phone app, specialist service provider (e.g., hospital), or something else? Is there a regulatory approval path to consider? Is there a need for prototyping and manufacturing? Can it be done independently or is a large company partner needed?

Join us in Waltham to gain insights on these topics, and more, with our panel of exceptionally experienced med tech and high tech entrepreneurs who will share their wisdom in what promises to be a lively, enlightening discussion.


630-730 PM Registration & networking 

730 -740 PM ENET Chairman’s announcements

740 -755 PM E Minute – Up to 3 Startup companies presentations

755 -845 PM – 3 or 4 expert speakers on the night’s topic

845 -900 PM – Audience / Speakers Q & A 

900 -930 PM – Final networking including meeting speakers



Speaker: Steve Owens, founder of Finish Line PDS ( has over 30 years of successful product development experience in many different industries and is a sought-after adviser and speaker on the subject. Steve has founded four successful start-ups and holds more than twenty-five patents.  Steve has worked for companies such as Halliburton and Baker Hughes.  He has experience in the Internet of Things, M2M, oil and gas, and industrial controls.  Steve’s insight into the product development process has generated millions of dollars in revenue for start-ups and small businesses. Finish Line PDS provides product and technology development management, mechanical design, and development of electronics, firmware and sensors, as well as design verification testing and other services. Finish Line PDS is a proud sponsor of the Boston ENET.

Speaker: Paul Hartung, founder, President and CEO of Sonivance Inc. Paul is a long time life sciences and technology executive with a proven track record in launching successful startup businesses and leading Fortune 500 organizations. Prior to Sonivance, Paul served as President & CEO of Cognoptix, which developed an innovative eye scan for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. Paul was previously Vice President of Operations at Winphoria Networks, a successful mobile communications startup acquired by Motorola.  He serves on the Board of Directors of SemiNex Corporation, a manufacturer of semi-conductor lasers, and Medical Development Group (MDG), a leading medical technology professional organization, and the Business Advisory Board of Metria Innovations and Forsythe Institute, and mentors entrepreneurs at MIT Venture Mentoring Service, Mass BioTech Council’s MassCONNECT, Tech Sandbox and The Capital Network.  He has extensive experience in technology and medical device industries, including managing manufacturing for Summit Technology, Inc., a leading developer of the LASIK procedure and other laser eye correction procedures.  He has held senior management roles at 3Com, Trumpf, Laser Fare and GE.  Paul graduated with honors from MIT with an MS Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is an active speaker, author and inventor on a number of patents.

Speaker: Martin Sklar, founder and CEO of AblaCor Medical Corporation, is a highly accomplished leader, inventor, consultant and engineer. He has extensive experience in business development, intellectual property development, project management, design engineering, manufacturing engineering, technical analysis, and product introduction in the medical technology industry. Martin’s product development activities have contributed to over $1 billion in revenues for clients and employers from start-up through Fortune 100 companies. Martin has 12 issued patents and 8 patents pending. His experience was gained while working in areas of surgical instrumentation, production automation, implants, laboratory automated instrumentation, and drug delivery devices.

Martin has worked with Betagen Corp. (sold to Gene-Trak Systems), Corning Glass Works, Hewlett Packard, Johnson & Johnson, Millipore Corporation, Orion Research, Visualization Technology, Inc. (sold to GE Healthcare), Waters Corporation, among other start-up and early stage companies. In 2001, Martin co-founded, and later became the first President of the not-for-profit Medical Development Group, (“MDG”/”MDG History”), a medical business and technology industry group. He also co-founded AlvaMed, LLC., a for-profit medical device consulting company and Medical Development Partners, LLC. (“MDP”), a medical device consulting company. Martin helped AlvaMed and MDP by developing a significant client base and establish each company as a major resource for development of medical products.

Martin is a member of several professional associations including MDG, Heart Rhythm Society, and the Biomedical Engineering Society. His education includes a Master of Engineering degree from Dartmouth College’s Thayer School of Engineering and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Speaker: Rahul Chaturvedi, Co-Founder and CEO of Clora, a technology platform that matches life science companies with vetted consultants. Clora’s goal is to reduce the time and cost of getting a product to market by dramatically increasing access to top-tier talent in a highly fragmented industry. 

Rahul has been an executive at several early stage, high-growth startups that have raised >$110MM. Prior to Clora, Rahul spent the last decade as the head of clinical development at various drug, biotech, and medical device companies. He was the VP of clinical development at Kaleido Biosciences (a Flagship VentureLabs company), GI Dynamics, and Avedro. His clinical development work has spanned orphan diseases to global epidemics and has resulted in 6 product approvals to date. He has a penchant for leveraging technology across various facets of development, including drug discovery, clinical operations, patient recruitment, safety, and resource allocation. 

Moderator: Dr. Roger Frechette, Co-Founder and Principal of New England PharmAssociates, a consultancy offering on-demand executive and business advisory services to life sciences enterprises. Dr. Frechette has been a volunteer with Boston ENET since 2014, and supports area start-ups as a mentor for MassBio’s MassCONNECT Program and the MTTC’s Platform Program. His consulting work has led to roles as the US East Coast Ambassador for Medicon Valley Alliance, a life sciences cluster organization based in Copenhagen, and as a Co-Founder of Frontiera Therapeutics, a startup developing therapeutics for vascular leaks. New England PharmAssociates was an early sponsor for the North Shore InnoVentures biotech incubator, where Dr Frechette served as a mentor and advisor to the Incubator management team. Previously, Dr. Frechette was Co-Founder of MaxThera, an antibacterial drug discovery company. MaxThera was sold in 2010 to Biota Holdings Limited, a Melbourne Australia anti-infectives company.  Prior to starting MaxThera, Dr. Frechette was a drug discovery and life-sciences consultant following his role as Project Director at Paratek Pharmaceuticals (Boston). At Paratek he led the team that discovered PTK0796 (currently in Phase III clinical trials) with strategic partner Glaxo-Wellcome, and the pre-clinical development program that was carried out with a multinational team of consultants and contractors.  Previously, he was Associate Director of Chemistry at RiboGene (Hayward, CA), where he built the chemistry department and managed two drug discovery programs in collaboration with strategic partner Dainippon Pharmaceuticals. He began his career as a medicinal chemist at the R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute (J&J, Raritan, NJ). In his spare time, he serves of steering committees for well-regarded Boston area conferences, including the annual Massachusetts Life Sciences Innovation Day and MassBio’s Signature event the Annual CRO/CMO Symposium. Dr. Frechette was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Yale University, earned his PhD in Organic Chemistry from Wesleyan University and his BA in Chemistry from College of the Holy Cross.

Co-Organizer: Norman K. Ma, NK Ma & Associates, Boston ENET Volunteer works as a system engineer supporting public sector technology acquisition efforts. He is focusing on software due diligence and system modernization to sustain his organization’s capabilities. He worked as a computer scientist with software engineering specialization for a non-compete contractor in the public sector. His thirty-year software engineering experience at Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon, Texas Instruments that successfully developed a real-time machine intelligence system for vehicle self-defense, marine autonomous vehicle control system, global product distribution system, industrial parts dealership distribution system, manufacturing automation control system. Dr. Ma earned a Ph.D. in computer science from the Texas A&M University at College Station, a M.S. in computer science from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, MBA from the Southern Methodist University at Dallas, and a B.S. in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been on a continuous learning track in acquisition, software development, and technology management since the late 1970s. He enjoys snow skiing, engineering, and spending time with his family at Boston.

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