From John: This Week in Review, August 8, 2014


The reason I started WhiteCityNews is to raise the awareness of what is happening in our community. And to provide a voice, featuring the companies, researchers, entrepreneurs, investors and leaders who are propelling our community forward. This is a platform for our community to share their news, triumphs, and challenges. As well as promote their events, jobs and seek advice

In this section I will provide a brief weekly recap of what I have seen happening in the community.

Monday: I had the great fortune to tour the Chicago Innovation Exchange (CIE) at the University of Chicago, led by John Flavin. The CIE is an innovation center that will be a hub for multidisciplinary collaborations and support for business start-up activities. I rolled the news about CIE into a bigger piece, Local Tech Parks Recognized as Top Business Incubators. But I think it is worth pointing out here that I am very excited and the space they are building out, and I see it as a great opportunity to build stronger connections between our established industry partners and the innovation that is happening at University of Chicago. I look forward to spending more time at CIE after it opens in October. My thanks to Tom Ancona and Kristin Barrett for the tour.

Tuesday: This was a busy day…this is the day that the biopharma and medtech innovative community came together to celebrate at the Chicago Innovation Showcase. The room was packed and the presentations were great. Barbara Goodman put together a great program, read my overview on the Chicago Innovation Showcase for details.


PixelEXX won the 2014 PROPEL Business Plan competition. PixelExx is based at the University Technology Park at IIT, is creating the imaging systems poised to overcome the performance barriers of size, image quality, and flexibility that currently bedevil endoscopy. Congratulations to Ken Bradley and Renee Carder.

Also on Tuesday, Jeff Aronin announced that he is opening Marathon Pharmaceutical Bioscience Center in Chicago. The facility will be located in the River North neighborhood and will house the company’s research, clinical and regulatory staff who work to develop and register new treatments for rare diseases. Jeff Aronin serves both on the World Business Chicago board, but he is also a co-chair of the Chicago NEXT committee that J.B. Pritzker heads up, as well as co-chair of the MATTER Board. He shares that responsibility with Tim Walbert, President & CEO of Horizon Pharma.

In town on Tuesday was Ray Briscuso, head of the 2014 AdvaMed Conference. Ray was in town to address the audience at the Chicago Innovation Showcase, and promote the AdvaMed Conference, October 6-8 at the McCormick Center. The AdvaMed Conference is the leading Medtech conference here in the US. On October 6-8, it will bring the world of Medtech to Chciago for 3 days of networking and informational sessions. As with the BIO conferences, this is our opportunity to showcase the Chicago community. If you are interested, reach out to me and I will help you find ways to engage with the conference.

Wednesday: I had the opportunity to go up to Astellas on Wednesday and meet with one of my board members there. We met to align our programming and projects to meet their initiatives around helping to build the local community and connect with the Universities and startup companies. Do you catch that John Flavin? We will also work together to help bring policy issues like High-Copay Specialty Tiers to the community and build the relationships and community engagement with our policymakers.

Thursday: Chicago based Health IT company, Higi, had great news about a merger with Stayhealthy. This merger will create the largest connected retail health kiosk network in the United States. The business will operate as high. Jeff Bennett is the CEO of Higi, founded in 2012, it quickly has grown building national distribution. Higi’s retail health kiosks sync with their mobile application.