MedMates holding Life Sciences Expo

MEDMATES IS hosting a Life Sciences Expo on April 26 at the Omni Providence Hotel. / COURTESY MEDMATES
MEDMATES IS hosting a Life Sciences Expo on April 26 at the Omni Providence Hotel. / COURTESY MEDMATES

PROVIDENCE – MedMates, the life sciences technology-networking group, is hosting a Life Sciences Expo on April 26 to showcase innovation happening in the Ocean State, and beyond its borders.

The tagline of the expo is “Showcasing breakthrough innovation, collaboration and impact.”
“I think people will find it’s a wonderful opportunity to learn about the latest breakthrough innovations in the life sciences in Rhode Island. It’s a chance to really see the community and learn about the community,” MedMates Executive Director Carol Malysz said Thursday.
David Goldsmith, MedMates president and co-founder and director of Aspiera Medical in Woonsocket, said the idea for the expo came out of a discussion last fall, when MedMates’ programming committee began to brainstorm the types of events that would create value for the local life sciences community.

“This idea kind of evolved to showcase all the different companies that are doing really cutting-edge things in life sciences, whether biopharmaceutical, diagnostics, health or neuroscience,” Goldsmith said Thursday.

Three panels will be held: “Advances and Future Outlook in Neuroscience,” “Precision Medicine Innovation” and “Design Innovation in Medical Devices.” Goldsmith said each panel will run between 40-45 minutes.

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R.I. Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor and Tom Osha, senior vice president, innovation and economic development, for Wexford Science + Technology LLC in Baltimore, are the keynote speakers.

Wexford is planning an innovation center for Providence, in the Interstate 195 Redevelopment District.

Goldsmith said they hope for about 50 exhibitors, which will be a mix of companies and schools, and between 200 and 300 attendees.

Goldsmith said the expo – which MedMates hopes will become an annual event – will be beneficial for those who attend.

“They’re able to see and talk directly with the companies in the life sciences space … in one location. They will really get a snapshot of what is going on in Rhode Island and nearby in Massachusetts and Connecticut,” Goldsmith said.

He said it will be a good opportunity for startups to meet with other life science and medical-technology executives so they can ask questions and receive advice and feedback. He said startups with a “solid idea” should also think about becoming an exhibitor. There also may be opportunities to connect with potential investors, he said.

“We’ll have a couple of tables specifically dedicated to startups,” Goldsmith said.

MedMates also is reaching out to students studying biosciences and biotechnology so they can learn more about future careers, and see what “a day in the life of a life sciences executive” is really like, Goldsmith said. He said some of the larger companies, including Bard Davol Inc., Ximedica and EpiVax Inc., also will be recruiting.

Universities also will be represented, including Brown University, Roger Williams University and the University of Rhode Island, and will have information about their undergraduate and graduate programs.

Malysz said all Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts colleges and universities have been invited to attend.

The expo will be held from 12:30-6:30 p.m. at the Omni Providence Hotel on West Exchange Street.

Tickets are on sale HERE. The cost for students to attend is $10; the nonprofit and academic rate is $20; and the standard rate is $30.

Goldsmith said MedMates also is reaching out to companies for sponsorships. Sponsors include the Biotechnology Industry Organization, BlumShapiro, URI, Feeney Law Group, EpiVax, Virgin Pulse and TagMedica.