Procopio’s Life Sciences CEO Connection Programs: What is it Like to Participate?
In-person gatherings with life sciences industry peers. Open discussions of corporate challenges. Key insights from venture capitalists, executive coaches, and seasoned attorneys. And relationships that could last a lifetime.
That’s what participation in the complimentary Procopio Life Sciences CEO Connection peer-to-peer advisory program—whether in San Diego, Irvine or Palo Alto—is all about.
“We gather a like-minded group of CEOs experiencing similar types of issues in a non-competitive manner, peers advising each other,” said Cardiff Advisory Managing Partner David Crean, Ph.D. He co-founded CEO 360 Connect, which partnered with Procopio in developing the program, and serves as a meeting facilitator at all three California locations.
Procopio has launched Life Sciences CEO Connection programs in the San Diego and Orange County markets, building on the success of one currently operating out of Procopio’s Palo Alto office. That program includes 20 select early-stage life sciences CEOs. There is no cost to participants, and applications for all three programs are now being accepted.
“What makes this program stand out is its life sciences industry focus,” Crean said. “With other peer-to-peer groups there’s usually a mix of different industries. When you have a health care CEO interacting with executives from a manufacturing company, a construction firm and an accounting practice, you’re talking about fundamentally different industries.” Participants in the Life Sciences CEO Connection program intuitively understand the challenges their peers face, and insights from guest speakers are industry-targeted.
Participants in the program engage actively with their peers and find great value in the monthly meetings.
“As a CEO I sometimes question the viability of my approach to fundraising or corporate strategy,” said OROX Biosciences CEO Mehran Moghaddam, Ph.D. “Being in the same room with like-minded CEOs is very helpful. We’re all facing similar challenges and learning tactics and strategies from each other.”
“The enthusiasm and engagement in our monthly Life Science CEO Connection programs in Silicon Valley is energizing,” said Procopio Emerging Growth and Venture Capital practice leader Roger Rappoport, who supports the Palo Alto program and will also support the forthcoming Irvine program with Procopio IP Partner Noel Gillespie. “It’s inspiring to see these innovative entrepreneurs engaging collaboratively to advance their companies and their careers.”
Supporting the San Diego cohort will be Procopio IP Partner Xiaofan “Frank” Yang, PhD, and Partner and Mergers & Acquisitions and Strategic Joint Ventures Co-Leader Paul Johnson. The San Diego program will be held in Procopio’s Del Mar Heights office and the Orange County program in the firm’s Irvine Office, with both commencing in Q4 2023. A second Silicon Valley CEO Connection cohort will begin in mid-2024.
Curated discussion topics include capital financing, IP and licensing, mergers and acquisitions, talent management, growth strategies, conflict resolution, and more. Dynamic roundtable discussions allow for candid conversations in a confidential setting, with participants discussing their own challenges and benefiting from the collective wisdom and strategic insights of their peers. They also practice presentations, Crean said, working with their peers and program facilitators to polish their pitches for maximum effectiveness. Opportunities to pitch to investors are also available.
“The outside speaker presentations were highly educational,” Moghaddam said. “It’s also beneficial to give a presentation and receive feedback.”
CEOs receive key advice on a wide range of topics, Crean said, including compiling a board of advisors, determining one’s next hires, as well as “all issues of growth, and some cases even of exit.”
Differences in the life sciences market in the three regions have emerged, Crean said, “very specific to each region’s ecosystem.” Silicon Valley’s program has attracted generative AI and therapeutics innovators as well as companies focused on med tech, such as medical devices or mobile apps, he said. Medical device companies are prevalent in Orange County, while San Diego features more companies in therapeutics, with a focus on small molecules, biologics, cell and gene therapy.
Crean also welcomed the diversity he’s seen in Palo Alto participants. “A majority of the CEOs are women,” he said, “with a number of participants from India, the Asia Pacific, and the Middle East.”
Crean is looking forward to the forthcoming programs in all three California locations. “I’m motivated to work with really smart entrepreneurs and try to help them become better leaders,” he said. “I’ve had a series of great mentors in my life. This is my way of giving back and helping out as a moderator, advisor, and mentor.”
Learn more about Procopio’s Life Sciences CEO Connection program here.