From its inauguration in 2010, the Tech, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll (TDRR) annual networking event has attracted a variable audience comprised of entrepreneurs, academic scientists, investors, industrialists, and students. Over the past five years Tech, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll has grown and expanded considerably; it has adapted to technological changes and introduced new concepts to deliver a professional and interactive networking experience year after year.
Hosted by Boston University’s Office of Technology Development, the 6th annual TDRR was a massive success that saw over 700 people in attendance.
The Innovator of the Year Award winner was Dr. David J Salant, MD, Professor at the School of Medicine and Chief of Nephrology at the Boston Medical Center, for his work in identifying the PLA2R antigen implicated in an autoimmune form of kidney disease called membranous nephropathy. The award was presented by Boston University’s Vice President and Associate Provost for Research Gloria Waters.
The enthusiasm was palpable as BU’s key translational and research centers displayed and shared their work with the attendees. The entrepreneurial teams from BU’s summer accelerator program utilized the opportunity to attract potential developers and funders for their start-up ventures. The participants were:
- Clinical and Translational Science Institute
- Evans Center – Affinity Research Collaboratives
- Wallace H. Coulter Translational Research Partnership
- Boston Biomedical Innovation Center
- Center for Future Technologies in Cancer Care
- Boston University Computer Science
- Massachusetts Open Cloud
- Fraunhofer Center for Manufacturing Innovation
- BU Start-Up Summer Camp
For the first time since the conception of TDRR, an initiative called “Funder Alley” was implemented to drive direct interaction between investors and attendees. A huge hit with the professional audience, Funder Alley showcased companies like Pfizer CTI, Sanofi, Boston Biomedical Innovation Center (B-BIC), Mass Medical Angels, Allied Minds, Rockport Capital, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and VentureWell. The attending representatives from these companies were kept busy by curious and interested parties.
This year we had the mobile app development contest, MAPP, where teams affiliated with Boston University presented ideas for problem-solving mobile applications in a 60 second video. We received 14 submissions and over 2,000 votes, and the ideas encompassed topics such as food, nutrition, medicine, online dating, data security, sexual assault prevention, and education. The winners were:
1st Place $1,500: Study Buddy – 499 Votes
2nd Place $1,000: Scribeat – 437 Votes
3rd Place $500: Campus Food – 315 Votes
The rock n’ roll aspect of the evening was provided by the rising folk-rock band, Kingsley Flood. Their music and vocals combined to deliver a vibrant and energetic performance that made for a lively atmosphere. The band has won three Boston Music Awards, including Album of the Year for Battles.
As always, the event would not be possible without our esteemed sponsors: Nixon Peabody, Sanofi, Pfizer, Shore Chan DePumpo LLP, and Roche Innovation Center. We would like to express our gratitude to their generosity.
We would also like to thank the following Student Volunteers who stepped up to aid us in executing the event:
- James Quirk: James currently works for Guest Services at Agganis Arena
- Hannah Freeman: Hannah currently works as an administrative assistant for BU’s Office of Technology Development
- Sarah Savoy: Sarah currently works as a publishing assistant for Arion: A Journal of Humanities and Classics at Boston University
- Priscilla Cheng: Priscilla currently works at Argopoint, a legal management consulting firm that practices legal sourcing.
- Eirhez Espiritu: Eirhenz is studying Neurobiology at Boston University and going to be a sophomore this fall
- Brian Hong: Brian is going to join BU as a transfer student this coming fall
- Sucheta Tamragouri: Sucheta is studying Biomedical Engineering at Boston University
- Dancho Invanov: Dancho is going to be a freshman at BU this coming fall
- Christian Gray: Christian is a graduate student at Boston University
- Paroma Mallick: Paroma currently works at a summer camp for toddlers called Puddle Stompers
- Mike Damiano: Mike currently works for BU’s Student Production Services and provided media assistance for the event
Also, a big thank you to Melissa Manolis (Program Manager, RWJF Health Policy Research Programs) for volunteering to help us with the event.
A special thanks to the Office of Technology Development staff for implementing and organizing another successful Tech, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll.
Lastly, thank you to all those who came out to attend TDRR, and helped us deliver our mission statement of maximizing collisions and mimizing friction.
We hope to see you again at TDRR 2016!
– Ayusha Mittal (TDRR 2015 Event Coordinator)