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George Vlahakis
IU Communications

Kelli Conder
Center for the Business of Life Sciences

Last modified: Thursday, September 13, 2012

Indiana Life Sciences Collaboration event to present lessons from 'School of Hard Knocks'

Guidant's Dollens and OrthoWorx's Conley among the presenters

Sept. 13, 2012

EDITORS: A complete program schedule, links to the participants' biographies and directions are available online at the Center for the Business of Life Sciences website.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Those attending the next event in the successful Indiana Life Sciences Collaboration Conference Series on Sept. 28 in Indianapolis will learn about the mistakes made by industry executives and how the lessons they learned ultimately led to success.

The conference, "Lessons from the Life Sciences 'School of Hard Knocks,'" will feature breakout sessions and presentations by executives such as retired Guidant Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Ron Dollens and OrthoWorx CEO Sheryl Conley.

"Many of us have heard the familiar proverb, 'A wise man learns from the mistakes of others, a fool by his own.' People attending this conference will have the opportunity to hear from a number of experienced industry executives about mistakes they've made and what they learned from them," explained George Telthorst, director of the Center for the Business of Life Sciences in Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.

After executives share their stories, everyone will break up into discussion groups and come up with common problems such as misunderstanding the value proposition, difficulties scaling up a new product or company or challenges working in the emerging markets.

"The list of problems developed will represent powerful lessons learned that can be taken back to the office and put to use," Telthorst said.

The conference will take place at the offices of Indianapolis law firm Krieg DeVault LLP, 211 N. Pennsylvania St. in downtown Indianapolis.

George Telthorst

George Telthorst

Print-Quality Photo

The registration fee for the Sept. 28 event is $150. The cost for registering for all four events in the conference series is $450. Students at accredited Indiana institutions of higher education may qualify for a discounted rate. Registration and additional information is available online at or by contacting Kelli Conder at the Kelley School at 812-856-0915 or

The conference series is presented by the IU Kelley School of Business, its Center for the Business of Life Sciences, the Indiana Economic Development Corp., BioCrossroads, Bacterin International Holdings, Inc., Ethicon Endo Surgery, Inc. and Zimmer.

Following registration and networking from 8 to 9 a.m., Robert Greising, a partner at Krieg DeVault LLP, will introduce keynote presenters Jan Hillier, a clinical assistant professor of management; and Matthew Semadeni, associate professor of strategy, the Arthur M. Weimer Faculty Fellow and coordinator of the CBLS. Both teach in IU's Kelley School of Business. The title of their presentation will be "Taxonomy of Failures and Lessons to Be Learned."

After a break, lessons from "veteran learners," life science industry executives, will be presented. The panel will include Dollens, who also is past chairman of Kinetic Concepts Inc.; Conley, a former group president and chief management officer of Zimmer Holdings; John Voris, chairman of Regenesis Biomedical and former CEO of Epocrates; and David Becker, chairman and CEO of First Internet Bank.

During lunch, break out discussions will be led by Robert Brown, senior vice president of marketing and chief marketing officer of Eli Lilly and Co.; Deb Tanner, corporate senior vice president and president of Covance; and Kristen Gentry and Greising of Krieg DeVault.

Telthorst will leading an afternoon discussion of the breakout group findings and key takeaway points. The day's events will wrap up at 3 p.m.

The Sept. 28 conference is sponsored by Covance, Eli Lilly and Co., Krieg DeVault LLP and Zimmer.

Other financial sponsors are Anson Group; Barnes & Thornburg LLP; Biomet; Cook Medical; Hill-Rom; Ice Miller LLP; Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute; Indiana Health Information Exchange; IU School of Medicine; Purdue University; Roche Diagnostics; Taft Stettinius; and Zimmer.

Brochure sponsors are Cabello Associates; and Miles Printing on Plastics. Marketing sponsors are AIT Laboratories; Aledo Consulting, Inc.; Aptalis Pharma; Bloomington Life Sciences Partnership; CHV Capital, Inc.; Commissioning Agents, Inc.; Guerbet LLC; IU College of Arts and Sciences; IU Kelley Evening MBA Program; IU Kelley School of Business Alumni Association; IU Office for the Vice President for Engagement; IU Research & Technology Corp.; Novus Biologicals; OrthoWorx, Inc.; Pearl Pathways, LLC; Performance Validation, LLC; Regulatory Affairs Professional Society and VMS BioMarketing.