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AIC 2015 Program

The 2015 Autism Investment Conference (AIC) addresses the most relevant and urgent needs across the autism community. The program is structured into (8) individual sessions, each focusing on a different area of product or business development that is poised to address the unmet needs across the autism community.

Each session is organized into the following structure 1) introduction of product/business area by a member of the Autism Speaks staff, 2) company showcase highlighting 3-4 examples of companies working in that market segment, and 3) a panel of experts who discuss and break down issues and challenges associated with development in that segment.

  • Keynote -  David Berry, Partner, Flagship Ventures, "Predictable Disruptive Innovation: Tackling Big Problems "
  • Keynote - Eddie Martucci, Co-Founder & COO, Akili Interactive Labs, "Engaging Medicine: Science + Entertainment May Transform How We Think of Medical Products"

Therapeutics   - Bringing new treatments for autism to market is an on-going challenge.  This session will address many of these challenges and associated risks, including empirical support of approaches, regulatory pathways, clinical endpoints and patient heterogeneity.  Discussion will include the diversity of treatment modalities and associated development opportunities.

  • Moderator – Paul Wang, Autism Speaks
  • Showcase Presenters: Hao Chen, DRI Bioscience; Chad Beyer, Promentis Pharmaceuticals; Emily Levy, CIPAC Therapeutics
  • Panelists: Alex Nichols, Flagship Ventures, Walter Kaufman, Harvard; Arshya Vahabzadeh, Harvard

Diagnosis & Risk Assessment - This session will focus on commercial products and/or businesses involved in the clinical diagnosis or assessment of risk for developing autism. Topics will range from the challenges of diagnosis to the diversified approaches to screening and include exciting new technologies as biomarkers for clinical research or symptom detection.

  • Moderator – Dan Smith, DELSIA
  • Showcase Presenters: Jan D’Alvise, Pediatric Bioscience; Rem Fox, NODANow; Bernard Courtieu, IntegraGen; Beth Donley, Stemina Biomarker Discovery
  • Panelists: Stan Lapidus, SynapDx; Brent Vaughan, Cognoa, Lisa Prock, Boston's Childrens Hospital & Harvard Medical School; Jo Elllen Slurzberg, JR Associates

Assistive Technology (Apps, software, devices) – This session will focus on one of the fastest growing segments within autism.  This segment until now has been largely dominated by an array of apps for tablets and phones.  Discussion will include key issues surrounding app development and the refereeing of unsupported marketing claims of apps, necessity of regulatory paths, economics of app stores as well as a look at the rapidly expanding world of wearable technology and hardware.

  • Moderator: Lisa Goring, Autism Speaks
  • Showcase Presenters: Tami Salter, Que Innovations; Eron Howard; Holly Mero, Vivint; Richard Inskeep, On Track Technologies; Brad Baird, RoboKind
  • Panelists: Ned Sahin,Brain Power; Marnin Kligfeld, Makena Partners; Robert Herzog, eCaring; Mark Mautone, NJ State Teacher of the Year

Employment – This session will focus on business models and other for-profit enterprises that capitalize on the strengths of employing individuals with ASD.  Hear first-hand from businesses that not only increased productivity but gained a competitive edge in their market.

  • Moderator – Leslie Long, Autism Speaks
  • Showcase Presenters: Rajesh Anandan and Art Shectman ULTRA  Testing; Dave Friedman, AutonomyWorks; James Emmett, James Emmett Consulting; Gerry Maurer, Birch Family Services
  • Panelists: Andy Traub, NODA;Krystal Odell, Pennreach

Services - With the growing prevalence of autism, there is an increasing need to provide services to aid individuals with autism and their families. This session will highlight businesses and service providers that provide autism specific services that enhance the service delivery or quality of life for those with autism and their families.

  • Moderator – Dave Kearon, Autism Speaks
  • Showcase Presenter:  Aaron Rakow, College Steps; Michele McKeone, Autism Expressed & Digitability; Todd Kozikowski, Yabidu; Eric Peacock, My Autism Team
  • Panelists: Stephanie Martin, CLE; Leo Junquera, Microsoft

The Spectrum of Careers: An AIC Parternship

  • Moderator: Vimal Verma
  • Panelists: David Kearon, Autism Speaks; Nish Parikh, WebTeam Corporation; Hetal Parikh, Rangam Consultants; Tracey Rollins, Birch Family Services; Gerald Franklin, Rangam Consultants

Legislative Landscape Incentives

Public Policy has the potential to fundamentally alter the investment landscape for an industry, for good or bad.  This year, the US Congress and Obama administration are considering legislation aimed at fostering faster pathways to cures and innovation.  This session will look at the major proposals under consideration and discuss their potential impact for autism and other ways to de-risk the investment opportunity for autism.

  • Speakers - Kevin Roy, Autism Speaks; Chip Davis,PhRMA; Robert Ring, Autism Speaks

 Gaming-Driven Platforms – This new session will focus on the emerging use of games in a variety of different applications from product development in therapeutic games alternative methods for diagnosis and outcome measurement.  Games are an innovative approach to understanding the strengths of those with autism and utilizing those strengths to find and maintain employment, post-secondary educational opportunities, and further learning in a fun and rewarding way.

  • Moderator: Lisa Goring, Autism Speaks
  • Showcase Presenters: Cuong Do, Identifor; Katie Hench, Infiniteach;Ofer Atzmon, Compedia Ltd.
  • Panelists: Rajesh Anandan, ULTRA Testing; Nancy Weinstein, MindPrint Learning


The Google-Autism Speaks ‘Pitch Playground’   - Join us for a fun and challenging ½ day event, sponsored by Google and Autism Speaks.   Select companies will be chosen to pitch their business ideas for autism apps for tablet/phone platforms and wearable technology. The event will be hosted at the Google Cambridge Campus. Cash prizes will be awarded by DELSIA.  Click here for the submission form.

Click to see the full list of 2015 speakers.

Interested in speaking? email: