HEAL SC Biomedical Economic Development Event Features National Speakers

February 23, 2010

For Julie Goonewardene, the feeling that she had truly made it as an entrepreneur didn’t occur when she founded her company, Cantilever Technologies. The true elation came the day she sold the venture-backed software company.

“No, it wasn’t a case of laughing all the way to the bank,” Goonewardene says with a smile. “It was the incredible sense of accomplishment to take an idea, create a product, find investors, and then start and run a highly successful company. Many people were involved in the making Cantilever Technologies work and work well. Gathering the right people to support a start-up is one of the secrets of successful entrepreneurship.”

Goonewardene, who now mentors budding entrepreneurs at the Purdue University Research Foundation in West Lafayette, Indiana, is one of the featured national speakers at HEAL SC, South Carolina’s first biomedical economic development event hosted by Health Sciences South Carolina. Set for March 2-3, 2010 at the Hilton Columbia Center, HEAL SC is designed to connect researchers from the state’s biomedical SmartState Program who are the intellectual engines behind the state’s emerging biomedical industry with investors and business people looking for entrepreneurial opportunities in South Carolina. The event is open to the public. Pre-registration is required. Among the national speakers who will present at HEAL SC are:

Julie Goonewardene, Purdue University Research Foundation

Goonewardene manages Purdue University's new venture formation effort and the Emerging Innovations Fund, a program that supports faculty and student entrepreneurs. Prior to joining Purdue, Goonewardene co-founded and served as the president and CEO of Cantilever Technologies, which she sold in 2004. She also co-founded Technology Solutions, which went public three years after inception.

Steven Johnson, CreatiVasc Medical

A 20-year plus veteran in technology transfer and commercialization, Johnson has led two successful technology start-up companies. He now works with CreatiVasc Medical, a medical technology company that provides solutions for kidney dialysis.

Greg Zaic, Nexus Medical Partners

A 20-year veteran of venture capital investment focused on companies in the medical device/life sciences arenas, Zaic has served in management roles in six venture capital funds. Prior to joining Nexus, Zaic was a general partner of Prince Ventures, an independent, medically focused venture capital partnership.

Day two of HEAL SC, Wednesday features presentations by lead researchers from HSSC-supported SmartState Centers. While HEAL SC attendees will gain insight into all aspects of entrepreneurship, the event also offers networking opportunities, including an exclusive power networking event Tuesday evening, with South Carolina lawmakers, investors, business leaders, researchers, university tech transfer offices, along with representatives from HSSC, the SmartState Program and SCRA.