An extended family – U.S. delegates at the GES 2017, Hyderabad, India. (Photo courtesy: Avik Pal)
Headquartered in Silicon Valley, CliniOps is a leading mobile, cloud-based, digital solutions company, for the Clinical Trial industry. CliniOps technology is transforming the way clinical trials are conducted, by bringing cutting edge technology innovations and leveraging SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics & Cloud). BioPharma and Med Device companies can now bring drugs & medical devices much faster to market, with high focus on data quality and less cost. CliniOps also has an office in Kolkata, India. It was a memorable experience for Avik Pal, founder & CEO of CliniOps, to travel to the country he was born and raised, but this time as a U.S. Department of State delegate, a delegation headed by Ivanka Trump. Avik shares some of his experiences from the GES 2017 summit.
After months of excitement, activities, road shows and preparations leading up to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (https://www.ges2017.org/) #GES2017, I finally landed in Hyderabad, the city that hosted the 8th GES from Nov. 28-30. Before I even cleared the airport security, I had already made several friends, who, just like me were all full of excitement to participate at the GES.
We were greeted with traditional ‘Namaste, flowers and bindi’ by representatives of the Govt. of India, clad in traditional Indian saree and customs. The GES official buses were waiting for us to drop us at the Hyderabad International Convention Center, and to our respective hotels. Even before we got off the bus, we were connected on WhatsApp group, Facebook groups as GES delegates, GES U.S. delegates etc. Some even started GES DC, GES NY GES CA groups. The energy was uber high and the excitement to stay connected was contagious. Before we know, we were all part of one big GES family.
An Extended Family – U.S. Delegates at the GES 2017, Hyderabad, India
Day 1 started with the inauguration of the event with a very colorful cultural performance followed by the opening speech by Ivanka Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The energy inside the convention center was electrifying with 1,500 entrepreneurs from 150 countries with more than 52% women participants. This year’s Summit theme ‘Women First, Prosperity for All,’ had a focus on supporting women entrepreneurs and fostering economic growth globally. Following the event, we were taken to the historic Taj Falaknuma Palace for the reception of the delegates.
Day 2 morning Plenary was one of the best I enjoyed, moderated by K.T. Rama Rao, Minister for IT, Government of Telangana, with an elite all-women panel consisting Cherie Blair, Chanda Kochhar, Ivanka Trump and Karen Quintos. Each of the panelists shared some sound bites on the topic of boosting women’s participation in the workforce as an important first step to accelerating economic growth. The rest of the day was packed with panel discussions, breakout sessions, and workshops. There were four industry focus areas: Health & Life Sciences, Digital Economy & Financial Technology, Entergy & Infrastructure and Media & Entertainment.
The organizers had arranged an app to help connect the attendees and having done my homework ahead of time, I tried to make the best use of the app and met several attendees from our Life Sciences domain. The main hall also had four demarcated areas for entrepreneurs to connect within their respective domains.
The daily lunch was arranged in the open garden and also offered another great way to network and interact. The day ended with a trip to the Golconda Fort, a national heritage, with a grand display of light and sound show, hosted by the state government.
Day 3 continued with more panels. I spend a good part of the day networking with fellow entrepreneurs, industry leaders in my domain, interested investors, potential advisors and last but not the least, media interactions. The evening dinner was arranged at the hotel with some live music and good food.
Finally, the 3-day event concluded with the vote of thanks by the co-hosts Mark Green representing the Department of State, USA and Amitabh Kant from NITI Ayog, Government of India, whose team undoubtedly did a fabulous job.
Lunch arranged in the open area in the garden enabled easy networking with fellow entrepreneurs.
I came to GES with three goals in mind:
- Share our CliniOps story: We are a Silicon Valley startup with a product to support global clinical trials, that received several Top 10 innovation awards. Our product is currently used in about 15 countries across Asia, Africa, South America and several states in the U.S., and has over 50,000+ patients on our system. We are also fortunate to get an opportunity to work with some incredibly reputed organizations early on in our startup journey. I was able to share our story through individual interactions, group sessions and some of the mainstream media outlets NDTV, India Today, CNBC et al. GES offered a great platform for us to share our story – we are humbled and honored for the opportunity to be a part of it.
- Generate interest & Build relevant connections: I interacted with several relevant individuals from our industry, and shared our journey and the problems we solve in global clinical trials. We have experienced several use cases that the BioPharma companies are currently facing and how we have addressed the same. These conversations generated meaningful dialog and interest in our work from professionals from different areas involved in scaling up a startup from concept to a successful business. We built some amazing connections at GES and met several outstanding and inspirational entrepreneurs, who are all solving real problems in their chosen area of work.
- Receive Advice & Feedback: I also connected with a select few attendees from the Investment world and domain experts, to get their feedback and advice on our solution and business model. We have bootstrapped our company till date and as we make progress in our startup journey, we hope to build on the connections we made at GES and engage with them in a more meaningful way.
As CliniOps prepares to scale to the next level, raise institutional investments, and acquire more customers, I’m positive that the GES experience and some of the connections we made at the summit will go a long way to achieve our goals.
The GES experience was indeed a once in a lifetime experience, that can’t be traded with anything else. As I head back home, I carry with me a lot of energy, excitement and a renewed focus to take CliniOps to the next level and scale newer heights.