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[ Building Biotech-Creating Opportunities in the BC Bioeconomy ]


Building Biotech 2018 Thursday, Sept 27, 6:00pm Coast Coal Harbour Hotel View Event Details (


[ Genome BC Poster Competition 2018 ]


Upcoming: Thursday, May 24th, 2018 UBC's Pharmaceutical Sciences-Atrium Event details here ( )...


[ Networking Night ]


Upcoming: Tuesday, July 26th, 2017 6:30-9:00 pm, Steamworks Brewpub View Event Details (


[ Annual General Meeting 2017 ]


Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 5:30-7:00 pm, at BC Cancer Research Centre, Dorothy Lam Boardroom, 1st floor View Event Details (


[ SBN Soiree 2017 ]


Wednesday June 7th, 2017 6:00pm-9:00 pm, at TELUS World of Science View Event Details (


[ Research Exchange & Poster Competition 2017 ]


Research Exchange & Poster Competition 2017 Thursday, May 25th, 2017 8:30am-4:00 pm, at UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences Building Main Foyer, 2405 Wesbrook Mall View Event D..


[ Networking Night ]


Upcoming: Thursday, April 20th, 2017 6:30PM - 9:00PM Central City Brewpub (Central City Shopping Centre, 13450 102 Ave) View Event Details (


[ Career Connect - CDRD ]


Upcoming: Tuesday, March 7 2017 1:30PM - 5:00PM; 2405 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver View Event Details (


[ Biotech Expo 2017 ]


Upcoming: Thursday, February 23rd, 2017 5:30PM - 9:00PM Jack Poole Hall at the Robert H. Lee Alumni Center (6163 University Blvd) Event details here (


Building Biotech – Entrepreneurship in the Canadian Bioeconomy

Update: Event Report

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Event Summary
Time and Location

Event Summary

The Student Biotechnology Network (SBN) is delighted to kick off our 2014-2015 season in celebration of National Biotechnology Week with our annual Building Biotech Event. This year, with Building Biotech: Entrepreneurship in the Canadian Bioeconomy, we hope to ignite a spark to inspire you to carve your own path and explore new ventures.

This event is an excellent opportunity to join other enthusiastic students and network with industry professionals, while gaining insight into the local life sciences industry over a delicious three course dinner.

Time Program Speaker
6:00-7:00 Registration & Networking Reception
7:00-8:30 Opening Remarks & Dinner
8:30-9:30 Panel discussion:
“Entrepreneurship in the Canadian Bioeconomy”
Andrew Tait, Tait Laboratories Inc.
Neil Belenkie, GrowthPoint Group
Andre Marziali, Boreal Genomics
Moderator: Sam White, CDRD

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The SBN Building Biotech event is a business formal event at the beautiful Coast Coal Harbour Hotel in celebration of National Biotechnology Week. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the current state of the life sciences industry in BC and gain insights as to which areas within life sciences are growing and declining, as well as learn about what economic factors influence the local industry. Our expert panel of speakers will also give their outlook on the future of life sciences in BC.

The following organizations will be represented by mentors:

Maxxam Analytics
BC Cancer Research Centre
BCIT Biotechnology
BCIT Department of Biotechnology
Borden Ladner Gervais
Growthworks Capital
Health Canada
JL Careers
LifeSciences BC
Lions Bay Capital
Pacific BioVentures
Provincial Health Services Authority
Qu Biologics
STEMCELL Technologies Inc.
UBC Medicine
UBC Science Co-op

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Time and Location

Date: Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Time: 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Place: Coast Coal Harbour Hotel (1180 W Hastings St, Vancouver)
Dress: Business

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A ticket to Building Biotech 2014 includes a three course plated dinner and complimentary non-alcoholic punch. Building Biotech 2014 ticket sales will end on September 23th at 11:59pm. Update: tickets are now sold out.

Early bird special (until September 15th)
Member: $15+GST
Non-member: $25+GST

Regular price (September 15th – September 23rd) -  
Member: $20+GST
Non-member: $30+GST

*** Building Biotech 2014 is now sold out ***

A LIMITED number of tickets for Building Biotech 2014 will be available for $35 (Cash Only) on the day of the event at the registration desk.

* Members must first log in and register via My Account in order to enjoy discount.

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Andrew Tait

Andrew is the founder of Tait Laboratories Inc., a company devoted to modernizing traditional herbal medicines. After a B.Sc. and M.Sc. from Concordia University, he completed a Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of British Columbia. During his thesis work on multiple sclerosis, he identified Traditional Chinese Medicines having potential to treat a wide range of chronic diseases; he founded the company while finishing his graduate studies. In 2012, he was invited to Ottawa to be awarded the NSERC Innovation Challenge Award, for successfully translating his research to an entrepreneurial venture. That same year, he also gave the keynote presentation on MS at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine’s annual symposium.

Supported by the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, the Bank of Development of Canada, the UBC’s Entrepreneurship@UBC program, and the NRC Industry Research Assistance Program, he works with industrial and academic researchers developing safe, affordable, and clinically proven medicines.


Neil Belenkie


A winner of Business in Vancouver’s Top 40 Under 40, Neil is an entrepreneur specializing in business turnarounds and corporate growth. As CEO and co-founder of the GrowthPoint Group, Neil has been involved in more than 30 companies in the past five years. Neil’s healthcare experience includes big pharma with Hoffmann La Roche and Ortho Biotech (Johnson and Johnson) and international biotech experience including Asia, North America and Europe as CEO of Vancouver-based Sirona Biochem (TSX.V, OTCQX) and France-based TFChem. For Sirona Biochem and TFChem, he led all transactions including securing joint ventures and revenue producing deals in China, USA and Canada, raising $4.5M through debt and equity instruments in USA and Canada, and securing Jacques Cousteau’s son and grandson to become brand ambassadors and shareholders in both companies. He also led negotiations with the government of Normandy, France for grant and corporate development.

Neil is a volunteer fireman, speaker and facilitator, mentor, and is expecting his fourth child this Christmas eve.


Andre Marziali

A leading innovator, educator, and entrepreneur with over 18 years’ experience in developing tools for life science research and technologies for nucleic acid analysis, Andre founded Boreal Genomics with colleagues from the University of British Columbia in 2007. Andre received his B.A.Sc. in Engineering Physics from UBC in 1989, and his Ph.D. in Physics from Stanford University in 1994. He subsequently worked for several years with Prof. Ron Davis, in the Stanford DNA Sequencing Technology Center, developing instruments for DNA sequencing and sample purification. He returned to Canada in 1998, as an Assistant Professor at University of British Columbia in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, where he founded the Applied Biophysics Laboratory and the Genome BC Technology Development Platform. In 2005 he was appointed Director of the Engineering Physics program at UBC. In 2004, Andre co-invented the concept of using synchronous mobility perturbations to create divergent velocity fields for selective focusing of nucleic acids, the technology which forms the basis for Boreal’s platforms. He has been awarded the 2004 BC Innovation Council Young Innovator award, the 2007 Association for Lab Automation Innovation Award, and the 2011 Life Science BC Award for Innovation and Achievement.


Moderator: Sam White

Sam is currently Manager, Project Search and Evaluation at the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), where he is tasked with identification of academic drug discovery and development projects with exceptional therapeutic potential and enabling their development within CDRD for future commercialization. Prior to joining CDRD in Vancouver, Sam briefly worked as a for in the UK. Sam completed his PhD in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Nanomedicine and a Master of Pharmacy.

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