Previous Keynote Speakers

Demo Day - 2017

Geoff von Maltzahn, PhD

Partner, Flagship Pioneering
Dr. Geoff von Maltzahn is a renowned engineer, inventor, entrepreneur, and biotechnologist with over 100 patent applications and patents. He has co-founded companies that have achieved over $3 billion in public and private market capitalization, and his innovations have been profiled by Forbes, the Economist, CNN, Scientific American, and many others. Through his role as partner at Flagship Pioneering, Dr. von Maltzahn has co-founded companies that include Indigo Agriculture, Seres Therapeutics, Axcella Health, and Kaleido Biosciences, which, respectively are pioneering plant microbiome products for crop improvement, microbiome therapeutics, amino-acid based drugs, and novel chemistries to shape the human microbiome. Dr. von Maltzahn has deep expertise in the microbiome, bioengineering and biotechnology and has won over 20 major awards that include the Lemelson-MIT Student prize, awarded to the most innovative student at MIT, the National inventors Hall of Fame Graduate student prize, the Harvard-MIT Martha Gray prize, and the Randolph G Wei Award (awarded to MITs most outstanding contribution at the interface of life sciences and engineering)

Henry S. Webber

Chairman, CORTEX
Innovation Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration, WUSTL
Professor of Practice, Brown University
Henry S. Webber is executive vice chancellor for administration at Washington University and a professor of practice at the Brown School and Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Art and Architecture. Mr. Webber serves as the university’s chief administrative officer and oversees organizations with combined operating and capital budgets of over $400 million annually and over 1,300 employees. He is currently leading the largest capital project in the history of the university: Enhancing the East End of the Danforth Campus. Mr. Webber is chairman of the Board for CORTEX, a 200-acre urban biotech innovation hub and technology district, and helps in managing over $300 Million in investment, and 2,500 full-time jobs As a faculty member at the University of Chicago and Washington University, Mr. Webber teaches courses on topics including community development, health policy, strategic management and social welfare policy. His research has centered around community development, mixed-income housing and the role of anchor institutions in urban development. He is currently writing a book on recent innovations in community development in America.

Demo Day - 2016

Robert Langer, PhD

Institute Professor, MIT
Dr. Bob Langer is a world-renowned engineer, inventor, entrepreneur, and biotechnologist. He is the most cited engineer in history with over 1,300 publications and over 1,100 patents. He has founded dozens of startups and licensed his technologies to hundreds of pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical companies. Time, Forbes, and Discover magazine have all named him as one of the most important innovators in the world. Dr. Langer is an Institute Professor at MIT, which is the highest title that can be awarded to a faculty member. He is one of only 15 MIT professors to hold this title. He is a highly celebrated researcher and scientist having received over 200 major awards that include the U.S. National Medal of Science, the U.S. Medal of Technology and Innovation, the Charles Stark Draper Prize (considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for engineers), the Millennium Prize, and the Gairdner Foundation International Award. Dr. Langer’s research focuses on the application of materials science and its use in biotechnology. His lab is working to revolutionize drug delivery, transplantation, and treatment for chronic illnesses like cancer and diabetes.