The NextTech Speaker Series connects Bay Area founders, investors, executives and technology developers with the life sciences community in the Tri-Valley and greater East Bay.

Each NextTech speaker brings a unique perspective on how to succeed in an innovation economy evolving beyond Silicon Valley.


Upcoming Events

Greg Sommer

Greg Sommer

Ulrich Schaff

Ulrich Schaff


Greg Sommer & Ulrich Schaff


Sandstone Diagnostics

From Lab to Market to Scale

September 20th, 2017 | Firehouse Arts Center

This NextTech installment features Greg Sommer and Ulrich Schaff, cofounders of Sandstone Diagnostics, makers of the Trak in-home male fertility testing system. Greg and Ulrich started Sandstone after spinning out from Sandia National Laboratories, where the original technology for their Trak product was developed. The pair have experienced first hand the challenges of going from bench scale to market, including writing SBIR grants, customer development vs. reserach & development, raising capital, navigating FDA clearance, building a team, and a positive experince bringing in "professional management". Come ready with questions, because these two have answers!

Greg and Ulrich will be joined in this conversation by serial founder Dave Selinger (Redfin, Rich Relevance, Deep Sentinel), who will interview Greg and Ulrich and facilitate discussion with the audience.  


6:00pm     Food and New Friends

6:30pm     Program 

7:30pm     More New Friends!

About the Series

Past Events


Tim Harkness

Founder and CEO 

Unchained Labs

The Secret Playbook to Founding and Leading a Life Science Technology Start-up

May 9th, 2017 | Innovate Pleasanton

Why do some ideas make it and other great ideas die on the vine? Why do some founders get funded and others don’t?  

Tim Harkness, a serial life sciences entrepreneur, gave his perspective on what you need to know to get money and build a real company in the life sciences technology space.  

Tim was joinedby serial founder Dave Selinger (Redfin, Rich Relevance, Deep Sentinel), who interviewed Tim and facilitated discussion with the audience. 


Hemai 2.jpg



Dr. Hemai Parthasarathy

Scientific Director

Breakout Labs



March 15th, 2017 | Innovate Pleasanton

Working across industries as varied as life sciences, energy, materials, and computing, Breakout Labs is a leading investor in technologies that are changing the landscape of what's possible.

As scientific director of Breakout Labs, Dr. Hemai Parthasarathy works directly with technologists-turned-entrepreneurs to bring bench scale innovations out of the lab and into the economy.

At our March 15th event, Hemai was interviewed by serial entrepreneur David Selinger (Redfin, Rich Relevance) about how Breakout Labs makes investment decisions, the do's and don'ts of commercialization, and industry insights that are relevant to life sciences and other industries fueled by deep science.


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