May 18, 2022 | The Thompson Dallas


7:30 AM – 9:00 AM: Registration + Breakfast

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM: Welcome Remarks

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM: Why Dallas? The Healthcare Ecosystem Update - Hubert Zajicek, Don Barbo, Nicole Small, Jason Wietjes, Panna Sharma

10:30 AM - 10:45 AM: Networking Break

10:45 AM - 11:30 AM: Lessons Learned: Remote Patient Monitoring - Jane Herndon, Aivars Lode, Ken Nelson

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM: Lunch + Networking

1:00 PM – 1:15 PM: Afternoon Welcome Remarks

1:15 PM – 2:00 PM: Keynote Speaker: Bobby Franklin - National Venture Capital Association (NVCA)

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Trends in Early Stage Financing Panel - JR Garcia, Julie McGuire, Carter Meyer, Dayakar Puskoor

3:00 PM - 3:30 PM: Networking Break

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM: Health Innovation Pitch Competition powered by Health Wildcatters

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM: Cocktail Reception + Pitch Competition Awards Ceremony


9:30am - 10:30am: Why Dallas? The Healthcare Ecosystem Update and Panel

Panna Sharma - Lantern Pharma, President & CEO

Panna Sharma is the President and CEO of Lantern Pharma Inc. (LTRN), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company using its proprietary RADR® AI and machine learning platform to transform and improve the cost, pace, and timeline of oncology drug discovery and development. As CEO, he led Lantern through its IPO in 2020 by implementing strategic initiatives to leverage AI and genomics to develop Lantern’s pipeline of precision oncology therapies and by working closely with venture investors to raise capital. Previously, Panna was President and CEO of Cancer Genetics, Inc (CGIX), and led them through their IPO in 2013. He started his career as an analyst and management consultant focused on healthcare and technology.

Nicole Small - LH Capital / Lyda Hill Philanthropies, CEO

Nicole Small serves as CEO of LH Capital/Lyda Hill Philanthropies. Small is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of both entities, including investment and philanthropic activities. Ms. Small is the co-founder of the If/Then Initiative, which seeks to further advance women in STEM by empowering current innovators and inspiring the next generation of pioneers. From 2001-2013, Small was the CEO of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and has previously held positions including founder and CEO of an internet start-up, Entrepreneur in Residence at an incubator, and analyst with McKinsey & Company.

Small received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. She is a member of The Dallas Assembly, YPO, Charter 100, IWF, and serves on the Boards of Southwestern Medical Foundation, Communities Foundation of Texas, The Hockaday School and Texas 2036. Ms. Small resides in Dallas with her husband, two daughters and two dogs.

Don Barbo - Managing Director, VMG Health

Don Barbo is a Managing Director with VMG Health and leads the firm’s Litigation & Disputes valuation practice. He has performed valuations exclusively for the healthcare industry for over 23 years involving mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, partnership transactions, leasing arrangements, financial reporting matters, divorces, diminution of value, and commercial damages. His extensive healthcare valuation engagements have included hospitals (acute care, long-term care, critical access, behavioral health, and surgical), physician practices (variety of primary care and hospital-based), ambulatory surgery centers, diagnostic imaging centers, cardiac catheter labs, pathology and clinical labs, cancer treatment centers, and dialysis centers. Barbo has also performed engagements for various contracts between hospitals and physicians, including medical director agreements, on-call agreements, lithotripsy service agreements, professional services agreements, and management services agreements.

Jason Wietjes - Polsinelli, Shareholder

Jason is a Shareholder in Polsinelli's Dallas office, where he advises universities and life science companies on all aspects of intellectual property law, including litigation, licensing, and patent strategy. Jason also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for BioNTX.

10:45am - 11:40am: Lessons Learned: Remote Patient Monitoring

Ken Nelson - Biotronik, Head of Digital Health, Diagnostics, & Monitoring

Ken Nelson currently serves as Head of Digital Health, Diagnostics, and Monitoring for Biotronik, a leading digital health and medical device company that has been developing trusted and innovative cardiovascular solutions and implantable cardiac devices for more than 50 years.
Over the past 10 years, Ken has led commercial efforts for disruptive technologies in the digital health, wearables, and cardiac remote patient monitoring industries, playing a significant role in building the teams, cultures, and infrastructures for 3 of the top 4 market share players in cardiac digital health and remote patient monitoring, including #1 (BioTelemetry as VP of Sales), #2 (iRhythm as VP of Sales & Marketing), and #4 (Bardy Diagnostics as Chief Commercial Officer).
Overall, he is a 20 year digital health, medical device, and remote patient monitoring executive and innovator with successful senior leadership experience ranging from a Fortune 500 company (Boston Scientific) to a #1 market share leading medium sized company (Biotelemetry, acquisition by Philips for $2.8 Billion announced in December '20) to 3 start-ups, 1 of which eventually led to an extremely successful IPO (iRhythm) and another which was just acquired by HillRom (Bardy Diagnostics) in August 2021 for what will end up being $400M+ after milestone payments. Ken earned a B.A. in Economics from Vanderbilt University and resides in Dallas, TX with his wife and 3 children.

Jane Herndon - Sovrinti, CEO

Jane Herndon leads Sovrinti, a smart health startup empowering healthy aging and living at home. Jane was a co-founder of a cloud computing unit of Novell, Inc. and the Digital Business Strategy practice of Cambridge Technology Partners, where she led digital transformation projects for health systems and agencies. She earned an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a BA from Middlebury College. A live-in family caregiver for over a decade, Jane understands the caregiver’s journey.

Aivars Lode - IT Capital, Managing Director

Aivars is a global entrepreneur and Founder of IT Capital a private equity firm, in order to invest in software companies numerous providing healthcare solutions. Aivars is best known for his skills in identifying new business opportunities and re-engineering existing industries and businesses to drive transformed outcomes for all stake holders. His ability to identify patterns in business cycles as they occur across the globe led him to start blogging in 2006 about global economics and he accurately predicted the 2008 financial crisis. He is the author of three books on the future of global economics (available at
Throughout his career Aivars has lived in Australia, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, USA and has conducted business in most of the industrialized countries in the world.

1:15 pm - 2pm: Keynote Speaker

Bobby Franklin, National Venture Capital Association, President & CEO

Bobby Franklin is the President & CEO of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), the venture community’s preeminent trade association focused on empowering the next generation of transformative American companies. Based in Washington, D.C., with offices in Palo Alto and San Francisco, NVCA acts as the voice of the U.S. venture capital and startup community by advocating for public policy that supports the American entrepreneurial ecosystem. Powered by its members, NVCA arms the venture community for success, serving as the leading resource for venture capital data, practical education, peer-led initiatives, and networking.

Prior to joining NVCA in 2013, Franklin spent ten years at CTIA, a large Washington, DC-based trade association representing the entire wireless industry. While there, Franklin served as the Executive Vice President and second-in-command to the CEO, former Rep. Steve Largent (R- OK), and was responsible for helping manage the organization’s $58 Million budget and 90 employees. Previously, Franklin had served as CTIA’s Vice President of Government Affairs where he led federal and state advocacy initiatives.

Before joining CTIA, Franklin served as Vice President, Federal Government Affairs and head of Alltel’s Washington, D.C. office. In that capacity he was responsible for the company’s legislative and regulatory advocacy in Washington. Franklin originally joined Alltel in 1998 as Vice President of Federal Legislative Affairs. Prior to serving at Alltel, Franklin spent a year and a half as a consultant representing the nation’s land-grant colleges and universities.

Franklin began his professional career with nearly eight years of experience on Capitol Hill working on various issues in the office of Senator David Pryor (D-AR) and on various Senate Committees, including Agriculture, Finance, and Governmental Affairs.

Franklin earned his B.S.B.A. in Finance and Banking from the University of Arkansas. He and his wife, Julia, have three teenagers and reside in Arlington, VA.

2pm - 3pm: Trends in Early Stage Financing Panel

Julie McGuire, RN, MSN - BDO, Director

Julie McGuire, RN, MSN, is a forward-thinking healthcare IT executive with over 25 years’ total experience in healthcare and 14+ years of experience collaborating with operational and clinical partners on delivering and transforming technology to new and existing facilities and services.
Julie serves as a Director in the Management Advisory Services practice in the Healthcare service line. She is responsible for the growth and delivery of BDO’s Epic IT consulting suite of services which includes Epic implementations and upgrades, new module implementations, maximizing Epic’s value in areas of patient engagement, clinical operations, clinical communications, telemedicine, access, population health, and revenue cycle, governance, analytics, and integration with 3rd party systems (Cardiology, Radiology, Life Safety, On Call, Telemedicine). Julie also has experience with private equity including research for new solutions and market position as well as EHR vendor selection efforts. Prior to joining BDO, Julie served as Director, Enterprise Systems Clinical at Texas Children’s Hospital, the nation’s largest pediatric integrated health system for 6 years. In this role, Julie spearheaded the clinical IT strategy and its implementation with responsibility for 100+ staff and a multi-million dollar operational/capital budget.

Carter Meyer - View Ventures, Managing Partner

Carter Meyer is the founder and Managing Partner of View Ventures. From 2006 until founding View Ventures in October 2020, he was the Chief Executive Officer of the management company for three life science investment funds of Scientific Health Development (“SHD”) and general partner in two of such funds. While at SHD, Mr. Meyer served as a director for several successful portfolio companies including Sight Sciences [Nasdaq: SGHT], Loma Vista Medical, Channel MedSystems , Potrero Medical, Podimetrics and Koya Medical. In addition to serving on the board of each portfolio company of View Ventures, he is on the board of Procyrion, Eirion and International Life Sciences (Artelon). Mr. Meyer is a member of UT Dallas Department of Bioengineering’s Industry Advisory Council.

Prior to his investing career, Mr. Meyer was an attorney in private practice for over 12 years, most recently with Vinson & Elkins LLP, focusing on commercial transactions with substantial experience buying, selling, financing and making investments in both public and private companies. He also has substantial international experience having lived and worked in China and Japan while practicing law.

Mr. Meyer has a B.B.A. In finance from Texas Christian University and a J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law.

JR Garcia - Green Park & Golf Ventures, Principal

Mr. Garcia joined Green Park & Golf Ventures at its inception and has been instrumental in the evolution of the firm since the first investment. He leads GPG’s financing and portfolio strategy efforts as well as overseeing fund management. Further, Mr. Garcia is active in the Dallas startup community, serving as a mentor for SMU MBA students and on the mentoring and selection committees for multiple incubator and accelerator efforts in Dallas.

As a Partner at Green Park and Golf Ventures, Mr. Garcia has participated in the evaluation of and investment in just under 100 healthcare and technology companies. He is a co-founder of Dallas based Health Wildcatters (, a healthcare focused business accelerator that has graduated 8 classes of accelerated companies who have collectively raised over $200 million in capital investments in the last eight years. Mr. Garcia has prior operational, financial, and investment management experience at FedEx, Bold Ventures, and Lone Star Investment Advisors.

Mr. Garcia received his MBA from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in Dallas with concentrations in both Finance and Strategy & Entrepreneurship, as well as a specialization in Alternative Asset Management. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in Finance and a second major in Sociology.