Trusted expertise

We connect each company to helpful resources, and to mentors and advisors with successful track records in their respective fields.

Mentors

Our mentor network consists of successful entrepreneurs, senior industry executives, key opinion leaders, and investors. Mentors develop close relationships with their matched companies, providing strategic guidance, establishing helpful connections, and working hands-on with the team to accomplish important milestones that we define together.

Michael Bogenstaetter
Michael Bogenstaetter
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Michael Bogenstaetter has over 15 years experience in Biopharma R&D and commercialization of innovative therapies having worked in different leadership roles with companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Novartis and Sanofi and having advised leading Biopharma organizations as member of the Health Care practice of The Boston Consulting Group. Currently, Michael is an independent management consultant in the Life Sciences area.

Michael holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from University of Munich and a full time MBA from London Business School.

Charlie Cameron
Charlie Cameron
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Charlie has over 20 years of management consulting, business development, and investing experience in more than 40 countries. He is SVP, Strategy, at Cooley LLP, a global law firm that has extensive experience working with life science and tech companies and venture funds. Charlie’s experience ranges from working on strategy with Fortune 500 companies, to counseling emerging technology and life science companies, to venture investing. In addition, he mentors emerging companies and has been a judge for business plan competitions in the US and in Europe. He co-founded the Hub Angel Investment Group which is now on its 5th fund. He works with entrepreneurs and innovators in the US and Europe, and especially with German companies. Charlie has built a global network of entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, and others. He is a frequent speaker, judge and panelist related to venture capital and entrepreneurship. In addition, he is VP and a board member of the German-American Business Council, Boston, advisory board member of the Charite Entrepreneurship Summit, board member of Hub Angels and an advisory member of the Technology Capital Network. He has an MBA, MPH, and BA, Economics – honors.

Jens Eckstein
Jens Eckstein
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XJens Eckstein is president of SR One, the corporate venture capital arm of GlaxoSmithKline. He joined SR One from TVM Capital where he was last a venture partner, entrepreneur-in-residence and appointed CEO and president of SelectX Pharmaceuticals. Prior to that, he was a general partner in TVM’s Boston life sciences practice where he focused on earlier-stage investments. Jens was the founder of Akikoa Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology start-up company focusing on hearing loss, and North Haven Systems, a life science IT company. Prior to joining TVM Capital, he led drug discovery programs at Enanta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Mitotix, Inc.Jens is currently chairman of the board of directors of Thrasos Therapeutics, and a director at Palleon Therapeutics, Decibel Therapeutics, ZappRx, Gladius Pharmaceuticals and BioHealth Innovation (BHI). He was previously a member of the board of directors for Alios Biosciences, CoNCERT Pharmaceuticals, Enanta Pharmaceuticals, SelectX Pharmaceuticals, Rapid Micro Biosystems, Anchor Therapeutics, and an advisor and board observer to Sirtris Pharmaceuticals.He is the author of multiple scientific publications and holds several issued and pending patents. As a Kauffman Fellow and angel investor Jens enjoys mentoring young entrepreneurs.Jens lives with his family in Cambridge, MA.
Colin Foster
Colin Foster
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Ali Khademhosseini
Ali Khademhosseini
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Ali Khademhosseini is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Biomaterials Innovation Research Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is also a faculty at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology as well as an Associate Faculty at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and a Junior PI at Japan’s World Premier International-Advanced Institute for Materials Research at Tohoku University where he directs a satellite laboratory. He is recognized as a leader in combining micro- and nano-engineering approaches with advanced biomaterials for regenerative medicine applications.  In particular, his laboratory has pioneered numerous technologies and materials for controlling the architecture and function of engineered vascularized tissues. He has authored over 450 journal papers (H-index = 86, ~27,000 citations) and 50 books/chapters. In addition, he has delivered 300+ invited/keynote lectures. Dr. Khademhosseini’s interdisciplinary research has been recognized by over 40 major national and international awards. He is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given by the US government for early career investigators. In 2011, he received the Pioneers of Miniaturization Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) for his contribution to microscale tissue engineering and microfluidics. In 2016, he received the Sr. Scientist Award of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society -Americas Chapter (TERMIS-AM) and in 2017 he received the Clemson Award of the Society for Biomaterials. He is also a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), Fellow of the Biomaterials Sciences and Engineering (FBSE) and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Currently he serves on the editorial board of numerous leading journals as well as an Associate Editor for ACS Nano (IF: 12) and a permanent member of NIH BTSS study section. He received his Ph.D. in bioengineering from MIT (2005), and MASc (2001) and BASc (1999) degrees from University of Toronto both in chemical engineering. Read more at: http://www.tissueeng.net/

Thomas Kiessling
Thomas Kiessling
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Thomas is a technology entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in product and business development in software, hardware, and online consumer products.

Thomas was the CTO / CIO of Securitas Direct, a Bain Capital & Hellman & Friedman company until the end of 2015. Securitas Direct is a private-equity owned supplier of home alarms and connected services for protected homes, sold to Hellman & Friedman in October 2015. Prior to this position Thomas was Chief Product and Innovation Officer for Deutsche Telekom / T Mobile group. Thomas has also worked in CTO / product development roles for bwin Interactive Entertainment AG, Amadeus, and GlobalOne HQ, managing growth businesses and bringing transformational change.

Thomas holds an MA in Economics and was a Fulbright Scholar at the American University, Washington D.C. He also earned a Master in Telecommunications Network Engineering in Paris, France before receiving his Ph.D. in Telecommunications Economics from University of Stuttgart, Germany.

Michael McGrail
Michael McGrail
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Michael J. McGrail is a partner in the Cooley LLP Business department and a member of the law Firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions, Medical Devices, Venture Capital Financings and International practice groups. He joined the Firm in 2007 and is resident in the Boston office. Mr. McGrail’s practice includes the representation of company and investor clients in a full range of corporate legal projects, including mergers and acquisitions, private financings, corporate partnerships and technology licensing. He counsels companies and investors in many industries, with a particular focus on medical devices and life sciences. Mr. McGrail is fluent in German, and a significant portion of his practice is devoted to international transactions.

Prior to attending law school, Mr. McGrail served as the Head of Regulatory Affairs at a German manufacturer of medical devices. Before joining Cooley, Mr. McGrail was an associate in the Medical Device Practice at Hogan & Hartson in Washington, DC, with a focus on commercial, licensing and FDA regulatory issues.

Mr. McGrail earned his JD from Boston College Law School, graduating cum laude, in 2001. He earned his BA from Northeastern University, graduating magna cum laude, in 1993.

Mr. McGrail has been selected as a Massachusetts Super Lawyers “Rising Star” each year since 2009. He is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

Michael J. Nowak
Michael J. Nowak
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XMichael J. Nowak, Ph.D., Managing Partner, Nowak Ventures, LLC, is an experienced healthcare and high-tech investor in small cap public and venture-backed private companies. He is Managing Partner of his own consulting and advisory firm and has prior experience with healthcare- and life sciences-focused investment funds, family offices and boutique investment banks. He was previously a Managing Director and Head of Healthcare Investments for the multinational billion-dollar hedge fund Yorkville Advisors. Before that he led investments and sat on numerous Boards of Directors while a General Partner at the leading billion-dollar Euro-U.S. venture capital fund TVM Capital. He was also a corporate venture capitalist and business development executive at Xerox PARC in Palo Alto, where he was CEO of two startups, a strategic management consultant and Vice President at McKinsey & Co., and a Program Manager at the Advanced Technology Program, National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce.Dr. Nowak earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He worked as a post-doctoral scientist at Bell Labs (Bellcore), Princeton University, and at the CEA research labs in Saclay and the University of Paris VI (Jussieu) in France. He received his B.A. in Physics from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, where he was a College Scholar.
Markus Peters
Markus Peters
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Markus Peters, PhD has more than 20 years of cross-functional and transcultural leadership experience in the global commercialization of treatments that transform the lives of patients with serious medical conditions. Markus is an Associate Partner at Alacrita LLC based in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA) and advises Life Science companies on the global commercialization of their therapeutic pipeline assets, with focus on rare (orphan) diseases, oncology and specialty pharmaceuticals. Markus was responsible for over ten global specialty pharmaceutical launches including two ultra-orphan franchises: Soliris aHUS (key growth driver for Alexion) and Kanuma (first commercial product for Synageva). For Wyeth/Pfizer, he built the leading biologic blockbuster ENBREL (>$5B sales) by launching the global franchises of four indications in rheumatology and dermatology, and he was the commercial lead for new product planning of the company’s oncology pipeline.

At Synageva BioPharma, Markus was a key member of the senior team that led the transition from research-based to global commercial biopharmaceutical company, resulting in a successful $8.4B buy out in June 2015, the 4th largest deal in the industry.

Markus’ therapeutic area experience includes rare genetic diseases, oncology, immunology (rheumatology and dermatology), hematology, nephrology, hepatology, endocrinology, anti-infectives and metabolic/cardiovascular. He has extensive operational experience on three continents working on the ground in North America (US), Europe (Germany and UK) and Asia (5 years in Japan; China). He has global strategic, US in-line and new product marketing experience, including co-marketing alliances. He has served as the commercial lead on various business and corporate development projects. Markus hired and led cross-functional launch teams located across global regions. Markus is fluent in 6 languages (incl. English, German, French, Japanese incl. reading / writing, Spanish).

He holds a PhD in Biochemistry from Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Oleg Schmidt-Kittler
Oleg Schmidt-Kittler
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Oleg is a senior scientist at Blueprint Medicines in Cambridge, MA where he is a member of the clinical development team and provides pharmacodynamics and biomarker support for two phase I clinical trials. In addition, Oleg is part of the Joint Project Team overseeing the companion diagnostics development at Ventana Medical Systems. Prior to Blueprint, Oleg was a lab head in the Target Discovery group at Sanofi and served in the Joint Research Committee of two high profile collaborations with the Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science and the Dana Farber Cancer institute, respectively.

Oleg obtained his undergraduate education in microbiology and genetics at Philipps University in Marburg, Germany. He then transitioned to cancer biology and focused his doctoral thesis on the genomic evolution of disseminated tumor cells to further the understanding of metastatic spread in breast cancer at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich.

Oleg received his postdoctoral training at the leading cancer genetics lab of Bert Vogelstein and Kenneth Kinzler at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, where he was part of the discovery of PI3Kα mutations and contributed to the biochemical and biophysical understanding of the aberrant enzyme activation. He also received a degree in Business Administration during his time there.

Gretchen Schweitzer
Gretchen Schweitzer
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Gretchen L.P. Schweitzer leads the Munich office for MacDougall Biomedical Communications (MBI) as Managing Director. Since establishing MBI’s European presence in 2013, Gretchen has provided the breadth of more than 20 years as a strategic communicator for the global biopharmaceutical industry, advising companies ranging from early-stage innovators to publically-traded leaders in the sector. She is an expert and a believer in coordinated corporate communications, combining investor relations, media relations and effective positioning to achieve her clients’ corporate goals. Before forming Schweitzer Consulting in 2006, Gretchen was Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Communications at Ingenium Pharmaceuticals AG, a privately-held biotechnology company located in Munich. Gretchen also spent eight years at Feinstein Kean Healthcare in Boston, where, in her last position as Executive Vice President, she oversaw the entire Corporate Practice, advising over 50 biotechnology and pharmaceutical clients, ranging from early-stage start-up and privately-held companies to Nasdaq-listed and multi-national biopharmaceutical and industry organizations. Gretchen graduated from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire with a Bachelor’s degree and went on to complete a year of post-graduate study at Universität Hamburg in Germany.

Mikael Wipperfeld
Mikael Wipperfeld
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Mikael is a software expert with over 20 years of experience in product marketing and management, international business development, and go-to-market strategy development and execution in the German and US Information Technology space. He has spent the past 10 years focused on supporting European companies entering the US market and US companies entering the DACH market. Mike has experience advising at both the strategic and operational level in terms of how companies look at the respective markets, and what could be viewed as best practices in going to market. He has also held executive and senior management positions in marketing and product management at several organizations including Iron Mountain Digital, SAP, Ascential Software, and Sybase.

Mikael received a BA in Economics from the University of Bonn, and a Master's in Management from Northwestern University.

Derek Young
Derek Young
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Derek is an entrepreneur and innovator in the healthcare sector. He is a named inventor of over 30 patents with commercial success globally. Derek has successfully co-founded a number of European medical device startup companies including Medtech, Advanced Surgical Concepts and Haptica before spinning into the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI) in Dublin. While there Derek established a Healthcare Innovation Hub to develop ideas received from clinicians and inventors in Europe and Internationally.

Derek has spear-headed and completed at least 12 Medical Device Licenses deals with key International Healthcare MNC over the last 12 years, completing deals with companies such as Ethicon Endo Surgery, Johnson & Johnson, Covidien, Boston Scientific and CAE Healthcare.

Derek is Founder, CEO and key promoter of i360medical, which is a direct spin out of the Healthcare Innovation Hub that was converted to a for-profit commercial model with the support of the RCSI. I360medical is a European and US based Healthcare Solutions and Medical Device Innovation Company that provides its services to Global Hospital Systems, the Medical Device industry, and clinical communities.

He has gained significant partners and support, and has built an impressive global network of experienced professionals within the medical device and clinical sectors intending to deliver transformational innovation to commercialization change to the international Hospital Systems, Medical Device Industry and Clinical Community.

Derek has a background in Mechanical Engineering, Surgical Innovation and Business Development from the Austin Waldron and Dublin Institute of Technology in Ireland. He also holds a number of board positions on medical device companies and medical research groups at both a national and international level.

Strategic and Innovation Partners

We work with major industry players and service providers to make sure that GALS companies find the right partners and get the best support available.

VC Partners

Community Partners

GALS is part of a wider network of initiatives and organizations that provide advice and support to startups and emerging companies in the U.S. and Germany.