Angel and Venture-Capital Investment in Biotech and Health Care

Joseph Priestley Society
Thursday, April 11, 2019
11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Science History Institute
315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
United States

Join us for the April gathering of the Joseph Priestley Society.

Would you like insights into how angel (and venture-capital) groups select, evaluate, and fund entrepreneurs and their commercial entities and efforts? Want to know how entrepreneurs secure funding? Curious about where the funding groups get their money or about potential returns and how an interested individual could get involved?

This panel will be a moderated discussion among experts collectively experienced in invention, innovation, commercialization, business growth and management, and funding.


Event Schedule

  • 11:30 a.m.
    Networking Reception

  • 12:15 p.m.

  • 1:00 p.m.


Sandra Donovan
President, Donovan Associates

Sandra Donovan

Sandra Donovan

Sandra Donovan.

Sandra Donovan has consulted for numerous private, public, and government-sector senior managements on improving performance, profits, innovation, and organizational effectiveness. Previous senior and officer positions with Standard Oil, BP, and Johnson & Johnson in commerce, management, technology, innovation, strategy, and global and domestic acquisition and divestment enabled her to guide clients to achieve their objectives. She has been active in leadership roles with many educational and industry organizations, a frequent speaker and publisher, and honored with many awards, the most recent being the Marquis Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement Award. Donovan earned her PhD in physical electrochemistry from Case Western Reserve University.



Maria L. Maccecchini
Founder, President, and CEO, QR Pharma, Inc.

Maria L. Maccecchini

Maria L. Maccecchini

Maria L. Maccecchini.

Maria Maccecchini founded her second company, QR Pharma, in 2008, with technology licensed from the National Institutes of Health. The company is developing two drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Maccecchini took her first job at Mallinckrodt as a research scientist and her second job as general manager of Bachem Bioscience. In the early 1990s she started her own biotech company—Symphony Pharmaceuticals, acquired 10 years later by Transgenomic Inc. After the sale of her company she joined two angel group funds—Robin Hood Ventures and Mid-Atlantic Angel Group. She mainly invests in the life science sector: biotechnology, diagnostics, and medical devices. She serves on several boards of biotechnology companies, organizations that promote entrepreneurship, international trade, women, and charitable organizations, as well as on the board of Robin Hood Ventures. Maccecchini not only invests in early-stage companies; she also mentors them in start-up, strategy, management, and finance. Maccecchini earned her PhD in biochemistry from Rockefeller University.


Yaniv Sneor
President, Blue Cactus Consulting; CEO, Native State Therapeutics; Cofounder, Mid Atlantic Bio Angels

Yaniv Sneor

Yaniv Sneor

Yaniv Sneor.

Yaniv Sneor is originally a physicist, but he made the transition into the business world about 30 years ago when he took the helm of his first company. Since then he has started, run, turned around, purchased, sold, and integrated several companies, both as purchases and joint ventures. Sneor was involved in every legal, financial, employment, logistics, and technology aspect of these companies. Since 2006 he has been a consultant to other companies on these subjects, as well as business strategy and technology commercialization. 

Among the companies Sneor started or ran are a bioinformatics company, a surgical laser company, and a manufacturing and distribution company. He has also mentored numerous life science and technology start-ups through BiomedX (formerly, the Columbia-Coulter Translational Research Partnership); the Bench-to-Bedside Initiative, jointly sponsored by Weill-Cornell Medical Center; and the E-Lab for Life Science Entrepreneurs, sponsored in part by the New York City Economic Development Corporation.


About the Series

The Joseph Priestley Society (JPS) promotes a deeper understanding of science, technology, and industry, with an emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship. Speakers are leaders from a wide variety of large and small chemical companies and the financial, consulting, and academic communities.

For more information about this event, please contact Sarah Reisert at 215.873.8263 or