Logo for LaunchBio Program: NextGen VC ForumLogo for LaunchBio Program: NextGen VC Forum

The pemiere Event for Venture Capital Associates to Expand their Skills and Expertise

Wilson Sonsini, Spear Tower, 19th Floor, San Francisco

NextGen VC Forum San Fran

Mid-level VC associates expanding skills and expertise and growing networks


LaunchBio’s NextGen VC Forum is the premiere event for mid-level venture capital associates to expand their skills and expertise while growing their network. Attendees benefit from curated education sessions from industry leaders to supplement existing expertise. Networking is essential in sourcing deals and one of the primary roles for associates—we’ve built it into the program for participants to be able to walk away with new life science and biotech contacts. The half-day forum created with Wilson Sonsini includes a networking breakfast, three one-hour sessions and lunch.

Attendance at NextGen VC Forum is by invitation only; if interested, please fill out the interest form via the link above.



9:00 am – Arrival/Check-in/light breakfast and networking

9:45 am – Welcome and introduction by hosts Dan Koeppen and Mike Hostetler

10:00 am – Executive Compensation with Jody Thelander, CEO Thelander Consulting and Scott McCall, Partner Wilson Sonsini

11:00 am – Navigating Antitrust Regulations, Brendan Coffman, Partner, Wilson Sonsini and Michelle Yost Hale, Partner, Wilson Sonsini

12:00 pm – Lunch/Networking

1:00 pm – Company Creation, Phil McGill, Of Counsel, Wilson Sonsini and Deborah Smith, Partner, Wilson Sonsini

2:00 pm – Close


SESSION 1 • Investment Firm Compensation: The Inside Track

The session will review real-time compensation data and trends for venture capital firms across all asset classes and locations. Jody Thelander, Founder & CEO, of the namesake firm, will share exclusive insights and analysis on the various compensation levers, how to utilize them, what filters make a difference in customizing compensation data and what you need to know as you move up the ranks. This session will be interactive.

SESSION 2 • Navigating Antitrust Regulations in Biotech Mergers: Safeguarding Innovation and Investment

Recent challenges and scrutiny of biotech M&A based on novel theories of harm portend that antitrust agencies are aiming to make good on their promise to scrutinize the life science space more closely. In this session, antitrust partners Michelle Hale and Brendan Coffman will discuss the potential impact of these developments on biotech firms and implications for VC investors. Specifically, this session will consider:

  • The FTC and DOJ’s approach to merger review, including how the agencies have traditionally defined markets and assessed competitive impact in transactions in the life science space.
  • Recent developments in merger enforcement, including the FTC’s recent action to block a transaction involving a venture-backed biotech start-up with no FDA approved products.
  • How changes to merger review and enforcement could impact VC investment in the biotech industry.


SESSION 3 • Venture Capital Company Creation: Strong Foundations for Success

As biotech investors, success of your investments hinges not only on groundbreaking science but also on thoughtful company creation. We will delve into the essential steps of how venture capital firms approach company creation, including identifying promising technologies, safeguarding core assets, assembling a talented team, structuring initial funding and enabling future syndication. In addition, we will examine the critical role of intellectual property in evaluating new company opportunities and developing effective strategies for maximizing company value. Through this insightful discussion, we aim to equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the complex terrain of company creation and develop the associated core competencies.


  • Mike Hostetler Wilson Sonsini

    Michael Hostetler, PhD, partner, Wilson Sonsini

    Mike’s expertise includes patent strategy, patent prosecution, and patent diligence (both buy and sell side) for venture financings, public offerings, and mergers and acquisitions. He has provided patent counseling in support of pharmaceutical and biotechnology products in all stages of development, from proof of concept to regulatory approval to product launch. Mike has also counseled well over 100 venture capital firms in their investments in biotech and pharmaceutical companies.

  • Dan Koeppen

    Dan Koeppen, Partner, Wilson Sonsini

    Dan is a “company-building” corporate attorney that has extensive experience representing public and private life science companies in a wide range of sectors, including biotechnology, consumer products, medical device, pharmaceutical, and therapeutics. He specializes in corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, PIPE financings, securities matters, strategic transactions and venture capital financings, and guides companies through all stages of their growth.

  • Jody-Thelander-LaunchBio

    Jody Thelander, CEO Thelander Consulting

    Thelander Consulting is headed by Jody K. Thelander, a compensation executive with a track record of successful results and over two decades of professional experience. Jody has a keen understanding of business realities through a diversified background in compensation, sales and customer service. Her surveys and resulting reports have become a well-respected and highly desired tool for compensation decision-makers in the private business sector.

  • Scott McCall

    Scott McCall, Partner Wilson Sonsini

    Scott McCall is a partner in Wilson Sonsini Goodrich Rosati’s employee benefits and compensation practice. He represents both private and public technology clients in connection with executive compensation and employee benefits matters. Scott’s practice focuses on the design and implementation of equity compensation and bonus plans, executive employment agreements and the corresponding tax, accounting, and securities law issues. He also is actively involved with the firm’s transactional practice, working with employers to manage the transition of employees and their benefits during and after a merger or acquisition, joint venture, or spin-off.

  • Brendan Coffman

    Brendan Coffman, Partner, Wilson Sonsini

    Brendan Coffman is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he is a member of the antitrust and competition practice. Brendan represents the world’s most innovative companies in connection with mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, government investigations, private litigation, and distribution practices. His clients include stalwarts and emerging firms in electronic gaming and entertainment, ridesharing and ADAS/Autonomous Driving, semiconductor and connectivity, pharmaceutical, healthcare, and financial services.

  • Michelle Yost Hale

    Michelle Yost Hale, Partner, Wilson Sonsini

    Michelle Yost Hale is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Her practice focuses on representing companies in government antitrust investigations, including mergers and acquisitions and other civil antitrust investigations. She regularly appears before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Department of Justice, representing companies across a range of industries. Michelle also provides antitrust counseling on a wide variety of business conduct, including joint ventures, collaborations, and pricing and distribution, among others.

  • Phillip McGill

    Phil McGill, Of Counsel, Wilson Sonsini

    Phil McGill is Of Counsel in the San Diego office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he represents clients on corporate and securities law matters in the life sciences and technology sectors. His practice is focused on being a strategic partner to companies throughout each phase of the corporate life cycle, with an emphasis on guiding companies through late-stage financings and exits, as well as post-IPO public company representation. He has particular expertise collaborating with venture capital firms and universities as counsel to companies formed through their discovery engine and incubator programs.

  • Deborah Smith

    Deborah Smith, Partner, Wilson Sonsini

    Deborah Smith is a partner in the San Diego office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. She assists with the preparation and prosecution of patent applications in the fields of chemistry, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology. Prior to joining the firm, Deborah was a medicinal chemist at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development in San Diego. In this role, she focused on the design and synthesis of organic compounds that modulate the inflammatory and immune response. Deborah received her PhD from the University of California, Irvine, where she developed new synthetic methodologies.