The Entrepreneur’s Journey: How to Prepare for Fundraising

Providing funding for your startup is the central part of your business plan. Find out what you need to get ready to start raising funds.
Mar 9, 2023, 5:00 pm7:00 pm
Princeton Innovation Center BioLabs 303A College Road East Princeton, NJ 08540
  • Alumni
  • Staff
  • Entrepreneurially-Minded
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Graduate Students
  • NJ Ecosystem
  • Postdocs
  • Undergraduate Students


Event Description

This is a hybrid event with in person portion at Princeton Innovation Center BioLabs.

Join us for the first of our Entrepreneur’s Journey series of practical discussions and tips. This event will be about the nuts and bolts of what you need to get ready to start raising funds for your startup. Bring your questions. The panelists are from the Life Sciences, but many of the details are applicable to all industries. The event will be followed by a networking reception — all are welcome.

This event is sponsored by the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council, the Foundation Venture Capital Group, and Princeton Innovation Center BioLabs.

Panelist: Mark Esposito, PhD, Founder and Vice President, KayoThera

Dr. Mark Esposito is the founding CEO, current vice president and cofounder of KayoThera, a discovery stage biotechnology company developing therapies to treat advanced cancer patients. Mark received his BA from Middlebury College and his PhD from Princeton University in the laboratory of Dr. Yibin Kang. His work has focused on identifying the fundamental mechanisms driving solid tumor relapse and the suppression of anti-tumor immunity. Translating discoveries made in the lab at Princeton University, Mark’s team at KayoThera is developing small molecule immunotherapeutics with the goal of curing advanced-stage cancer patients.

Panelist: Michael A. Wiley, Vice President, Foundation Venture Capital Group LLC

Mike Wiley is vice president of the New Jersey Health Foundation and its affiliate, Foundation Venture Capital Group LLC. These organizations provide funding and/or pre-seed investments for health-related projects and start-up companies founded by researchers at the following affiliated organizations: Cooper University Healthcare, Hackensack Meridian Health, Kessler Foundation, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Rowan University, Rutgers University and Stevens Institute of Technology.

Mike assists the Foundation Venture Capital Group’s health-related portfolio companies by providing funding and assisting with the various strategic, operational and back-office management issues associated with developing and growing early-stage health-related companies.

Prior to joining the New Jersey Health Foundation and the Foundation Venture Capital Group, Mike’s experience included: business development, new venture financing, program/product development, commercial contracting, and intellectual property/technology licensing for organizations such as the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (Edison Innovation Fund), Avaya, Rutgers University’s Office of Corporate Liaison and Technology Transfer, and Lucent Technologies. He has earned BA, MBA and JD degrees from West Virginia University.

Panelist: Merika Koday, PhD, Principal, Accelerator Life Science Partners

Merika Koday, PhD, currently serves as a principal for Accelerator Life Science Partners where she is responsible for sourcing and evaluating emerging biotechnology investment opportunities. She also provides project management and scientific development oversight to select Accelerator portfolio companies, including ALSP Orchid Acquisition Corporation I, KayoThera, Inc. and Lydian Neurosciences.

Before joining Accelerator in 2018, Merika served as project manager for Cell and Gene Therapy at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. She helped advance basic research programs into clinical development and supported industry partnerships and collaborations.

Previously, Merika was a cofounder and senior scientist at Virvio, a University of Washington spin-out company focused on developing de novo designed proteins as therapeutic alternatives to monoclonal antibodies.

Merika received her PhD from the University of Washington and a BS from the Colorado School of Mines.

Moderator: Anne-Marie Maman, Executive Director, Princeton Entrepreneurship Council

Anne-Marie Maman is the executive director of the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council. The Princeton Entrepreneurship Council (PEC) was established in 2015 as Princeton University’s advisory and coordination body on entrepreneurship. PEC works closely with many existing organizations to promote entrepreneurship on campus and among its alumni. As the inaugural executive director of the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council, Anne-Marie has been responsible for driving Princeton’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. She and her team initiated and run a variety of programs focused on educating entrepreneurs.

She regularly advises academic and non-academic founders in industries ranging from STEM to social impact. She is also part of the teaching team for regional and national I-Corps cohorts through the Northeast I-Corps Hub Northeast Region.

Anne-Marie has an AB in English from Princeton University, and an MBA in health care marketing and finance from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.


5:00 PM  Welcome Reception

5:30 PM  Panel Discussion and Q&A

6:30 PM  Networking & Reception

To request disability-related accommodations, please contact PEC at [email protected] no later than three working days prior to the event.

  • Princeton Innovation Center Biolabs
  • Princeton Entrepreneurship Council
Event Series
Event Type
Panel Discussion
Life sciences