MichBio, the industry association for biosciences in Michigan, announced that Jeff DeGraff will be the keynote speaker at its Annual Meeting & Showcase on April 18 at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth. 

The title on DeGraff’s business card reads “Dean of Innovation.” As a vice president at Domino’s Pizza he helped spur the company’s meteoric growth during the 1980s from a regional success story to an international franchise phenomenon.

With more than 20 years of experience in management issues, DeGraff is clinical professor of management and organizations at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, teaching MBA and executive education courses; managing partner of Competing Values Co., a consulting firm that assists leaders in facilitating change, innovation and growth; and the executive director of the Innovatrium Institute for Innovation, in Ann Arbor.

“Jeff’s ability to take the concept of innovation and break it down at multiple levels to make it useful and practical is unique,” said Stephen Rapundalo, MichBio president and CEO. “Specifically, he has insightful perspectives on the evolving dynamics playing out in the bio-industry and what that means for innovation in the sector nationally and internationally.”

The charismatic and thought-provoking DeGraff is known as the ‘guru to the innovation guru’ at companies such as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, GE, Apple, Yahoo, Toyota and many others. He has created a broad array of widely used tools and methodologies for implementing innovation.

DeGraff is a much in-demand speaker at business events as well as a thought leader at top innovation incubators and think tanks such as the Aspen Institute. His advice is frequently sought after by the investment community on how to pick, manage and harvest winning ideas and successful business enterprises. DeGraff is the best-selling author of “Leading Innovation: How to Jump Start Your Organization’s Growth Engine,” as well as numerous other articles and books. 

The MichBio Annual Meeting & Showcase attracts about 200 biosciences leaders from throughout the state. The 5-7 p.m. event includes a strolling dinner and exhibits followed by brief comments from Rapundalo and the keynote address.

The event also includes optional workshops leading up to the meeting.  A day-long session titled BioBriefing: Industry Knowledge for the Non-Scientist, will be hosted by MichBio and BioTech Primer, a company committed to educating non-science professionals in the basics of biotechnology.

 “The BioBriefing is led by credentialed BioTech Primer instructors who teach participants with a wide variety of non-science backgrounds to become more instrumental in their organizations’ success by understanding the science and technology driving the biotech and pharmaceutical industries,” Rapundalo said.

In addition to the BioBriefing, an afternoon workshop titled, “Driving Value in Your MedTech Company: Successful Growth Strategies in a Competitive Environment” will also lead into the annual meeting. The workshop will provide attendees with the tools to understand the drivers of value in businesses and how to exploit them to become more profitable, grow and win. Topics covered will include market, innovation and operational-led growth, mergers and acquisitions as a strategy, strategic and corporate planning and implementation, and bioscience case studies.

“Workshop participants will gain a better appreciation for the challenges and typical solutions to achieving optimal business alignment and growth,” Rapundalo added.

MichBio is committed to driving the growth of Michigan’s bioscience industry and to fostering the collective impact of its members by serving as their unified voice and by providing them with education, information, connections and other services.  MichBio members include biosciences companies, academic and research institutions, bioscience service providers, and related organizations.


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