• AAO and ASCRS Launch Eyecelerator™ Joint Venture to Deliver Next Generation of Business Innovation Conferences

    The two organizations have finalized their 2020 plans and selected leadership for their powerful, new partnership to advance ophthalmic innovation

    SAN FRANCISCO – Dec. 9, 2019 – Two of the world’s largest ophthalmic organizations have finalized their joint venture Eyecelerator™ to develop business conferences that accelerate innovation in ophthalmology. Called the Eyecelerator™ Conference, this meeting will be held every year prior to the annual meetings of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS). Gil Kliman, MD, an ophthalmologist and Managing Partner of InterWest Partners, a leading venture capital firm, will serve as Program Director for this next generation of ophthalmic innovation meetings.

    The inaugural 2020 Eyecelerator™ Conference I debuts Thursday, May 14 prior to the ASCRS annual meeting at the Sheraton Boston in Boston, Mass., and will be chaired by ASCRS leadership ophthalmologists Drs. Eric Donnenfeld, Ed Holland, and Tom Samuelson. Eyecelerator™ Conference II will be held on Thursday, Nov. 12 before AAO 2020 at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev. The meetings are designed for all innovation stakeholders, including entrepreneurs, executives, investors, and ophthalmologists.

    More information on Eyecelerator™ is available at www.eyecelerator.com.

    “Eyecelerator™ is truly a novel opportunity to cultivate and accelerate a variety of ophthalmic businesses leveraging the vast resources of AAO and ASCRS,” Dr. Kliman said. “Using new formats and enhanced networking opportunities, it will bring together large and small companies, institutional investors, and entrepreneurial ophthalmologists and researchers. This unique cross-pollination of innovative talent, clinical acumen, and financial expertise will expedite delivery of new treatments to patients around the world.”

    Previously, Dr. Kliman co-founded the Ophthalmology Innovation Summit (OIS), an ophthalmology business conference that he co-chaired from 2009 to 2018. As a leader of InterWest’s Life Sciences investment team, Dr. Kliman invests in a broad array of healthcare opportunities, with a special interest in ophthalmology, robotics, and digital health.

    He is a current board member of Doximity and Orbis International, and was a lead investor and board member at Avedro (NASDAQ:AVDR), Glaukos (NYSE:GKOS), LenSx (acquired by Alcon), IntraLase (NASDAQ:ILSE, acquired by AMO), Epocrates (NASDAQ:EPOC, acquired by Athena Health), and GoCheck (private).   

    Dr. Kliman will be available for additional commentary on Wednesday, Dec. 11. Contact Academy Media Relations to arrange an interview.

    “This is the first time that these two medical societies have come together on a partnership such as this,” said David W. Parke II, MD, CEO, American Academy of Ophthalmology. “The addition of Dr. Kliman to this partnership is invaluable. His deep experience in accelerating the growth and success of companies focused on new therapies for eye disorders will make the Eyecelerator™ Conference a tremendous success.”

    “Having both societies join forces to speed innovation should create a unique and impactful community,” said Steve Speares, Executive Director, ASCRS. “With the proven leadership of our Program Director and Co-Chairmen, we hope to set a new standard for advancement of new technologies, with diverse perspectives and objectivity.”

    About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
    The Academy is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, it protects sight and empowers lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for its patients and the public. The Academy innovates to advance the profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Through its EyeSmart® articles on AAO.org, the Academy provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit aao.org. 

    About the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
    ASCRS is an international educational society with nearly 8,000 ophthalmic surgeons at every career stage. Its mission is to empower anterior segment surgeons to improve the vision, outcomes and quality of life for their patients through innovative approaches to education, advocacy and philanthropy. For more information, visit ascrs.org