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FROM THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Keeping the Momentum With Innovation Nexus

By: Michael T. Sheppard, CPA, CAE, CEO, AUA | Posted on: 19 Sep 2023

As you know, AUA Innovation Nexus, the urology research incubator powered by the AUA, held its inaugural event prior to the AUA Annual Meeting in April. The 1-day event gave startups, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, investors, and urologists the opportunity to come together to advance urological discovery to improve patient care.

We were really pleased with the energy at the April event (and in the following days). There was a buzz around the Innovation Nexus, and it served to reinforce that there is a need for this type of incubator and the connections that it can and will facilitate. And we’ve continued to receive feedback—both in terms of new ideas and areas of improvement as well as kudos for an exciting new program. In fact, well over half of the attendees said they would be back for Innovation Nexus 2.0 in San Antonio in 2024.

Innovation Nexus panelists speaking about the importance of an AUA incubator. Left to right: John Flavin, MBA; Brian Friedman, JD, MBA; Jim Robinson; and Patrick Flavin, JD.

But before that, we’ll turn our attention to the companion event—the AUA Innovation Nexus Boot Camp to be held September 22-23, 2023, at AUA headquarters in Linthicum, Maryland. In the capable hands of co-chairs Amarpreet S. Sawhney, PhD, CEO of Instylla (embolic therapies), Rejoni (uterine health), and Pramand LLC (biosurgery products), and Ganesh Raj, MD, PhD, professor of urology at UT Southwestern, the 2-day program will move innovative ideas from concept to realization by preparing and empowering attendees to take their designs and develop them into marketable products.

One of many networking opportunities at AUA Innovation Nexus.

This intimate event will consist of concentrated workshops, the opportunity to hear from successful inventors, intimate roundtable discussions, mentoring sessions, and networking with others on a more individual level. Day 1 will focus on didactic lectures and other presentations that introduce the concepts and foundations of taking an idea through to production. Day 2 will feature small group activities with individualized feedback from experienced experts.

Showcase presentation from Duke Herrell of Virtuoso Surgical during AUA Innovation Nexus.

The September timeline is intentional to allow sufficient time for participants to continue to refine their ideas and prepare for the next Innovation Nexus Showcase in 2024.

We plan for this boot camp to appeal to a wide variety of attendees: residents, postdoctoral and clinical fellows, early-career urology researchers, early-stage innovators, Office of Innovation professionals, urology-focused small business/start-up professionals, independent practice and community urologists, urology department chairs, research scientists, and physician scientists—there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re at the beginning or well into your urology career, there’s ample opportunity to transition to the world of innovation!

We hope you’ll join us later this month for 2 full days of sharing expertise, learning, ideation, and networking. Visit for more information and to register.