Innovation Night

San Diego’s premier arts and sciences networking event

Innovation Night 2023 at La Jolla Playhouse  - Presented by PNC Bank


5:30 – 8:30 pm

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La Jolla Playhouse’s Innovation Night is San Diego’s premier networking event for the arts and sciences industries. An elegant cocktail reception for 500+ C-level executives, innovators, and guests with delicious cuisine and an open bar. Plus, an Innovation Night gallery featuring interactive exhibits from leading San Diego companies and delightful Without Walls-inspired theatre to enjoy.


As a leader in innovation onstage, La Jolla Playhouse couldn’t be a better place to host this extraordinary event each year, bringing together San Diego’s flourishing community of science and technology innovators for an evening of creative exchange. Over the past fifteen years, Innovation Night has raised well over $2 million to help enhance the Playhouse’s own “R&D” efforts — including our new work development programs; Without Walls (WOW) series of immersive, interactive, and site-inspired theatre; as well as ongoing artist commissions and residencies — all while facilitating partnerships among artists and leaders in San Diego’s life sciences, biotech, high-tech, clean-tech and defense and telecommunication industries.

Irwin Jacobs headshot

Honoring Irwin Jacobs, Sc.D.

Founding Chairman and CEO Emeritus, Qualcomm

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Dr. Jacobs received his B.S. in electrical engineering from Cornell University in 1956 and his S.M. and Sc.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from MIT in 1957 and 1959. He was a faculty member in Electrical Engineering at MIT from 1959 to 1966, and a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego from 1966 to 1972. While at MIT, he coauthored Principles of Communication Engineering, the first textbook on digital communications and information theory.

In 1968, Jacobs co-founded Linkabit Corporation, progressing from consulting services to become a major supplier of digital communication equipment for government and industry. It was selected by ARPA (now DARPA) to develop SATNET to extend the ARPANET to Europe. In 1977, SATNET was one of three networks used in the first live demonstration of the Internet protocol. Industry-first products developed and manufactured by Linkabit included the dual-modem satellite terminal for the Air Force, based on what was later named reduced instruction set processing (RISC), the VideoCipher encrypted satellite-to-home TV system initially for HBO and later industry-wide, and the very-small-aperture satellite terminal (VSAT) business communication system initially for Schlumberger but then commercialized and adopted by Walmart, 7-Eleven, and many gasoline stations for credit card transactions. He sold Linkabit to M/A-Com in 1980, remaining as board member and executive vice-president until April 1985.

With six others from Linkabit, he co-founded Qualcomm July 1, 1985, serving as Chairman and CEO until retiring as CEO in 2005 and Chairman in 2008. Under his leadership, Qualcomm pioneered CDMA technology for the cellular industry, first commercially deployed in Hong Kong in 1995 and in South Korea and the United States in 1996. These second generation (2G) networks initially utilized handsets manufactured in San Diego by Qualcomm. Because CDMA supports efficient voice and mobile wideband internet access, it became the underlying technology for all third-generation (3G) cellular networks, serving billions of subscribers. Qualcomm led the industry in the transition to fourth generation (4G) LTE and now is leading the transition to fifth generation (5G). It licenses its technology worldwide and is among the largest suppliers to global manufacturers of integrated circuits for mobile devices.

Jacobs is a member and past chairman of the National Academy of Engineering, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and a Fellow of the IEEE, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Computer History Museum. From 2006 to 2016, he was Board Chair of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and for 10 years served on the Advisory Board of the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Jacobs has received many awards and honors, including the National Medal of Technology (1994), the James Clerk Maxwell Award, the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal Award, the Dorothy I. Height Chair’s Award, of the Leadership Council on Civil Rights, the Franklin Institute Bower Award for Business Leadership, the Marconi Prize, the IEEE Medal of Honor, the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy with his wife Joan, and the IMEC Lifetime of Innovation Award. He is the recipient of 11 honorary doctorates and delivered the 2005 commencement address at MIT.

Dr. Jacobs and his wife Joan are active philanthropists and founding signers of the Giving Pledge. They have been major supporters of La Jolla Playhouse – where Joan has been involved in Board leadership for nearly four decades – as well as the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, the UCSD Jacobs Medical Center, the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute, the San Diego Symphony, the San Diego Central Library, the Jacobs-Cushman Food Bank, Second Chance in San Diego, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the High Tech High Charter School System, and the Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education at the University of San Diego. They annually support fellowships and scholarships for students at UCSD, Cornell, MIT, the Technion, and three New Bedford High Schools. In June 2022 they were honored by the Young Concert Artists at Carnegie Hall.

2023 Innovation Night Co-Chairs:
Denise Bevers and Tim Scott

Denise Bevers

Denise Bevers
President and CEO, VETmAb Biosciences

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As a biotech executive and advisor, Denise has led companies to explosive business growth and raised approximately $500 million in capital both privately and publicly, in addition to bringing life-saving veterinary and human therapeutics to market. Denise is President and CEO of VETmAb Biosciences, a veterinary biopharmaceutical company developing monoclonal antibody (or “mAb”) therapeutics for dogs and cats. Prior to founding VETmAb Bio, Denise served as the COO of DTx Pharma, a biotechnology company creating novel RNA-based therapeutics to treat the genetic drivers of disease. To date, Denise is most proud of her tenure as President and COO of Kindred Biosciences, a veterinary biopharmaceutical company she co-founded in 2012, took public in 2013, and sold to Elanco in 2021. Prior to KindredBio, Denise served as President and Founding Partner of SD Scientific, a full-service medical affairs and communications company, and has held management positions at Elan Pharmaceuticals, SkyePharma, Quintiles, and Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation. Denise is a passionate trustee, executive committee member, and Secretary of La Jolla Playhouse. She also serves on the board of several nonprofits and biotech companies, from CONNECT, which helps innovators and entrepreneurs in Southern California by providing access to investors, mentors, and education, to Hilltop Bio, a Boston-based biotech developing regenerative therapies for animals. Denise earned her B.S. from University of California, San Diego in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution and holds an M.B.A. from Keller Graduate School of Management.Denise and her husband, Lon, love spending time with their dogs, as well as enjoying live music and travel. They are passionate supporters of theater, both locally and as Broadway investors.
Tim Scott

Tim Scott
President and CEO, AustinPx

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Mr. Scott is President and CEO of AustinPx, a technology company enhancing the pharmacokinetics of critical medicines.  He is the co-founder and Executive Board Chair of TEGA Therapeutics, a glycobiology company focused on lysosomal storage disorders and recombinant heparan sulfates. He previously was co-founder and President of Pharmatek Laboratories, a contract development and manufacturing company (sold to Catalent Pharma Solutions in 2016). Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President at (IPO 2011).  Mr. Scott serves on the Board of Avelas, a bioscience company working to create better outcomes for cancer patients with its activatable cell-penetrating peptide technology. He also serves on the board of DTx, a biotechnology company using fatty acid motifs to deliver RNA therapeutics.  He previously served on the board of Zacharon Pharmaceuticals (sold to Biomarin 2014). Mr. Scott has founded or supported multiple spinouts from UC San Diego including Zacharon, TEGA, LipoNexus, Knoubis Bio, Nerio and Augment.  Mr. Scott is immediate past Executive Board Chair of CONNECT, a non-profit organization helping to create and scale innovation companies in San Diego. He serves as Chair of BIOCOM, a non-profit organization supporting the needs of bio/pharma companies in California. Mr. Scott serves on the Medical Research Advisory Committee for the Conrad Prebys Foundation, providing grants to innovative research in the health sciences. At UC San Diego, he serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Division of Biological Sciences. In the community, Mr. Scott is a trustee for the La Jolla Playhouse, a Tony-award winning regional theatre.  And he serves on the board of Outside the Lens, a non-profit providing photography and digital media programs for underserved youth. Mr. Scott earned his B.A. in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego. He earned his J.D. from the University of San Diego and is a member of the California Bar.


Tickets are $250.

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La Jolla Playhouse is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The benefits associated with your contribution are valued at $100. Federal Tax ID: 95‐1941117.

Sponsorship Opportunities



2022 Mary Walshok, Ph.D., Connect
2021 David Hale, Hale BioPharma Ventures, LLC
2020 San Diego companies and organizations fighting COVID-19
2019 Dr. Peter C. Farrell, ResMed
2018 Greg Lucier, Nuvasive, Inc.
2017 Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, Qualcomm, Inc.
2016 Jay Flatley, Illumina, Inc.
2015 Dr. J Craig Venter, The J. Craig Venter Institute
2014 Alan Gold, BioMed Realty Trust, Inc.
2013 Duane Roth (1949-2013), Connect
2012 Dr. Ivor Royston, Forward Ventures


Presenting Sponsor

PNC Bank

Founding Sponsor


Lead Sponsors

BioMed Realty UC San Diego

Host Sponsors

The Lodge at Torrey Pines Maravai LifeSciences Foundation Qualcomm Show Imaging

Co-Host Sponsors

AustinPX Bank of America Biocom Carson Royston group
Marsh & McLennan Agency NuVasive Scripps Research San Diego State University
Stockdale Capital Partners UC San Diego Health VETmAb Biosciences Wilson Sonsini

Media Sponsors

KPBS San Diego Business Journal

In-Kind Sponsors

Bright Event Rentals Cali Cream Culinary Concepts DAOU Vineyards
Hire Elegance Improv Booze-Free Cocktails James' Place Neyenesch Printers
Preferred Valet Parking Snake Oil Cocktail Co. Topo Chico Viewpoint Brewing

List as of September 18, 2023


Host Committee

Travis Alegria – Branch Sales Manager, Sharp Business USA
Denise Bevers – President & CEO, VETmAb
Dan Bradbury – Managing Member, BioBrit LLC
Carin Canale-Theakston – CEO & Founder, Evoke Canale
Ann Chaplin – General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Qualcomm Incorporated
Stephan Coleman – Market Managing Director, Institutional Asset Management, PNC Bank
Melanie Cruz – Associate Vice Chancellor, UC San Diego Health
Matt D’Alessandro – SVP, Corporate Banking, PNC Bank
Ed Dennis – Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, and the Graduate Division Chancellor I Endowed Chair School of Medicine, UC San Diego
Leo Divinsky – Managing Director, Stockdale Capital Partners, LLC
Michael Farrington – SVP, People and Culture, NuVasive
Jenni & Jeff Friedman – Managing Partner, Friedman Bioventure
Wendy Gillespie – Starhawk Productions
Jennifer Giottonini Cayer – Chief Business Officer, Pulmocide
Gerardo Godinez – Partner, Moss Adams
Luke Gulley – Account Executive, Show Imaging
Bill Gurtin – Gurtin Ventures
Clark Guy – Managing Director, PWM Market Executive, Bank of America
David Hale – Chairman & CEO, Hale BioPharmaVentures
Deb Hart – Head of Investor Relations, Maravai LifeSciences
Greg Horowitt – Director, Innovation Design, UC San Diego
Amy and Adam Jacobs and The Jacobs Scheriff Group
Pradeep K. Khosla – Chancellor, UC San Diego
Bryan Knox – General Manager, Catalent Pharma Solutions
Mike Krenn – CEO, Connect
Christopher Lee – Associate Vice Chancellor, Leadership Strategy and Engagement, UC San Diego
Hugh Leslie – Principal, Life Science Practice Leader, Marsh McLennan
James Mackay Ph.D. – President & CEO, Aristea Therapeutics
Hala Madanat – VP, Research & Innovation, SDSU
Dr. Magda Marquet – Co-Founder & Co-CEO, ALMA Life Sciences
Sabrina Martucci Johnson – President & CEO, Daré Bioscience Operations
Chris Montgomery – SVP, Business Development, Cooley
Juli Moran – Managing Director, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Grant Oliphant – CEO, The Conrad Prebys Foundation
Inanç Ortaç, Ph.D. – CSO & Co-Founder, DevaCell Inc.
Joe Panetta – President & CEO, Biocom California
Rob Price – Partner, Loftis Capital
Ivor Royston – Managing Partner, Carson Royston Group
Tim Schoen – CEO, BioMed Realty
Tim Scott – President & CEO, AustinPx
Trent Selbrede – General Manager, Marriott International
Scott Stanton – Member, Mintz
Andy Thomas – SVP, Business Development, Evans Hotels
Kelly Thomson – Regional Managing Director, California Region, Ascent Private Capital Management
Mary Walshok – Co-Founder Connect & UC San Diego Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Programs (Retired)
Martin Waters – Partner, Wilson Sonsini
Nicola Wilkins-Miller – Director of Philanthropy, Scripps Research
Kevin J. Wilson – Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer, Procopio

For more information, please contact James Skeet, Corporate Relations Manager
Email: [email protected] | Phone: (858) 228-3078
Mail: La Jolla Playhouse, PO Box 12039, La Jolla, CA 92039

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