March 2020


Q&A with Gil Kliman, MD, program director of the new Eyecelerator ASCRS/AAO business meeting

Gil Kliman, MD

A new business meeting formed jointly by ASCRS and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) will hold its inaugural meeting ahead of the 2020 ASCRS Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 14, 2020. Gil Kliman, MD, program director, spoke with EyeWorld about this new venture called Eyecelerator.

What has the reception for Eyecelerator been like so far?

Dr. Kliman: It’s been overwhelmingly positive from all of our constituents, from the large companies who immediately stepped up and sponsored at a high level all the way down to the smallest companies. We’ve gotten broad support throughout the entire spectrum of innovation.
We have also received accolades for our objective selection process for presentations, with a company selection committee that will review all of the content on merits of innovation. We have asked for submissions in order to get the very best companies of any economic means onto the program.

How are you going to balance the program for its diverse audience?

Dr. Kliman: This is a business meeting, not a traditional clinical meeting like the main society meetings, so our primary focus is on business clients—entrepreneurs, small companies, large companies, and investors. But one of the things we want to do is bring in more ophthalmologists to the meeting to learn about future innovations for their practices early so they might adopt them faster once approved to serve patients better. It is a business-focused meeting that is welcoming and educational to ophthalmologists.
As a former ophthalmologist who has made a transition into business, I think a meeting like this is a unique way to speed up both executives’ and ophthalmologists’ education in business innovation, allowing more effective integration of new technologies into their company or clinical practice and enhancing their abilities to play a role as innovation evangelists in both corporate and patient care settings.

Describe the role physicians have played in helping you build the agenda and meeting culture.

Dr. Kliman: The program development has been led by the co-chairs of our first meeting, Eric Donnenfeld, MD, Edward Holland, MD, Thomas Samuelson, MD, and Elizabeth Yeu, MD, who are all ASCRS leaders and practicing ophthalmologists. Their tremendous talents in both clinical practice and ophthalmic business innovation have allowed us to create a superbly powerful and differentiated innovation meeting agenda. It will be broken up into a mix of panel discussions, company presentations, breakout sessions, and novel interactive formats.
In addition to the program content, the co-chairs focused on creating opportunities for people to network, talk, learn, and brainstorm, and it’s a way for people from both business and clinical settings to connect. Our meeting culture is centered on diversity and everyone being on a level playing field, with everyone learning from each other through respectful and objective interactions.

What are the top three or four highlights from the day you have planned?

Dr. Kliman: One of the unique things that we’re doing is bringing in keynote speaker Gary Pisano, a Harvard Business School professor, who will be leading an interactive session on innovation for both large and small companies. We have also created an entirely new exhibitor concept called the Eyecelerator Marketplace, where even the smallest companies can have an interactive kiosk providing a digital presence and facilitating attendee interactions throughout the whole meeting. We have a special session on real-world data highlighting the achievements of the IRIS Registry (AAO). We have made a big effort to bring in fresh content with new companies both large and small and dynamic speakers that have never before presented at a conference like this one.

What does it mean to have the two largest societies in ophthalmology partner on this venture?

Dr. Kliman: It’s a powerful new partnership that hasn’t been seen before in any medical field, with two societies coming together to form a joint meeting in innovation. For me, as a venture capitalist, investing across all areas of medicine, I see it as unprecedented and unique, and I think it will speed innovation for the industry, and it will let investors like myself see a broader spectrum of companies. We’re trying to make entry for companies coming to the meeting as easy and cost-effective as possible so we can have many more companies. It’s going to be a smorgasbord of all types of technologies, and the diversity and collegial discourse should have a positive impact on innovation that only a society-partnered meeting can deliver.

Register now at



Eyecelerator program highlights

•Developing New Category Marketplaces
•Innovation Keynote Talk and Interactive Discussion with Professor Gary Pisano
•Real-World Data: IRIS + MIGS
•Wall Street View of Ophthalmology Markets

Q&A with Gil Kliman, MD, program director of the new Eyecelerator ASCRS/AAO business meeting Q&A with Gil Kliman, MD, program director of the new Eyecelerator ASCRS/AAO business meeting
Ophthalmology News - EyeWorld Magazine
283 110
283 110
True, 3