I'm the first of three boys born to Pastors Mike and Christy Okpamen. My parents immigrated here from Nigeria in the late '60s and had me and my brothers in Texas in the '80s and '90s, respectively. Growing up a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan, I learned the skills of resilience and faith. As a former high school Varsity running back, I also had the vision that my skills wouldn't take me to play in the NFL for the Cowboys one day, so I pivoted away from my scholarship offers and pursued a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree when I crossed the stage in 12th grade. Staying in Texas, I did my undergrad at The University of Houston and earned my PharmD across the street at Texas Southern University College of Pharmacy (a Historically Black College & University - HBCU).
After doing back-to-back internships at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), I knew I wanted to take the non-traditional path for pharmacists and work in the pharmaceutical industry. I moved to Indianapolis and did a post-doctoral fellowship in Corporate Affairs and Global Public Policy at Eli Lilly. The Visiting Scientist Fellowship prepared me for my first associate role in Oncology Payer Market Access Strategy and first promotion a few years later leading the consumer go-to-market strategy for BAQSIMI® (glucagon) nasal powder. In my most recent role as Lilly's Startups Strategy Leader, I solidified my desiee to build my own startup and also to invest in the startup ideas of others. The University of Michigan entrepreneurship ecosystem was a perfect match for me and my vision for impacting the world.