There is no grand plan for a whole year of Companies to Watch (CtW). Each month, a single candidate makes the cut for a single column. Nevertheless, patterns emerge among the CtWs as the year progresses and come into focus as it ends. Perhaps I make them half consciously. Every year so far, I have made a wide selection of possible CtW candidates according to the simple criteria — small company, developing new therapies, little press coverage, interesting and instructive story. A CtW might come from the larger group of my meetings and interviews or out of the constantly churning pool of startups and upstarts in this wondrous industry. As I write this, I have just scheduled more than a dozen meetings during the week of the 2017 J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference, selected from more than 300 PR pitches, and am preparing for a trip in February and more interviews at the BIO CEO and Investor event. Many of those conversations will form the basis of CtWs, but many will also contribute to other series, features, columns, or blogs produced during the year.