- Where Does Medtech Fit into the Venture Asset Class?
- How Does the VC Model Fit into Today’s Health Care Industry?
- Where are VCs Looking to Invest?
- What Strategic Investors Want to add into Their Portfolios
Adam Fine, General Partner & CEO – Windham Venture Partners
Kirk Nielsen, Managing Director – Versant Ventures
Christopher Shen, MD, Managing Director – Vertex Ventures
Renee Ryan, Vice President, Venture Investments – JJDC
Alexander Schmitz, Investment Director – Endeavour Vision
Dennis Wahr, MD, President & CEO – Holaira
4:40 – (To Chris Shen) Many companies worry about strings being attached to money raised from Asia-based investors. Is this a legitimate concern?
5:00 – Christopher Shen, MD, Managing Director of Vertex Ventures delivers and overview of Asia-based investors looking in the US.
6:25 – “That’s always a concern an issue. It all comes down to the partners you are with. The important thing is to work with partners who know the environment well.”
7:30 – Vertex set up an accelerator for US and European companies to set up in Asia.
8:30 – (To Alexander Schmitz, Investment Director – Endeavour Vision) As a VC, how do you view strategic investors coming into start-ups.
9:00 – Schmitz say he likes when strategics show interest. “Where we have to be careful … is how to structure it in a way that doesn’t compromise a potential exit.”
11:12 – Renee Ryan, Vice President, Venture Investments , JJDC – says corporate investors need syndicate partners to ensure they don’t own too large a stake in the company.
11:30 – Kirk Nielsen, Managing Director Versant Ventures, says venture investors used to want to keep corporates away as long as possible but that has drastically changed. VCs are more and more concerned about time to exit and strategics are accepting they have limited innovation.
14:00 – Question to panelists – What percent of your portfolio companies have strategics as investors?
16:00 – (To Ryan) Do you think there is a difference between how strategics and VCs pick investments?
16:50 – Ryan says looking more at early stage investments. JJDC did a Series A but company already had human data. JJDC still looks more at companies that have strategic fit.
17:50 – Adam Fine, General Partner & CEO of Windham Venture Partners observes that strategic priorities might change if strategies or personnel change. “You really need to make sure strategics are going to be there for the long haul.”
20:25 – Kirk Nielsen, Managing Director of Versant Ventures says opportunities seem more plentiful in the later-stages as companies that were founded 10 years ago look for capital. Said biotech was in the same situation three years ago. Things could change in Medtech.
25:52 – (To Fine) From your perspective, how would you summarize advantages and disadvantages of having strategic investors in portfolio companies.
26:20 – Fine expands on the many pros and cons of having a strategic investor including shifting priorities, special term or inflated valuations.
31:00 – (To Nielsen) What’s your opinion on structured deals with strategics?
32:00 – Nielsen says structured vs. non-structured (with option to acquire) is like comparing steak and salmon. Such deals can be positive if structured correctly.
34:25 – Nielsen: “I don’t think one is better than the other…. If I were an entrepreneur I would put everything on the table.”
36:00 – Question from Audience: Can Medtech see a rebound similar to biotech?
36:35 – Nielsen: “I do think the fundamentals here are very similar to where biotech and pharma is. Big markets. Big unmet needs. Strategics whose innovation engines are largely broken. They have a lot of cash. P&L pressures…and you have a regulatory environment that was terrible five years ago but is better now.”
39:00 – Nielsen says he would rather be an entrepreneur starting a company today than in 2007. First round will be real validation.
40:00 – How would you describe a characteristic of an investor syndicate that is predictive of success?