Tag Archives: Biotech startups

The Creation Of Biotech Startups: Evolution Not Revolution
August 15, 2019

The startup paradigm for the creation and funding of new biotech companies has evolved enormously over the past two decades. Recently there’s been a pair of articles from Tech VCs about applying alternative models of company creation (here, here) to

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An Encyclopedia Of Advice For Startup Boards
May 6, 2019

Startups management teams often have a love-hate relationship with their Board of Directors: while Boards can be hugely helpful and constructive in the best of times, they can be dysfunctional and damaging in the worst. And most CEOs enjoy complaining

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VC-Backed Biotech Ecosystem: A Market In Healthy Equilibrium
March 10, 2017

Despite the volatility of biotech stocks in the public markets, the VC-backed private biotech ecosystem has been in remarkable equilibrium for much of the last decade. e·qui·lib·ri·um. noun.  a state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced. As I’ve noted

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Biotech New Venture Formation: Reflecting On A Decade’s Changing Dynamics
December 18, 2015

This year I celebrated my 10-year work anniversary with Atlas.  Hard to believe how fast a decade flies by, and this milestone triggered some reflections on how times have changed in biotech and the early stage venture business. As we

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Data Snapshot: Venture-Backed Biotech Financing Riding High
April 21, 2015

Biotech venture funding metrics continue at historic highs, highlighting that the robust financing environment in the public markets continues to fuel the private markets as well. Last week the quarterly Thomson Reuters data on venture capital funding came out via

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Should I Stay Or Should I Go? Big Pharma Execs Taking The Biotech Plunge
October 6, 2014

That’s the dilemma facing drug hunters as leadership roles in biotech become more and more attractive.  You may have noticed that more and more seasoned pharma executives are making the move from big pharma or big biotech to lead small

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Early Stage Biotech Venture Scarcity: Fitness, Fear, And Greed
September 22, 2014

The ever-shrinking number of biotech venture capital firms was a common refrain during the 2008-2012 period; it’s true that a large number of firms went under, closed their doors for new investments, or moved into zombie status.  I wrote on

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Growing Beyond The Startup Phase: Lessons learned
July 1, 2014

So your biotech startup’s graduated to a Series A financing and your investors believe there’s nothing but champagne and robust clinical data in your future. Some classic analogies are applicable here; you’ve found a way off the island, you’ve defeated

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Operating Inside The Atlas Seed Portfolio
June 27, 2014

In early 2013, I enlisted as an entrepreneur-in-residence (EIR) with the Atlas Venture life science investment team as the firm focused on a seed-led investing strategy as a core tenant of Fund IX (here).  I viewed it as a great

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Goldilocks & The Pace Of Biotech Startup Creation
June 11, 2014

How many new biotechs should the industry be starting per year?  It’s a perennially asked question, and obviously not one with an easy and straightforward answer. On the one hand, if you believe only transformational new ideas should get funding,

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Talent Acquisition: Pharma Is The Lifeblood Of Biotech
May 19, 2014

Startup Biotechs need bigger drug companies for lots of things, including R&D collaborations, investments, non-dilutive funding, and eventual liquidity via M&A. The health of today’s ecosystem depends on biotech and pharma working together. But one of the most important and

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Startup Tech Incubator Announces Biotech Experiments
April 28, 2014

Last week Y Combinator, the well-known and very successful technology startup incubator, announced that it was going to begin experimenting with biotech startups.  This announcement came as a surprise to many.  Several good posts on the subject appeared after a

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Pushing Forward With Collaborative R&D Models In Biotech: Roche-Spero And Biogen-Ataxion
April 9, 2014

With today’s announcement of Roche’s deal with Spero Therapeutics LLC (here), and last month’s news regarding Biogen’s deal with Ataxion (here), we’ve added further momentum to our strategy of working closely with larger BioPharma partners to create innovative “external R&D”

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Running A Biotech Startup Prussian Style
April 8, 2014

Doing more with less, hanging on to fight the next fight, putting out fires on multiple fronts are all de rigueur here at the Atlas Venture NewCo factory (aptly coined by brother-in-arms, @michael_gilman).  Our seed model (here, here) focuses on

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Unlocking The Promise Of Biotech Startups: Learnings From Mars, Goliath, and Evolution
March 5, 2014

As an early stage biotech investor, the future of the industry and its structure are clearly important things to think about – especially since most of the drug programs our new startups are working on won’t get launched, if they

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Foundings Matter: Thiel’s Law Applied To Biotech
June 11, 2013

Thiel’s law: A startup messed up at its foundation cannot be fixed. Much like an organism, the “DNA” of a startup gets encoded at the outset – which genes or attributes will really matter going forward, and the possible deleterious (or

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Lessons Learned: Reflections On Early Stage Biotech Venture Investing
February 8, 2013

Venture capital is often called an apprenticeship business in large part because experience matters and takes time to accumulate.  But successful firms are able to translate and transfer experiential wisdom through institutional memory, which involves codifying what works and what

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