Bryan Roberts is a partner at Venrock and one of the most highly respected investors in the healthcare space. He has ranked on Forbes’ Midas List for over a decade, and Fortune has referred to him as “health care venture capital’s billion-dollar man,” after leading the funding rounds for several companies that are worth billions of dollars each.
When asked about the secret to his success as an investor, Bryan commented on his willingness to invest broadly throughout the healthcare industry.
“I think that it’s probably my willingness to invest broadly across wide sub-segments of health care, and that I actively try not to follow any model set,” he told Fortune. “I kind of believe that ‘here’s the new model of how we’re going to make money’ is one step short of the apocalypse. Long before the work “pivot” became a generic cliché, a company like Athenahealth began as a straight service business before becoming an IT business. Ikaria we started as a traditional Series A, bought a vascular operating business and brought in a private equity group. Sirna was the first PIPE financing Venrock had done in a decade. Castlight we incubated in our offices. I operate with a very healthy dose of paranoia – always trying to do new things, because the old things have been done.”
He also told Forbes that at least 95 percent of his investment companies are led by first-time CEOs.
“The world generally overestimates repeat CEOs and repeat entrepreneurs and underestimates first-time CEOs and first-time entrepreneurs,” he said “[…] It is unclear to me that prior experience is actually a positive or a negative for looking at any specific thing today.”
The acclaimed investor is currently involved with numerous public and private companies, such as 10X Genomics, Castlight Health, CloudFlare, Grand Rounds, Intarcia, and Lyra Health.
In 2019, he was honoured with the Excellence in Healthcare Innovation Award by the National Venture Capital Association.
Right before embarking on his prominent career as an investor, he received his PhD in chemistry and chemical biology from Harvard University. Bryan earned his bachelor’s at Dartmouth College.Tags: biotechnology, HealthTech, STEM, VC