Investing in Startup Companies with Neil Littman
Neil Littman is the CEO and Founder of Bioverge Inc. Bioverge is an investment platform that funds visionary entrepreneurs with the aim of transforming healthcare and bringing science fiction to life.
In this episode of MedStreet Journal, Neil Littman shares what he’s working on in Bioverge, his experiences in the healthcare industry and how it led him towards creating a company with an entrepreneurial management team skilled in venture creation as well as science.
“The convergence of health and technology - that is certainly a way that we’re seeing in the industry.” [17:30]
Who is Neil Littman? [00:51]
Neil Littman is an undergraduate of molecular biology and has several experiences in the healthcare industry such as a work stint in a virology lab and has a masters in biotech from John Hopkins. Later he invested and joined to fund a program in its early stage in UCLA for kids that are affected by Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID). He then met a kid from the organization who was completely treated by the startup biotech company he funded. This is when he realized that he has to help more of these startup companies to help them share their values and mission to those in need.
How do Bioverge find and choose the right companies [5:05]
Neil and his co-founder said the Bioverge started with strong personal networks. With his vast experience in the healthcare industry, he had the opportunity to know people and their startup companies at the same time. Beyond that, they had a robust proprietary sourcing which helped them get warm referrals throughout the world.
Are there any particular companies that stand out as startups? [7:24]
For Neil, there are a lot of companies that really stick out. Bioverge has been investing in promising startup companies that really are bringing value to the table. And with modern technology, age of biology - as Neil put it, we can now tinker the pieces of fundamental building blocks of biology. Some of these exciting technologies are gene therapy, digital therapeutics & artificial intelligence and machine learning that are applied in drug discovery.
What does Neil do as a CEO of Bioverge? [12:22]
As a CEO, Neil said that you have to be a jack of all trades. He mostly spends his time sourcing a lot of opportunities and this requires being on the phone with entrepreneurs. Neil said that a part of his job is to communicate with the other CEOs and companies that are creating impactful, innovative technologies. Apart from this, he also talks a lot with investors and discusses their business model.
Observed trends in healthcare industry [17:12]
For Neil, it is digital care and digital therapeutics as this market is still young and definitely has a lot to offer to people. Another thing that envelops the trend is the convergence of health and technology and more innovation around proper gene therapy.
Advice for healthcare startups that are looking for funding [24:30]
Bioverge Inc is an early-stage seed investor. For Neil, if you are a startup company that is looking for capital, Bioverge’s key factor for qualification is a locked up IP license. Before they make investment, they ensure that you have the right team members on board and proof of concept data supporting the scientific hypothesis.
Neil answers the rapid-fire round of questions. [27:30]