These days it seems that nearly every major healthcare entity, whether public or private, for-profit or not-for-profit, considers venture investing a core activity to advance their innovation agenda. Some are in it to learn, some to profit, others are in it because everyone else is doing it and thus FOMO is activated writ large. Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) is the new Black.
A lot of the work I do these days is helping such CVC organizations figure out how to start or unstick corporate venture programs that are often started without clarity of goals and measures. There’s a lot of “invest first, ask questions later” and sometimes the old Plan, Do, Check, Act approach of continuous quality improvement is forgotten, giving way to Act, Act, Act, Regret, Sigh. But on the other hand, there is also a lot of really good work going on, vastly improved over many of the corporate venture efforts of a decade ago.
In April at the Health Evolution Summit (HES), a large group of healthcare venture folks convened to talk about how it’s all going. Representatives of payers, providers, tech companies, pharma and medtech all sat in a room together talking about the thrills of venture victory and the agonies of down round defeat, as well as the complexities of figuring out how to know when they were actually doing well. It’s an interesting challenge, this last one – when financial returns aren’t the only metric and when core operations can be your best friend or worst enemy in advancing the innovation agenda, how do you keep the momentum going and know when you have reached the promised land?
The HES Corporate Venture Action Group (CVAG), generously sponsored by Cambia‘s and HCA‘s venture groups, is now focusing its efforts on this and other challenges, plus providing a place for birds of a venture feather to talk together about best practices and pitfalls, among other things. I was fortunate enough to moderate both of the annual meetings held so far and was asked to write a summary report. We also conducted a survey this year to sweep in the views of those who could not attend.
The report linked below is the product that tells the story of the survey and meeting and gives a huge array of facts, figures and findings from the CVAG discussion. Who’s doing what? Why? With how much money? To what end? Those are some of the questions answered in the report. I hope you will enjoy it and, if you’re one of the healthcare-focused corporate venture people who wasn’t at the meeting, feel free to send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org; we are working on plans to expand the group meeting next year.
Download the full CVC report and related items here or by clicking on the picture below: http://www.healthevolutionsummit.com/2016cvc