Stacy Feld had settled into a satisfying career in biotech business development when she accidentally found her way into a meeting with Genentech’s CEO and a tiny startup company called 23andMe. The moment sparked a sudden realization that the best life science innovation would be focused around the consumer and a career finding ways to make that prediction real.
Raised on a New Hampshire ranch in a town of 1000 where her parents owned the local video store, Stacy’s original career plan was “to get out of New Hampshire.”
After attending college at Penn, Stacy was pointed towards law school, she attended Vanderbilt to study criminal justice, potentially the legacy of the robbery that sent her parents to New Hampshire from New York in the first place.
After a fortuitously-timed internship opportunity at Wilson Sonsini, a leading Silicon Valley firm during the go go days of the 1990’s tech boom, Stacy became a full time lawyer advising startups that included tech and biotech companies, many of which are now household names. Biotech, in particular, intrigued her, as she was drawn to the way partnerships created value and found herself attracted more to biotech patent licensing than general software licensing.
Stacy eventually left the law firm and went to a startup – a gene expression company in Madison, WI called 3rd Wave Technology, that was ultimately sold to Hologic. Afterwards she joined Genentech and led business development around small immunology and autoimmune biomarker companies with a focus on filling the Genentech pipeline. Stacy’s Genentech role led her to a fateful breakfast with Linda Avey (co-founder of 23andMe) and subsequently the meeting that drew her attention to consumer-driven healthcare. It was a pivotal moment that ultimately led her to Physic Ventures, which had consumer products company Unilever as a major backer, and a career refocused on the consumer as healthcare purchaser.
Stacy ultimately joined Johnson & Johnson to lead consumer-focused investing and she now leads J&J Innovation activities in the Western US, Australia and New Zealand. Her passion for supporting the small entrepreneur continues to reflect her own 8-year experience running a catering company off the side of her desk while at Genentech, a conduit for her passion for cooking.
We are grateful to Manatt Health for sponsoring today’s episode of Tech Tonics. Manatt Health integrates strategic business consulting, public policy acumen, legal excellence and deep analytics capabilities to better serve the complex needs of clients across America’s healthcare system. Together with it’s parent company, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, the firm’s multidisciplinary team is dedicated to helping its clients across all industries grow and prosper.