Born and bred in Mill Valley, Marin County, California, home of the Tech Tonics recording studio, Sam Brasch saw himself as a modern-day Alex P. Keaton – he just wanted to be a business man. He was “that kid” who was reading the Lee Iacocca biography in 4th grade while the other kids played soccer and kickball. Sam got his wish and is today Senior Managing Director of Kaiser Ventures, the corporate venture fund that helps drive innovation for Kaiser Permanente.
In today’s show, Alex, er Sam talks about how the Bay Area changed over his life time and what motivated him to shun his alternative plan to be a Supreme Court Justice or a Senator.
In fact, Sam almost diverted to medical school after his own medical crisis: a serious head injury. Instead of taking that path, he joined a consulting firm and focused on healthcare. As he thought about dream jobs, he considered how to meld his business ambitions with the field of health, first considering leadership at a healthcare system. Sam heard the siren song of the eHealth movement and joined a startup called Medicopia (later named Vitals), his first exposure to entrepreneurship and to the pleasing notion that there didn’t have to be rules about how to solve a problem.
Sam took a tour through Medtronic, then the Wharton Business School, seeking his destiny. That destiny arrived on his door in the form of Frazier Ventures, a health care venture firm that “seemed sexy.” Venture clearly still has it, at least in Sam’s eyes, as he has been a venture investor ever since 2005, working in both independent venture funds and corporate funds, including the Kaiser Ventures fund that he now leads.
Sam still lives in Marin County, CA.
We are grateful to Manatt Health for sponsoring today’s show—Manatt Health is a multi-disciplinary professional services firm that integrates a full service law firm with a broad-based strategic business and policy consulting practice to help our clients grow and prosper. Manatt Health supports the full range of stakeholders in transforming America’s healthcare system.
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