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Running Through Walls

Running Through Walls is a Venrock podcast featuring candid conversations between investors and entrepreneurs. Each episode, we offer a behind-the-scenes look at the breakthroughs, challenges and nuttiness associated with building and growing companies. Venture capital firm Venrock has been investing in entrepreneurs across technology and healthcare since 1969.
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Running Through Walls
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Now displaying: Page 1
Jun 12, 2024

Heather Turner, CEO at Carmot Therapeutics, speaks with Venrock partner Nimish Shah to discuss her time as CEO. Turner shares how she guided the company through its acquisition by Roche, advice for other CEOs on the verge of an acquisition, her perspective on the GLP-1 market and what excites her about the future of biotech. 

May 22, 2024

Mark McKenna, chairman and CEO at Mirador Therapeutics, speaks with Venrock partner Nimish Shah to discuss his most recent role at Prometheus Biosciences and the beginning of his new company, Mirador. McKenna shares a behind-the-scenes look into leading Prometheus during its acquisition by Merck, why he started Mirador Therapeutics, advice for other CEOs, what he values in a team and more.

May 9, 2024

We have a special episode today because Venrock’s 8th annual Healthcare Prognosis results are in! From drugs (e.g., GLP-1s, pricing negotiations) to fundraising and optimism around the equity market to cybersecurity and AI regulations - this year’s survey covers it all. In this episode, partners Bryan Roberts and Bob Kocher sit down to share their perspectives on the most interesting findings.

Apr 17, 2024

Sami Inkinen, founder and CEO of Virta Health, speaks with Venrock partner Bob Kocher to discuss how Virta has evolved since he was on the podcast seven years ago. Inkinen shares how he views the GLP-1 craze, insights on his go-to-market strategy, advice for founders entering the healthcare market, and how Virta uses AI and technology. 

Apr 3, 2024

Latané Conant, Chief Revenue Officer at 6sense, speaks with Venrock partner Brian Ascher to discuss how her previous marketing role prepared her for her promotion to Chief Revenue Officer. Conant shares her approach to keeping product market fit, her opinion on Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), how AI could impact sales and marketing and more.

Jan 24, 2024

Isan Chen, CEO of MBrace Therapeutics, speaks with Venrock partner Racquel Bracken to discuss his career trajectory leading up to his founding of MBrace. Chen shares the impetus behind his decision to become an oncologist, why he switched from academic medicine to the industry side, lessons learned from years in drug development and more.

Dec 6, 2023

Patrick Conway, CEO of Optum Rx, sits down with Venrock partners Bryan Roberts and Bob Kocher to discuss his first few months on the job. Conway also shares his views on the best early metric indicators of success, the effectiveness of Medicare Advantage Star Ratings, the role of technology in value-based care and more.

Nov 1, 2023

Ed Park, co-founder and CEO of Devoted Health, sits down with Venrock partners Bryan Roberts and Bob Kocher to discuss the founding of Devoted. Park talks about his priorities for the next five years, the value he sees in AI and LLMs, Medicare Advantage industry changes, his favorite interview question for job candidates and more. 

Oct 18, 2023

Ying Huang, CEO of Legend Biotech, speaks with Venrock partner Nimish Shah about his career path to Legend Biotech and the lessons he learned from transitioning from Wall Street to an operating role. Huang also discusses what he prioritized when he first started the role, the most rewarding parts of his job and what characteristics he looks for when hiring people for his team. 

Sep 5, 2023

Brad Stulberg, best-selling author of The Practice of Groundedness and co-author of Peak Performance, speaks with Venrock partner Bob Kocher about Stulberg’s new book, Master of Change: How to Excel When Everything is Changing—Including You. Stulberg and Kocher discuss ways to rethink change, the concept of rugged flexibility and paths for embracing and growing from life’s constant instability.

 

Jun 14, 2023

Senthil Sundaram, CEO of Terns Pharmaceuticals, speaks with Venrock’s Nimish Shah about the lessons learned balancing personal health events while being CEO of a young company. Sundaram also discusses the "Working Genius" model, an approach focused on leveraging the types of work that bring an employee energy, and his attitude towards team-based leadership and how it propels growth in the workplace.

 

May 24, 2023

Dr. Sheila Gujrathi, a biotech industry veteran with a strong track record as an entrepreneur, physician executive, translational scientist, board member, and drug developer, speaks with Venrock’s Nimish Shah about the lessons learned in her career at biotech companies both big (Genentech) and small (Gossamer Bio, Receptos, Inc.). Dr. Gujrathi also discusses the importance of building a team of people with shared values, the most challenging parts of being a CEO, and how she’s helping to push diversity in biotech forward.  

 

Mar 22, 2023

Sam Kintz, co-founder, and CEO of Enliven Therapeutics, speaks with Venrock partner Nimish Shah about the journey that led him to found Enliven. Kintz delves into lessons learned during his time at Roche Venture Fund, and how his time at Stemcentrx and Abbvie revealed what truly matters most to him – being a part of an entire drug development story. Kintz discusses his decision to pursue a reverse merger (and how he persuaded everyone involved to follow this path), what defines a great leader, and shares the best advice he received from one of his mentors.

Mar 1, 2023
 
Jan 17, 2023

Venrock’s Nick Beim speaks with Steve Lockshin, founder of Vanilla, about lessons learned as a serial entrepreneur in wealth management services. Lockshin shares what drives him as an entrepreneur, the need for more digestible information in estate planning, and his most valuable lessons learned on the path to building Vanilla. Lockshin also discusses the importance of humility and how it helped guide his decisions as a business leader.

Dec 14, 2022

Venrock partner Nick Beim speaks with Bill McNabb, former chairman and CEO of Vanguard, an asset management company that pioneered low-cost investing for the consumer. McNabb shares important leadership lessons including the importance of being humble, having a clear definition of success, and knowing what makes a high-performing team. McNabb reveals significant decisions he made during his time at Vanguard, such as having “no layoffs” during a crisis, and highlights the importance of thinking long-term while still being agile.

Nov 9, 2022

Farzad Mostashari, founder and CEO of Aledade, speaks with Venrock’s Bryan Roberts and Bob Kocher about improving the quality and efficiency of patient care with a focus on preventative care. With the recent launch of Aledade Care Solutions and new focus on Medicare Advantage, Mostashari delves into Aledade’s efforts to scale and deliver where average primary care practices can’t. Mostashari also reveals his approach to value based care incentive structure, and why building a valuable solution requires a long time horizon.

Oct 26, 2022

Venrock partners Bryan Roberts and Bob Kocher, speak with Heather Fernandez, co-founder and CEO of Solv, about Solv’s mission, building more cap table diversity in tech, and the healthcare field today. Fernandez delves into Solv’s Series C funding round where she created a special purpose vehicle (SPV) focused on women of color, bringing in first-time investors who wouldn’t otherwise have access. Fernandez also shares how Solv is unlocking capacity with software, its pricing strategy, and its goals for the next 2-3 years.

Sep 22, 2022

Larry Hamann, co-founder, president, and CEO of Interdict Bio, speaks with Venrock Vice President Mariana Mihalusova about lessons learned from his career in drug discovery. Hamann delves into where his love for organic chemistry stems from and why inclusive environments are essential to building successful teams. He also speaks about the do’s and don'ts when structuring collaborations with big pharma, when a drug is “good enough” to move forward in development and new approaches he's excited for.

Aug 31, 2022

Venrock partner Bob Kocher speaks with Dr. Drew Altman, CEO of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and founding publisher of Kaiser Health News (KNH), about dealing with misinformation and skepticism with expertise and facts. Altman reveals how misinformation, fragmented media, and a broken political system exacerbate the public’s low trust in experts. Altman discusses KHN’s origin story, the importance of busting liars without elevating them, and his thoughts on the Inflation Reduction Act. 

Aug 3, 2022

Jim Del Favero, Head of Product at Figure, a fintech company using blockchain to help homeowners better tap their home equity, joins Venrock partner Brian Ascher to discuss what makes a great product manager. Del Favero reveals why great PMs focus on outcomes, not outputs, and critically think about the problem that needs to be solved. Del Favero and Ascher also talk through common mistakes PMs make, the engineering and PM relationship, and data-driven vs. years of experience decisions.

May 25, 2022
Venrock partner Brian Ascher speaks with Nicole Alvino, co-founder and CEO of Firstup, about effective workforce communication both digitally and in person. Alvino highlights fostering employee connection through authentic and transparent communication, using the power of video to drive engagement, and discusses expectations for corporate social responsibility. Plus, Alvino reveals a non-obvious lesson learned – employees want to hear from their peers (not just their leaders).
Mar 30, 2022
Company success is predicated on the people, according to Daversa Partners founder and CEO, Paul Daversa. Venrock partner Bryan Roberts chats with Daversa about the nuances of recruiting impactful senior-level leadership candidates who are a fit for the needs of the company. They cover hiring high will over high skill, understanding that candidates are stage sensitive and ways to avoid terminal hires. Daversa also discusses the intentionality of Dreamscape, the challenges, and the impact they’ve made thus far.
Feb 9, 2022

Venrock partner Andrew Gottesdiener speaks with Jigar Raythatha, former CEO of Constellation Pharmaceuticals, about lessons learned from his time at Constellation. As Constellation has evolved from an early-stage company to being acquired by MorphoSys, Raythatha dives into its many life-cycles, his heavy involvement in the recruitment process, and the decision to conduct a PIPE financing. Raythatha also shares the characteristics to look for in an investor syndicate and the challenges of scaling a public company.

Jan 5, 2022
Venrock partner Racquel Bracken speaks with Markus Renschler, President and CEO of Cyteir Therapeutics, to discuss the journey that led him to Cyteir, and the company’s path to going public. Renschler dives into an important lesson his parents instilled in him from a young age, “be comfortable with being uncomfortable,” and explains how this lesson has played an important role in his career journey. As a practicing hematologist oncologist, Renschler highlights the value of people skills and how developing those skills can positively influence leadership style, recruiting, and even fundraising. Renschler shares some of his highs and lows along the drug development process, provides advice for young clinicians entering the industry, and how his experience as a practicing physician influences the decisions he makes as a CEO.
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