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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With rising reports of Omicron in the United States, Venrock partner Bryan Roberts speaks with Dr. Charity Dean, CEO and co-founder of Public Health Company (PHC), to discuss her predictions and concerns for the latest Covid-19 variant. Dean and Roberts also talk about the long-term societal impacts of Covid, the severity of disease, and which groups are best protected. As Covid-19 revealed the cracks in the U.S. public health system, Dean shares how she anticipates public infrastructure to evolve, including more public and private sector partnerships. Dean delves into what led her to become a public health officer, the most exciting part of her first year as CEO at PHC, and her thoughts on her starring role in Michael Lewis’s book The Premonition: A Pandemic Story.
Brad Stulberg, bestselling author of the books ‘The Passion Paradox’ and ‘Peak Performance,’ joins Venrock partner Bob Kocher to discuss his newest book, ‘The Practice of Groundedness.’ Stulberg offers a healthier, more sustainable model for success and dives into what groundedness means to him – a sense of feeling solid, stable, and whole; in a way that doesn’t eliminate ambition. Stulberg highlights the value of being present and how his views on well-being and performance have evolved. Kocher and Stulberg also discuss the importance of active reading, how grit only works if you have the right fit, and how wisdom impacts peak performance in different disciplines.
Not knowing where items are located, what’s in stock, or if they are properly priced cost the global retail industry more than a trillion dollars. Venrock partner David Pakman speaks with Brad Bogolea, co-founder and CEO of Simbe Robotics, about how Simbe’s robot Tally is solving these major blind spots. Bogolea delves into how robotic solutions can keep up with rapid changes without overhauling infrastructure and provide greater optical data than traditional solutions. Bogolea discusses the competitive and consumer pressures prompting retailers to embrace robotic solutions and how the pandemic exposed the need for autonomy and better data. Bogolea also touches on the challenges of financing in the robotics sector, and how being customer-oriented is key to Simbe’s success.
Vlad Coric, M.D., CEO of Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, joins Venrock partner Nimish Shah to speak about the significance of innovation and creativity across all aspects of a business. Coric dives into the challenges of launching Biohaven’s drug, Nurtec ODT, during the pandemic and why he believed it was their moral duty to continue the drug supply chain, despite the lockdown. Still seeing patients today, Coric discusses how his patient-centric approach positively guided him as a drug developer. Coric touches on Biohaven’s collaboration with Khloe Kardashian for Nurtec’s launch and his excitement for the digital transformation occurring in biotech. Coric also advises other biotech CEOs raising a cross-over round or going public to be selective with the investors they invite in, as they become an extension of the team.
Venrock partner Nick Beim speaks with Jason Wenk, founder and CEO of Altruist, about his mission to increase the accessibility of great financial advice. Wenk walks through his early entrepreneurial endeavors and explains how they’ve contributed to the creation of Altruist. As his leadership style has evolved over the years, Wenk shares the biggest lesson he’s learned while building Altruist and how he’s embraced the fact that it’s okay to not know everything.