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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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Now displaying: 2022
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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