Chris Garabedian, CEO of Xontogeny, joined me for a thought-provoking discussion around biotech and digital health innovation, current industry gaps and obstacles, how to encourage biotech entrepreneurs, AI & machine learning, and much more.
Below is a sneak peek of our conversation:
Q: What made you decide to move from the Pharma/Biopharma space to go out there, start a venture fund, and start working with early seed companies? What drove you to where you are today?
A: I think it was a slow evolution. In the early part of your career, you’re given projects, assignments, and an area to lead. You learn a lot after spending years in the industry. I was really fortunate that I picked really good companies that were really ‘growth-stage.’ The best way to learn about an industry is to be part of a growing organization where there’s always too much to do; there are always too many things to think about strategically, there’s a lot of activities, and usually, that comes with a track record of success.
It’s learning how to do things the right way and being able to work side by side with some of the best minds and experienced professionals in the industry. You learn something after being exposed to those folks over almost three decades now for me. I think the reason I pivoted to really focus on early-stage companies, working with entrepreneurs, first-time CEOs, and scientific founders, is that I felt that there was a lack of industry-experienced talent to populate the thousands of companies that are startups. It’s really hard to find management teams that can do a really good job with those technologies. It’s one of the reasons I believe we see a 90+ percent failure rate.
What I wanted to do was partly give back, take all that experience I had, and figure out how I could leverage that across a portfolio of companies, but, importantly, providing that advisement, mentoring, and coaching for the next generation of CEOs, where we can help them make the right decisions and they can learn what “good” looks like earlier on in their careers.
For more of our discussion, you can watch the whole Fireside Chat with Chris Garabedian, or listen to the podcast version, below.
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