Devices & Diagnostics

The sharks of healthcare: 5 VCs that should be on ABC

I am late to the party but it’s official. I love Shark Tank. My favorite pitch so far has been the farmer with the tree guard for young trees. Johnny George’s Tree T Pee is a real product: it serves a purpose and it saves money for businesses. The negotiations were interesting last week, but […]

I am late to the party but it’s official. I love Shark Tank. My favorite pitch so far has been the farmer with the tree guard for young trees. Johnny George’s Tree T Pee is a real product: it serves a purpose and it saves money for businesses.

The negotiations were interesting last week, but the world doesn’t need any more cell phone carriers, boot socks or luxury chocolate. What Shark Tank needs is an all-healthcare, all-the-time show. Shark Tank fans should get a look at a serious fundraising challenge: entrepreneurs developing diagnostics, medical devices, drugs.

Having one Friday night show that featured all healthcare investors and all healthcare companies would be an entertaining lesson on the business of healthcare for a national audience. Not to mention it would give very well-deserved attention to smart entrepreneurs working to improve healthcare.

Let’s start with the investors. Here are my picks for the panel. I have heard most of these people speak at events or judge pitch contests or read their blogs. It’s a good mix of venture capitalists from across the country.

  • Noubar Afeyan – Managing partner and CEO, Flagship Ventures. He also leads Flagship Labs. Both groups support and finance early-stage companies working on therapeutics, health technology and clean tech.
  • Juliet Tammenoms Bakker – Founder and managing director of Longitude Capital. She focuses on investments in medical devices.
  • Ambar Bhattacharyya – A vice president in BVP’s Cambridge, Mass., office. He focuses on investments in early- and growth-stage healthcare and education companies.
  • Lisa Suennen – Co-founder and managing member of Psilos Group. she focuses on the healthcare information technology, healthcare services and medical technology sectors and serves as a Director on the Board of several Psilos portfolio companies.
  • Jack Young – Head of the Qualcomm Life Fund at Qualcomm Ventures. Qualcomm Life is focused on device connectivity and data management and helping medical device makers deliver wireless health quickly and easily.

Next question: Which startups should pitch? The teams have to be polished enough for national TV and be working on a hard problem (no calorie counters allowed). We can do way better than Rolodoc.

Who would you pick? Nominate a company in the comments or tweet it to us @medcitynews . Tune in next Friday for MedCity’s selections.

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A Deep-dive Into Specialty Pharma

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[Image of Jack Young from flickr user Mariachily]