Venture Capital Is Facing an Impending Health-Care ‘Avalanche’


This is the first part of VC to VC, a monthly series that features conversations between veteran venture capitalist Phil Wickham and other leaders in the investment world. Wickham is also CEO of Kauffman Fellows.

Bryan Roberts has built a career on picking winners in the health–care industry. The seasoned venture capitalist and partner at Venrock has invested in startups across almost all health–care categories. In the past few years alone, he’s lead several billion-dollar exits.

On a more personal note, I’ve known Bryan for 20 years. He’s the rare individual who combines deep core-subject expertise with a supercharged imagination, an almost radical sense of self-confidence, and a loyal dedication to his entrepreneurs and their ideas.

I spoke with Roberts about the trends VCs should be watching in health care. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.

How is the healthcare industry evolving?

Over the last five years two or three stones have been thrown down a gravel slope, and they’re just beginning to carry momentum and create big opportunities. Things like changes in doctor’s payment methods, which get them out of a volume game and into an outcomes game.

Other pebbles include the wiring of doctor’s medical offices, the advent of smartphones and a whole new generation of participants in the health-care system that grew up using technology—unlike my dad who was like “This is it—paper and pen.”

I think there will be a metaphorical avalanche from those, and it’ll happen over the next decade.




Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President and CEO of Ortho Spine Partners and sits on several company and industry related Boards. He also is the Creator and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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