Monthly Archives: May 2013

Health, wellness and life science investors in Europe and USA

Health, wellness and life science investors in Europe and USA

Text by Eeva Kiuru and Veera Virta, Oulu Wellness Institute
Photo by Veera Virta

This is the third blogpost in our series introducing investors in health, wellness and life science. In previous parts we have collected investors in Finland and in Scandinavia. Now it is time to introduce investors in Europe and US. Since corporate venturing has started to play important role is life science investing, we have also included a list of some corporate investors in this domain.


Aberdare Ventures is investing in disruptive digital healthcare companies who aim to cut the unbearable cost of current healthcare. They see new technologies, such as connectivity, analytics, and portability; smart sensors and connected implantables; fast and inexpensive analyses of genes and proteins, the drivers of the change in healthcare. They are located in San Fransisco.

Advent Ventures is a growth and venture capital investor in market-leading tech and life science businesses. Their investments cover a range of sectors within life sciences, including new drug discovery, enabling technologies, med tech and diagnostics. They invest predominantly in early and mid-stage life science companies in Europe and US.

AESCAP is a venture capital company investing in private medical companies in Europe. Their focus is in high-potential companies that work in the fields of diagnosis and treatment of human diseases with realistic product opportunities. The office is in Amsterdam.

Aravis is a Swiss hands-on investor and within life science their focus is on biopharmaceuticals, medical technology and biotechnology companies. They operate in Europe, Asia and North America, with offices in Zurich.

Ariadne Capital is an early-stage investor with a focus on enabling technologies and tools which are transforming established businesses and creating the digital ecosystem of health and lifestyle. They are based in London.

BB Biotech Ventures focuses on emerging companies developing and marketing drugs and medical devices. They primarily focus on product-driven, clinical-stage companies.

Earlybird VC manages over 20 institutional investors’ funds and has invested in over 70
companies. They focus in startups based in Europe and their investment focus areas include medtech. The offices are located in Berlin, Munich and Milano.

Endeavour Vision is a venture and growth capital firm providing expertise and funding to entrepreneurs and companies with global ambitions in life sciences and information technologies. They operate in Europe and US and invest in early to expansion stage companies including spin-offs and restarts.

ED Venture‘s primary activity is investing in and nurturing start-ups, with a focus on health care, human capital and aerospace. Overall, the chairman of ED Ventures, Esther Dyson, is fascinated by new business models, new technologies and new markets (both economically and politically).

Forbion Capital Partners invests in life science and biomedical technology companies that are developing world-class drugs and technologies. They focus in late stage preclinical and early stage clinical product development programs. They have offices in Naarden, Netherlands and Munich, Germany.

Gimv invests in life science, medtech, health and care services companies operating in European market. Offices are in Antwerpen, Paris, Munich and Hague.

Index Ventures is one of the early venture firms in Europe, and they are dedicated to building world-class information technology and life science companies. They invest globally in companies with European focus, and their offices are located in Geneva and London. The initial investments focus in on series A and B rounds.

Khosla Ventures is a high profile investor interested in sevaral disruptive sectors including consumer health. They focus on early stage crazy ideas, black swans and unusual approaches with an unfair competitive advantage in their early and growth phases.

Life Science Partners, LSP, is one of the largest specialized healthcare and biotechnology investment firms. They operate in Europe and US with offices in Amsterdam, Munich and Boston. They invest in variety of areas in healthcare and biotechnology, including drug discovery and development, medical devices, diagnostics, IT-based solutions, industrial biotech and bio materials. The focus in on start-up companies in need of first venture funding but they invest also in later-stages.

Merieux Development is a healthcare investment company. Their main objectives are to identify scientific and technological innovations and support entrepreneurs and companies which potentially will contribute to the medicine of the future. Their target is to have 12 SME’s at different stages of development by 2014 in their portfolio. They operate in Europe, North America, India and China, with office in Lyon, France.

MVM Life Science invests in emerging, early and later stage, healthcare companies with focus on venture capital and growth equity investments. Currently portfolio companies are located in Europe, Israel and US. In life sciences they focus on platforms and products, discovery and development and devices and drugs.

NBGI Ventures is a venture capital fund investing in medical technology companies. Primarily, they invest in EU countries and in companies of all stages from seed to development.

NEA is investor focusing on three key domains—information technology, healthcare and energy technology in the early and growth phases. They operate in US, India and China.

Sofinnova Partners is venture capital firm based in Paris. It invests throughout Europe in life science and clean energy start-ups, early stage companies and corporate spin-offs. It is often the first institutional investor in round A financing.

TPG Biotech is the life science venture investment arm of TPGSM (formerly known as Texas Pacific Group), a global private investment firm. TPG Biotech supports physicians, scientists and entrepreneurs who are building innovation-based businesses in the life sciences. TPG Biotech invests across life science sectors, geographies and stages.

Wellington Partners makes early-stage and growth investments in life science and technology companies. Their focus in life science is in medtech, diagnostics, therapeutics and industrial biotechnology.

Vesalius BioCapital offers venture capital to young, innovative European life science companies and invests human health related companies. The focus is on therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics, and novel food applications and in companies of all stages of development.

Corporate investors

Ascension Health Ventures (AHV) is a strategic healthcare venture fund with $550 million in capital and nearly 300 acute care hospitals and numerous other healthcare related facilities as limited partners. Besides financial return, investment criteria include fit with strategic priorities of AHV’s limited partners’ health systems and potential to improve clinical outcomes, reduce costs, and/or enhance the experience of patients, families and caregivers. Investment focus is in
healthcare information technology and services, and medical devices and diagnostics.

BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners (BCBSVP) is corporate venture fund sponsored by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. The fund invests in technologies, products and services in the healthcare industry that promote efficiency, lower costs, and provide more consumer options. Investments are made from seed through growth stages in US based companies. Focus areas are health IT, informatics, administration and back office, health programs, consumer driven solutions and healthcare finance.

Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund’s objective is to search significant enhancements in patient care through innovative and pioneering science. They look globally for groundbreaking therapeutic approaches and technologies that have the potential to advance patient care and meet unmet medical needs. They make initial investments in seed or series A funding.

Merck Global Health Innovation Fund (GHI) is building a portfolio of investments in six focus areas that are outside of Merck’s core pharmaceuticals, vaccines, consumer products, and animal health businesses. GHI’s goal is to grow emerging health care solutions into meaningful businesses. Companies they invest in typically have current revenues, a strong business plan and high growth potential. Focus areas include flexible access, health intervention, personalized medicine, health productivity enablers, health infromatics and analytics and heath data liberation.

Qualcomm Ventures (QCV) is investment arm of Qualcomm Inc. They focus on disruptive early stage companies across a wide range of sectors, including healthcare. Their healthcare focused fund is Qualcomm Life. It specifically focuses on investing in venture-backed wireless health start-ups that will help accelerate the Qualcomm 2net Platform commercialization. The areas of specific interest to the fund range from personal wellness to disease management. Investments are made in areas such as body worn or implantable biosensors or devices for vertically focused applications such as chronic disease care, medication adherence, and fitness or wellness; integrated system providers that do remote diagnosis, monitoring or specialize in independent living; mobile software health IT applications; and health informatics/analytics

West Health Innovation Fund’s mission is to lower health care costs. They invest in companies that are developing health care technologies or services that have the potential to substantially lower the cost of health care delivery. The Fund targets early stage opportunities with a strong preference for pre-commercial and early commercial companies. They invest in innovations in the following areas: advancing cost-effective, cost-saving models of care, creation of efficient medical marketplace, promotion of actionable health care policy and health care data liberation.

This was quite a long list of potential investors. Life science and especially it’s new frontier, digital health and health IT is bubbling right now.  We wanted to do our share and make the funding opprtunities better visible for entrepreneurs. We are sure there are plenty of other investors currently active or becoming active in this field since this is a growth area and many traditional investors are already kicking tires of health tech and health IT.

And by the way, may we recommend you also have a look also at AngelList. There you can find  investors with specific keywords that fit exactly your funding needs.


In the next and final blogpost of this series we will focus on collecting the health tech and life science business accelerators. As always, please comment if we missed something you think should be added here. We would love to hear your comment to make sure this a valuable resource for you.


100 uutta businessideaa

100 uutta businessideaa

Teksti ja kuva: Eeva Kiuru, Oulu Wellness Instituuttisäätiö

Me suomalaiset olemme tunnettuja idearikkaudestamme. Monet tapaamistani yrittäjistä ovat ihmisiä, joilla business-ideoita tipahtelee hihasta jatkuvasti. Ei päivääkään ilman uutta ideaa. He näkevät koko ajan ympärillään asioita, jotka voisi tehdä paremmin.

He yhdistelevät asioita luovasti toisiinsa. He tarttuvat keskustelussa kuulemaansa puolikkaaseen ajatukseen ja liittävät sen johonkin, mitä he olivat jopa vuosia aikaisemmin kokeneet täysin toisessa asiayhteydessä.

Kaikille business-ideoiden keksiminen ei ole yhtä helppoa. Monella olisi halu ryhtyä yrittäjäksi, mutta vain se hyvä idea puuttuu. Mistä niitä mahtavia business-ideoita voisi sitten keksiä?

Kokosin yhteen kolme työkalua, joilla jokainen meistä saa omat ideahanansa avautumaan. Ideat ovat peräsin Stanfordin yliopiston luovuuden ja yrittäjyyden ammattilaisilta oppimistani luovuuden ja innovatiivisuuden harjoittamisen tekniikoista.

1.  Opettele tekemään havaintoja

Kun matkustamme uuteen maahan, jokainen aistimme on hereillä. Seuraamme valppaina ympäristöä, ihmisiä, ääniä – havainnoimme aivan kaikkea. Havaintojen tekeminen jää kuitenkin pian pois. Turrumme nopeasti ääniin, ihmisiin ja rutiineihin.

Kokeile palauttaa havaintokykysi. Havainnoi arkista ympäristöä kuin olisit turisti, joka on ensimmäistä kertaa kohteessa. Saatat huomata mutkikkaita itsestäänselvyyksiä, ja sinulle voi herätä kysymys, voisiko tuon asian tehdä toisin?

2.  Etsi ongelmia, älä vielä ratkaisuja

Parhaat business-ideat ratkaisevat todellisia ongelmia. Siksi kannattaa lähteä liikkeelle etsimällä todellisia, isoja ja kalliiksi tulevia ongelmia. Kun seuraavan kerran käyt sairaalassa tai terveyskeskuksessa, kokeile havainnoida ongelmia.

Tarkkaile asiakkaita, potilaita, työntekijöitä. Huomaatko turhia työvaiheita, vaaratilanteita, toistoja, odottelua tai asioita, joita voisit tehdä vaikka itse? Varaa havaintojen tekemiseen oma pieni vihko, johon voit kirjoittaa kaikkea mitä huomaat. Myös yksinkertaisilta tuntuvia asioita kannattaa kirjata ylös.

3. Kirjaa ylös 100 ratkaisua

Aivan oikein. Sata. Jokainen meistä pystyy listaamaan helposti muutaman melko tavanomaisen ehdotuksen esitettyyn ongelmaan. Mutta kokeilepa keksiä sata ratkaisuehdotusta johonkin pulmaan. Se vaatiikin jo eri lailla luovuutta ja uutta ajattelua.

Joudut menemään epämukavuusalueelle ja yhdistelemään toisiinsa kuulumattomia asioita. Joudut heittäytymään lapselliseksi, ja laittaa mielikuvituksesi lentoon. Joudut ehkä ottamaan muita´mukaan ideoimaan ratkaisua. Ehkä kysyt ohimennen ratkaisua vaikka 10-vuotiaalta
lapselta. Hän on onnellisen tietämätön ideointisi vakavuudesta ja kaikista keksityistä rajoitteista ja heittää estottomasti villejä ideoita ongelman ratkaisemiseksi.

Aurinkoista ja idearikasta kevättä !

Kirjoitus on julkaistu Oululehdessä 15.5.2013