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Episode 9

53 mins


Dive into the high-stakes world of Venture Capital in biopharma with Jim Trenkle! Have you ever wondered what it takes to turn groundbreaking scientific discoveries into life-saving treatments? What role do venture capitalists play in this thrilling journey from the lab to the clinic? This episode peels back the curtain on the biopharma venture capital scene, revealing the risks, rewards, and radical innovations driving the future of healthcare. Join hosts Dr. Na-Ri Oh and Ian Wendt as they explore with Jim the secrets of successful biopharma investments, the challenges of navigating the complex landscape of medical research funding, and the thrilling potential of the next big breakthroughs. Don't miss this conversation that could change the way you see medicine and innovation.

In this episode, Jim Trenkle, a partner at Nova Holdings, shares insights on venture capital in the biopharma industry. He explains the different stages of investment, from seed rounds to IPOs, and the role of venture capitalists in providing capital and expertise.

Jim discusses the current state of raising capital for biotech startups, including the impact of interest rates and market conditions. He also highlights the challenges and evaluation criteria in biotech VC, emphasizing the importance of a well-thought-out plan and addressing unmet needs.

Jim Trenkle also discusses his own career path and the importance of finding work that has a deeper impact. He shares his journey from being a medicinal chemist to venture capital, highlighting the value of lifelong learning and broadening one's impact. Trenkle also discusses the challenges and skills required in venture capital, emphasizing the need for humility and the ability to make decisions that have a real impact. He reflects on the lessons learned from the Theranos scandal and the role of venture capitalists in evaluating companies.

Trenkle explores the reasons behind company closures and failures in the biopharma industry and the potential for innovation and technological advances to shape the future of venture capital. He concludes with advice on career growth and the importance of following one's passion.


  • 00:00 Introduction of Jim Trankel

  • 01:01 Understanding Venture Capital in BioPharma

  • 07:59 The Current State of Raising Capital for Biotech Startups

  • 11:23 The Landscape of Biotech Funding

  • 16:25 Challenges and Evaluation in Biotech VC

  • 23:16 What Does Good Look Like and Pitfalls to Avoid

  • 31:19 Jim Trankel's Career Path

  • 31:59 Career Path and Impact

  • 35:19 Challenges and Skills in Venture

  • 37:05 Evaluating Companies and Capital Allocators

  • 38:23 Lessons from Theranos

  • 46:01 Company Closures and Failures

  • 52:42 The Future of VC in Biopharma

  • 58:32 Advice and Mentors


Jim Trenkle, PhD (LinkedIn)


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