The innocuous little nanoparticle hero central to our story (image c/o UAB)

I thought it might be fun to change things up a bit and write some speculative fiction, but please don’t get your hopes up.

This story takes place in the near future, let’s say 2040, but it could be 2100 or never… that’s the fun of exponential growth, we overestimate the near and underestimate the far. I also want to try to capture the feeling of exponential technological development during these 20 years in one particular area of biology.

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020–2022 taught humanity many lessons, both positive and negative. We all know what the negative lessons were.


True reflection can only happen with a still mind

A few weekends ago, we had our annual shareholder meeting where we discussed our inaugural fund’s performance to date, presented a few of our companies, and reflected on what’s gone well, what could be better, and what to expect next.

We are extremely grateful that all of our companies had survived 2020, our investors seemed happy with our performance so far, and we have the final deal for our fund planned out.

Naturally, the topic of ‘what’s next’ came up during the meeting, in response to numerous whispers about the topic in the weeks prior.

The thing is, I was…


A FlowDx device being laser-etched

There’s an old saying that 70% of medical decisions are influenced by lab diagnostics and conceptually it makes sense (even if you disagree with the number[1]) — there’s only so much a doctor can deduce using his or her own five senses (and these days we shouldn’t expect the doctor to be using all five senses).

Laboratory-based diagnostics is the practice of taking patient tissue, fluid, or waste samples and running tests to see what proteins, lipids, small molecules, or even genetic information is present within, and whether there may be pathogens along for the ride.

Typically, the specimens are…


Opportunities for innovation in the new ‘hybrid’ healthcare system — but who ‘glues’ it all together?

I briefly wrote about the importance of having healthcare data standards a couple of months ago, but I didn’t really talk about the ‘how’. Trust me, I’ll get to the tropical fruits.

In my ideal world (for now, until I update my thinking):

  1. We would have a master global data standard, with language translations and local adaptations fit for each country or region’s health system;
  2. The owner of the data would either be the citizen or the government, depending on the political system;
  3. Private medical systems would still exist, competing on quality and experience, while the data would freely flow…

Not the reaction anyone likes to see.

As a VC, I am drowning in an metaphorical ocean of rejection — rejecting others and getting rejected myself.

This is the less glamorous reality of every VC out there, and this is often forgotten or unmentioned between the successive headlines celebrating fundraising events, exits and the elusive unicorns, decacorns, hectacorns, and more recently, camels.

First, we have to turn down a lot of companies — if we didn’t, we’d invest the entirety of our funds in the first month of operations; and on the other side, we face a lot of rejection when fundraising ourselves, and when approaching potential…


You’re likely reading this article on a web browser or the Medium app, either of which are delivering this content to you effectively, regardless of type of phone, PC or tablet you’re using.

The article data was transmitted across a global network of computers which a woefully dated estimation in late 2018 placed at 22 billion devices, and they all spoke with the same protocol. One common language that is the Internet.

If you paid for your Medium subscription, you likely did so with a credit card handled by an online payment gateway that could communicate with each of them…


Our 2 year fundraising journey

I had promised in my prior startup fundraising article that I would talk about our own journey as a first time fund manager and how we managed to raise our first fund. I recognise that each journey is unique, and everyone’s challenges and strengths will differ. My only hope that this positively adds to the collective wisdom of what it is like to raise a VC fund for the first time.

I was inspired and helped along the way by my first VC fund peer support group (you know who you are, and thank you!), as well as some public…


I had a nightmare recently, where I was using my computer (yes, I have very exciting dreams) and suddenly all of my windows started closing on me, and my files became encrypted by a malicious program. I checked my phone immediately and found the same thing happened there as well. My electronic life was completely compromised and I was powerless to stop it. Then I woke up in cold sweat.

It served as a sobering warning that it’s not a matter of if, but rather when something like this will happen. …


TL;DR

  • As a startup founder you need to cut through the noise as everyone is raising money, especially in our current environment
  • Investment decisions are driven by a combination of trust and relevance
  • You can increase relevance by doing your homework and picking the right investor then making it easy for them to understand your value proposition
  • Trust is harder to build as it takes time and effort, but it is also possible to borrow it

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed here are strictly my own and are drawn from my personal experiences as an angel investor and emerging venture capitalist…


One group of family members — Verge HealthTech portfolio CEOs

They say that friends are the family you choose, but I‘m not sure I fully agree with this, and let me explain why — family, to me, implies shared values, support, and resilience from the day you’re born until the day you depart.

I was thinking about family during our first all-portfolio CEO day held in late June, not only because it happened to be on my mother’s birthday, but also because we had in attendance 9 CEOs from 6 countries across 15 hours of time zones all brought together under the “Verge HealthTech” umbrella.

While they represented different upbringings…

Dr. Joseph Mocanu

Investing in healthcare innovation for all

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