282. The Future of Public Health, VC Differentiation within Life Sciences, and Preventing the Next Pandemic (Glenn Rockman)
Glenn Rockman of Adjuvant Capital joins Nick to discuss The Future of Public Health, VC Differentiation within Life Sciences, and Preventing the Next Pandemic. In this episode, we cover: Walk us through your background and path to VC. What’s the thesis at Adjuvant? When taking on strategic LPs, especially those that are very high profile, and have their own mandates and their own agendas, do they inform you where you deploy capital, or is Adjuvant completely independent and financially motivated? Is there a standard stage within the clinical or development process that you enter in? Standard check size? Are you multi-stage? You're investing in products designed for people who live on just a few dollars per day ... There's a lot of VCs that won't invest in the underbanked category, for instance, because of low-income dynamics and socio-economic effects, even though there are some big, winners and category creators there. When you're pitching this different lens and different frame to LPs in the life sciences space that are used to deploying into a certain model ... that's designed for a different maybe category of patients. How did that resonate? And how were you able to compete against peers in the life sciences space for LPs? Regarding geopolitical risks to deployment and ideological or philosophical risks amongst the public that have been maligned by governments or biotech companies... How do you address risks of that nature, especially when you're going into different countries with heterogeneous agendas across and belief sets across both? Did your firm take an active position investing in vaccines or treatments or COVID-19? And how do you look at that in the short and medium-term? What do you think happens in the future with public health spending? And do you see a lot more dollars being allocated for prevention and other activities to address public health issues? There's this common belief that I hear you disagree with that becoming a good VC requires an apprenticeship. Why do you think it doesn't? Are there any best practices from traditional VC that you embrace and then others that you just ignore? What do you know you need to get better at?