Due to COVID-19, NVCA was disappointed that we were not be able to celebrate in-person and recognize our VC Award winners at the 2020 Leadership Gala in San Francisco on March 12. In lieu of speeches, we are sharing the incredible achievements of our winners through a blog series highlighting the award recipients’ work and how they are making great strides for American jobs, policy, and innovation.
Read below to find our interview with Dr. Beth Seidenberg of Westlake Village Partners, winner of the “Excellence in Healthcare Innovation Award”:
What does receiving this award mean to you?
I was surprised and humbled when I was informed that I was selected to receive this award. It is truly a privilege to be in the company of previous winners like Bryan Roberts, Bob Nelsen and Annie Lamont.
Behind every award recipient stands a coterie of people. In my case, I would like to acknowledge and thank a few: Brook Byers and John Doerr for having faith in me and teaching me how to invest and focus on the product, purpose and people; the CEOs from companies that I backed over the years, they are the real heroes reflecting incredible passion and tenacity; my partners at KP and Westlake and to my family who stand by me days, nights and weekends knowing that what we do has an opportunity to change lives.
Do you have a message you’d like to share with others in the industry?
Investing in biotech represents a belief that we can advance technology more rapidly, across new platforms and in ways we never thought possible … improving more patients’ lives than ever before.
Markets go up and down, but value creation can be continuous. The key remains selecting the right technologies, building capable and talented teams, and developing new drugs that change the practice of medicine and patients’ lives.
Right now, in the biotech world, the pace of innovation is accelerating at a rate that is difficult to comprehend. Just like in other industries in the past, such as aerospace and computing, we are now at an inflection point in biotechnology where the speed of innovation and new discoveries are accelerating exponentially. We have seen and will see breakthroughs that will revolutionize medicine and venture capital is the catalyst for that revolution. I am proud to be a small part of this revolution.
Why is the work of NVCA so important to the venture industry?
Having a single voice for the venture capital community that tells a consistent story to the public, policymakers and other stakeholders allows us to advance and maintain a vibrant entrepreneurial environment in the U.S.
As the leading trade organization in this country, the NVCA provides a wealth of resources for entrepreneurs, including access to exclusive data, education, connecting with peers, and shaping the policy agenda.
As a leader in the healthcare space, what have you learned about the role venture capitalists play?
As a physician, I have always aspired to help people and improve health for humanity — Brook Byers taught me that venture capital is a helping profession. For me, every day starts with determining how we can help the entrepreneurs we back, through good and trying times.
What do you think the future holds for healthcare?
We will continue to see dramatic advances in medicine … advances that were once only dreamed of … advances that would be impossible without venture capitalists helping entrepreneurs realize their dreams. In the biotechnology world, this means addressing the most fundamental of human concerns: how to live longer, healthier lives, free of disease.
I look forward to the future… its challenges and successes.
To learn more about Dr. Beth Seidenberg and Westlake Village Partners, please visit their website here.
View the full NVCA press release on the announcement here.