Bildnachweis: vchalup – stock.adobe.com.
This magazine issue is looking specifically at ramifications ignited by the developments of the past couple of years which globally led to a peak of capital invested in healthcare, digital healthcare solutions as well as drug development efforts. Venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) firms successfully raised record funds, companies closed impressive financing rounds, and the overall attention for the sector rose to unknown heights. Looking at the last decades, the attention the VC and PE industry earned certainly was driven by the exceptional rise of new technologies and their impact on our daily lives. This also sparks interest of new talent making a move into this segment.
Digital experience and entrepreneurial role models shape expectations and values
One aspect that came to my mind recently, while I was interviewing job applicants, was team composition and balance. Currently, the so-called Generations Y and Z are applying for roles in the healthcare investment industry – also due to the above-mentioned increased public focus. Both age cohorts are mostly digital natives and cannot imagine a world without the internet, smartphones, apps, and the benefits of digitalized processes.
The well-educated, privileged circles of this generation also have experienced, and are experiencing now, that the world of tech entrepreneurs is one that can make young people successful quite swiftly, and they have breathed in the entrepreneurial mindset that has to come with such an attitude. It is no surprise that, in our applicant interviews, we see a lot of aspiring young people, all of them are topnotch when it comes to their education and skillset, but their motivational drivers basically stem from two extreme ends of a possible spectrum. Some see the investment space as an area where they can do good and make the world better; they do not express significant interest in achieving financial returns. On the other side of this spectrum, we see very ambitious young people who see the investment space as their fast track to personal wealth and affluence; they often do not express any additional intrinsic motivation. Both positions are actually reflected in either the rise of social entrepreneurship and impact investing or in investment models that focus on lightning-fast returns only.
Doing good and doing well requires a ,marathon‘ attitude
Combining the motivation of wanting to do good and to do well for all stakeholders in our investment world, including society at large, will require different skillsets and a qualification profile that grows with experience:
- Being able to juggle and balance the interests of multiple stakeholders that sometimes are in full contradiction to each other,
- being able to be visionary and pragmatic at the same time; knowing how to deal with people and sometimes clashing personalities, and
- being aware that doing good while doing well, especially in life sciences and healthcare, is not a short-term project but a long-term exercise.
To handle the pressure of becoming successful investors in a holistic sense, we need more diversity in our teams, younger people questioning the status quo working together with experienced people, genderbalanced teams, ideally with diverse sociocultural backgrounds.
The next generation is well-educated and very flexible. They are used to handling important matters regardless of time zone or physical location and can adapt quickly to new circumstances and technologies.
From my perspective, however, the most important personal characteristics for success in this industry are resilience, persistence, perseverance.
I would like to hear the following more often in interviews: I am looking for a professional career that constantly challenges my ability to persevere. If we all cultivate that attitude, we will be innovative, sustainable and financially successful for a long time to come.
Dr. Sascha Berger
Dr. Sascha Berger ist Partner bei TVM Capital Life Science, einem der Pioniere für innovative Venture-Capital-Finanzierungen für Biotechnologie, Medtech, Diagnostik und Digital Health, mit Standorten in München und Montreal. Seine Schwerpunkte liegen in den Bereichen Dealflow, Due Diligence und Transaction Management. Er verfügt über umfangreiche M&A-, Strategie- und Transaktionserfahrung. Dr. Berger studierte Technologiemanagement in München, Singapur und Boston, hält einen Diplomtitel der Technischen Universität München sowie einen Doktortitel in Banking & Finance und ist ein engagierter Triathlet.