A Tale of Two Entrepreneurs: Building Nina Capital & Investing from First Principles in Healthcare | LSI Europe '23

Speakers

Henry Peck

Henry Peck

VP, Growth & Strategy, LSI
Read Biography
Marta-Gaia Zanchi

Marta-Gaia Zanchi

Founder & Managing Partner, Nina Capital
Read Biography
Marc Subirats

Marc Subirats

General Partner, Nina Capital
Read Biography
This 'Tale of Two Entrepreneurs' explores the shift from an entrepreneurial background to venture capital, while highlights its significance in building an early-stage VC.

 

Transcription

Audience Question 2  0:05  
Good evening to everybody. I'm Scott Pantel, I'm the CEO of LSI. And I want to welcome everybody to LSI Europe 23. Beautiful evening, we're happy that we get to celebrate with you, our industry and kick off this meeting the proper way. We're gonna get right into it. Again, we'll have some formal remarks tomorrow morning. But right now we're going to get after it. So it's my pleasure, right now to introduce the first panel to kick off LSI Europe 23. This is "A Tale of Two Entrepreneurs: Building Nina Capital, and Investing from First Principles and Healthcare." And onstage we have Marta and her colleague, Marc. And I did a little homework on on Marta earlier today and a mutual friend of ours, I asked, you know, what should I know about Marta? And he said, just know that she's a friend of innovation. And she's at the tip of tip of the spear. And so we want to welcome these esteemed panelists. And I want to thank Henry for organizing this event. And again, welcome everybody here. I think we did alright with the weather. And I hope you're enjoying the food and all the all the refreshments here. This is actually a really timely discussion for us. While you know, things have stabilized since 21, and 22. And we're not seeing we're at LSI. We track a lot of the data. And we've seen $5 billion in in fundraising come in just this year. And while the number of big rounds are down, the number of early stage deals are quite healthy. And I think that this panel session will really set the context for that. And it will also maybe prompt some discussions that will happen over the course of this week. So with that, I'm not going to fall in the water. I told myself, I wouldn't do that. I'm going to turn it over to Henry, and our panelists, and thank you again, Nina, for joining us. We appreciate it very much.

Henry Peck  1:52  
Thank you very much, Scott. It's a pleasure to be here. And thank you all for coming. Very glad the weather is held out. And as Scott said, this is a very timely discussion. We could take this a lot of different directions. But I first want to share a little bit of background on the speakers here to set the stage and jump into Nina Capital, its history and where we're going. So Martha received her PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 2010. And after being immersed in the biodesign process, she joined the biodesign community as a member of the faculty of the Stanford School of Medicine, and the founding director of the center of the center's digital health programs. It was an application of the biodesign process that led her to create Nina capital, which we'll hear more about shortly. And prior to Nina capital, she held diverse leadership roles within a variety of medical device and health technology companies in Europe, Canada and the United States. And to her right, Marc was born into an entrepreneurial family and the apple didn't fall far as the founder and CEO of Advanced Medical a pioneering and multinational telehealth company, he established operations in more than 10 countries with a global workforce of over 1000 workers helping 10s of 1000s of patients every day around the world. After nearly 20 years, he sold Advanced Medical to US based TelaDoc, which was perfect timing as he joins Marta to build Nina Capital, which is where we're going to start our discussion. As I said, we could have a whole fireside chat just around their backgrounds, their entrepreneurial journeys, but let's start at 2017. What's going on in your world? Where are you? And what's happening that leads to this vision for Nina capital? And how does it become a reality?

Marta-Gaia Zanchi  3:25  
Thank you so much for having us, Henry, it's great to be here and have an opportunity to share a little bit about the origin story of a company, our company and then our capital. As Henry said, at the start of this was an application of the biodesign process and the mantra of the biodesign process is you call it started with the need. At the center of the creation of every great company is a great problem that creates a lot of frustrations in the heart of an intrapreneur. And for me, there was a lot of frustration, being in Silicon Valley working at Stanford University, helping a local fund in Palo Alto invest in computational health in a deep technology area. And realizing that there were a ton of really great entrepreneurs in Europe, coming all the way to California, asking for a capital from local VCs and having their dreams shattered. Oh, yes, come back once you have the over Corporation customer in the United States, and are raising a Series A round. What are these intrapreneurs to do all of all the way in Europe standing out seeking the first capital to make eventually that leap? There wasn't an answer for them. That was the market need. And similarly, I was immersed in a really great community that honestly doesn't need to go very far to be successful, there are great opportunities in the United States for great company. But I felt that even those us entrepreneurs, they were missing out. Their companies, their solutions, their ideas, that ambitions. They had great opportunities in Europe, but their investors themselves they didn't know The strengths and the weaknesses that our businesses would have across the Atlantic, they didn't know the threat, they will be coming from competition from that side of the ocean. So that, again, a market need. So 2017 was the year of frustration for me and the European, extremely grateful to the fact that I had just earned my citizenship in the United States and everything that the community locally had given me. But I felt that I couldn't deal with the missed opportunity that would come for doing something to meet that market need. So that was the beginning of a journey of understanding, first of all, the customers of what could be a venture capital firm that was trying to address that opportunity to invest in seed in early stage, need driven health technology funders, internationally in Europe. And I started doing what I think every company should do when it's starting to find its footing, I started speaking with customers, it was terrible here, waking up at 4am in California, and speaking with everyone who gave me an audience, funders, VC strategics physicians, then I remember calling you at 5am in the morning, and 2018 Thank you again, to everyone that opened up about their needs and the possibilities to start a company like Nina Capital that would meet him. Having found validation and saw my initial hypotheses for what this venture capital firm could look like, that's when I took the leap of faith. And so 2018 was the year starting to build. And that was the beginning of Nina capital. Officially, the biggest hardest first decision was choosing the website domain as the name of this company gonna be and that I looked at that for these events, that was January 2018. From then it was smooth sailing. 

Henry Peck  6:56  
Smooth sailing from there. And so where does Marc come into the picture from 2018, Marc had come in coming off a very successful business that he had sold a TelaDoc. Marc, tell us a little bit about what's going on in your world around that time, when Marta is getting started with Nina and how you to meet and how you become the general partner of Nina capital.

Marc Subirats  7:16  
Well, I was running a marathon for almost 20 years, I was getting to the to the finish line of my marathon, starting a company from scratch. And when doing all the process of building the company, make it grow, make it a large corporation multinational. Year 2018 was a time when I think Marta was starting to think about building in a capital, I was starting to think for the first time to have an exit plan of my company. And well, I was I think it was very lucky in the sense that Well, I entered into a private equity deal to actually go public with my company in the US. And it was just six months later about closing my private equity deal that we agreed with the people of TelaDoc health to actually they're acquiring us in a deal we structured together. And I thought well, you know, I had already this idea in my mind. And this was part of my exit plan to transition maybe not so quick. But to do something else. Because I was I wanted to change the race, the this marathon was already kind of getting to the finish line, as I said, and in that process, well TelaDoc health acquired us in, in May 2018. And in I told them, I'll stay for one year, because I want to change. And in this process of actually, you imagine you're running a marathon, you get to the end, you think I make it I deserve some rest. No, I actually got Marta knocking to my door. And I said, Well, you know, I thought I maybe needed a break. But you know, this, this this woman, you know, it's very convincing. In fact, you know, what I was thinking about what I wanted to do next was this was before knowing Marta, I thought well, I really want to go back to more entrepreneurial work with startups. I want to stay in healthcare, because that's my passion. So what I always have been enjoined to do is to disrupt healthcare using technology. And then I get, you know, Marta knocking to my home and building a healthy company based in Barcelona, which is my city. And, and yeah, we want to do this. You know, I've always convinced that I'm interested in being in businesses, or stories that have global international ambitions. Yes, I want to invest in Europe, in the US and everywhere. So well, trying to win some time I said, Okay, you're I will support your first fund as an LP. And he was only six months later, when I discovered the quality and the quantity of the deal flow that we were able to able to pull together that I decided to join as a general partner. And yeah, you will see We've done pretty an amazing amount of job in the last four years.

Henry Peck  10:04  
So you guys link up you have this vision, you find Marc, joins as an LP for the first fund six months later makes the decision to come on full time. And your vision is investing in health tech startups at the earliest stage and providing them that support that they need to grow filling that gap between what you were seeing in California, and what you want to build. Talk to me about how you build the fund around that market need, why Barcelona why the geographies of companies you're investing in? Why the fund size, the people you bring on? How do you drive all the characteristics and features of the fund around that market need that you identified?

Marta-Gaia Zanchi  10:42  
Well goes back to the point that we were making before this was an application of a biodesign methodology. So first of all, it was done to really trying to understand what was the strategy that would meet the need at hand from the point of view of funder. You know, this was never for me a financial exercise. Yes, of course, I want to make a good financial return, but really wanted to support and invest in funders that was the market needs that drove me to this. And so started putting together what would be the characteristics of an investment strategy from the point of view of a funder. And there were some things that were, I would say, the starting points and the most obvious, but they're still very often so forgotten in this venture capital game. First of all, your fund size is just a function of your fund strategy. So if you are to invest in pre seed and seed, you need to embrace the fact that your fund size is going to be relatively small, forget the billion dollar fund talking writing checks of half a million, this is not sustainable. So fund size, a function of the font strategy and function of the investment opportunity, or pre seed and seed stages, you want to have it in a location in Australia in a position that will force you to create a business that can support the managing fees that the small fund has, and has the proximity to all of the elements that you would require to have good access to company to have good understanding of companies to have good stewardship of company. And all of that means choosing a CD that was first of all located in Europe, strong statement about Europe first, but international well connected to the rest of all of the innovation hubs of Europe, but still to the Boston to the New York to the Palo Alto, Europe, Barcelona is quite unique at that look at what an audience you were able to attract in this location. Wanted to make a strong sense of how the collaboration could look like with all of the local partners in Barcelona has an amazing healthcare, a great community clinical community that is so strong on the research side, that for me was important. And I also found that there needed to be a statement about the fact that this was not going to be another venture capital firms don't respect my friends in Berlin, that in the venture capital side, there are many firms in many cities in Europe, you don't need another one. So it felt exciting to be able to come with something fresh and innovating in a city that was and still is emerging for the strength and the quality of his technical community and the opportunities for innovation and investing that I saw, were starting to merge. And so I wanted to be a part of that story of creation. So Barcelona, through this exercise ranked very high in the ranking. But in the end, we could forget all of these and just say that the reason I was here is that I was meant to meet Marc was a perfect complementary partner for these enterprise. And so all the rest have forgotten, because at the end of the day, it's done to the people you work with. And so this was the right choice, because these are the people I want to work with.

Henry Peck  13:45  
We'll talk a little bit more about the people the network in a moment, but I want to double click on the stage of company that you're investing in. And some of the unique aspects of building a fund and building a team oriented around that stage. You talk about supporting founders in the earliest stages, you see a lot of deal flow in Barcelona and Europe and internationally, as you mentioned, what is the different kind of lens that you have to look at companies through when thinking about founders in that earliest stage, we hear a lot of companies and founders talk about pitching VCs and being too early, right? They don't have product market fit, they don't have customers, they don't have revenue. When you're a pre seed and seed VC, and you're looking at founders in that stage, what types of things you're looking at, maybe you're different than what some of the later stage VCs are looking at? And how do you approach that? Everything about the fund and how you guys approach that as managing partners and general partners?

Marta-Gaia Zanchi  14:38  
Well, I can start saying a few words and then you build on me, but it's really down to the fundamentals again, what problems do you want to solve and trying to understand if the pitch you're receiving is one that makes sense that connects the technology solutions and the business model to the fundamentals of the problem at hand. So When companies come to us, we can't expect them to have revenues to show product market fit. If we're lucky if we can speak of a couple of customers, because that's all they have. But most of the time, we're really down to trying to understand, okay, what is the reality? Now? Why do you want to change it? How do you want to change it? And why now? And then we learn and validate all of those assumptions about what is the clinical need today? Was it the healthcare process today? What is the clinical workflow today? How is that operation in need of adjustment and why we speak with those involved stakeholders 360 degree network we have built in the last year. So we tried to pull from all sides of it, to understand if all of the pieces of puzzles are there, to be able to say that now these innovation is the one that meets all of their criteria of the meet, and, of course, down to the people. So of course, it's not just about understanding need, and the match with the technology solutions, and the promise of value creation that they're giving you, which fundamentally needs to be there to support the business model. But are these the right people to accomplish that very difficult challenge? And,

Marc Subirats  16:18  
Yes, I think early stage, what means is that we are investing in companies that we don't have proven market fit. So basically, what this means is that nobody knows anything about if whether this will work or not. And I think that's what we like, we like to be engaged in this type of companies, we think as well, that real impact in changing healthcare happens with people kind of taking these challenges. So our job is, of course, to, as Marta was saying, understand if that's a needs that we think that these are real needs, we can assess the market size, that they are targeting a big market size, we can assess if this is they are using a novel technology that has the potential to do that. But still, it's a lot of unknown. So at the end all goes about really assessing whether we see a team that has, for me, the most important factor to be successful is that they are really have the determination to really go seriously for that, and investing a good time of their life in training. And that's exactly what we are there. We we want to choose teams that are committed to really you know, spend 510 years of their life trying and be part of their journey. 

Marta-Gaia Zanchi  17:40  
And expect change. And love one word that one of our CEOs in the portfolio used to describe us once this was Alice from the Lowdown amazing woman, she said, I really like you guys, you're unflappable. I love that word. Because it's true, you have to be if you invest at this stage, you can't expect to say, Okay, we have a good plan. Let's do it. Okay. And that's how you start and realize how naive you are. Speak with customers on the ground, literally building the plane on the way now, you have to get better as you do it. Otherwise, something is wrong. Otherwise, you're not investing a pre seed and seed stages. So the fundamentals we need to see, we need to see that the team was really understood the problem 360 degrees that we need to see, we need to see the commitment, we need to see the appreciation of the fact that this is a multi size problem. And you're not going to have one user who's one buyer, who is one customer who's one decision makers, this is how freaking hard and complicated. And you have 20 different people from 20 different types of organizations to convince with 20 different types of value propositions, can you create that very elusive alignment? And then and then once you actually start doing it, refine it, because you're always learning until until you try and then you learn some more. So you really need that kind of people. I'm very proud of that. We're unflappable.

Henry Peck  19:06  
What's not unflappable? Are these balloons as we get that and we'll wait for that take a second. But when you talk about the the team dynamics, obviously as investors you're looking at and assessing the teams that you see. But let's talk about your team and how you build your team to support these companies. Because as you know, and as the entrepreneurs and other investors that invested this stage know, you're providing a lot more than capital to these companies in that early stage. It's so high touch. So much of it is guidance and counseling, the benefit of your network and the expertise of the team that you bring, talking about how you built your team, what types of skill sets you needed to make sure we're represented and how that team not only supports the investment process, but the portfolio success process that comes for many years after the investment.

Marc Subirats  19:52  
Yes, applying the same that's what we like to see in the companies where we invest. Of course I think, Marta myself, we have relevant backgrounds, and we have the commitment, and it's our passion to actually become kind of the best early stage health tech investment, an early stage investor. So at the same time, part of why our success has been building a team that was ready for the challenge. And first of all, it needs to be a very international team. Because we are basically, so far I don't think we share this until now, in the last four years, we have invested in more than 40 companies, with headquarters in 17 different countries. So we are investing in the US in Canada, in UK, continental Europe, Israel. So this is a broad geography. So the US brought us to build the team where our core investment team, we are six people, and all together, we have eight different passports, Italy, US, Canada, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, a very diverse team. And if we look up our about our backgrounds, the same, we have, our team includes, of course, people with business, entrepreneurial backgrounds, technology, life science, biomedical engineering, biotechnology, and that's the team we build together. And on top of that, of course, we had already a very relevant network, among all the relevant stakeholders in our in our space, payers, hospitals, key opinion leaders, the industry. But in the last four years, we've extended this, including a group of a dozen advisors, both sides in Europe and the US with very relevant backgrounds for the work we do. And this is an ecosystem that has been growing in the last four years to really be sighs to do what we what we are meant to do. 

Marta-Gaia Zanchi  21:52  
And this is one thing I'm exceptionally proud of diversity of our team is key. And if there is something that I can recommend to the startups, any company that is yours to invest in that multidisciplinarity of thought, diversity, different background experiences, especially in healthcare, it's so important, you can't have one person who knows all of these different aspects of the healthcare industry, you need to be able to bring this diversity of perspective, and this goes beyond the biodesign fluff, you know, the, the thinking about different thoughts, different processes, that's also very important to decision making. You need all of that. By the way, Nina Capital team is right there, Sebastian, Yehal, Feran. So if you want to meet an amazing group of individuals is that corner over there. Thank you so much, guys. So yeah, I we're very lucky. I think there is there is one very clear evidence that we're going to do fine is because for some reason that does amazing individuals have chosen to work with us. And it's the best people who find you in the end, although we like to think that we found them. 

Henry Peck  23:02  
Well, I'm sure they're very grateful to work with you. And we're grateful to have you and your whole team at this event. And you mentioned that if people want to meet you guys, they can meet you on site all this week. Let's give a little bit of you know, tips from the other side for entrepreneurs that may be thinking about pitching you this week. Obviously, there are a lot of founders and company executives, innovators, as we call them here, raising capital looking for strategic partners, other investors that are looking at syndicate partners, etc. Partners for deals they currently have. What advice or recommendations maybe some guidance do you have for entrepreneurs that are looking at identifying good fit investors in general, and then those that are probably coming into your inbox and looking to partner with you at this stage? 

Marta-Gaia Zanchi  23:45  
Absolutely. First of all, all the startups that are here, I would amazing, Austin has written a blog post, it's an hour publication on medium. And we tried so hard to give you a list of questions you should ask to your investors to find the great founder fund fit. Because eventually this is a very crucial piece of your fundraising process that too many startups forget. You need to qualify your investors, you'll be preserving much more of your sanity, if you do the work upfront to really understand which funds out there have the potential to be the best match for your startups, and how to do it. Well, these events are a great opportunity to so my advice is do not send hundreds of messages to unqualified VCs who have someone in attendance at the event. But this uses opportunity to be engaged to listen, listen to the VCs that are sharing their thoughts, their funds, their investments, understand what they're interested in to learn about them and the ones that seem to be the closest to making the match for your company. That has to be the style of the conversation or you're interested in clinical on nutrition, you're interested in managed care organizations Medicaid budget for social determinants of health models. That's a very interesting topic. That's what I'm working on. That's what I'm interested in doing. Let's talk. So this has to be the beginning of a conversation. And it's a great opportunity for you to find the best investors, don't expect to come in and close a transaction, it hasn't happened this way, we actually do some due diligence. And at the earliest, it will take us six to 12 weeks before we make an investment from that first meeting. So the best thing you can do is to use this event, to qualify your investors and to find something to relate to, to start a conversation with and build a relationship with them, after the event,

Marc Subirats  25:50  
I take a look at our portfolio companies try to understand where we're investing. This explains a lot, for example, about Nina Capital, use these events to get to know people to initiate conversations, very important. Decide on what conversations do you want to follow up. There is lots of people here that might be not relevant for you in the first conversation, but they can introduce you to the right people. So you need to think about this as an investment that it's going to be kind of work to do for the next year, not just in the in the proper conference.

Henry Peck  26:26  
Well, I think that really helps set up a lot of the people here for success. And I know we're coming up on time, I want to leave a few minutes for q&a from the audience. If there's anybody that does have questions, feel free to raise your hand, we'll get a mic over to you. And if not, we have a couple more up here that we can keep asking we can go for for a while. In the meantime, if anybody's thinking of a question, I can ask one and for you, Marc, because we kind of glazed over 20 years of overnight success with your business that sold to Teladoc. How does that perspective having built a company for that long and then sold to, you know, to a multinational US Corporation? What was that process like deciding to go that route rather than the private equity route you had mentioned earlier? And what perspective is that lend now to the portfolio companies that you support at Nina having that expertise?

Marc Subirats  27:13  
Well, probably that's because that's the part of my story, my proper story that I enjoyed the most. What I enjoy enjoyed the most was the discovery part, making sense finding the right business model, finding the right way to convince, to find our beachhead market. And that's exactly the part of the of the job I enjoyed the most, at the point where I decided to actually exit the company is because after starting my company, in many companies, I saw that this challenge and was not going to be there anymore. And that's the reason why I wanted to do early stage and be part of the next discoveries that will reshape the way healthcare is providing the future. 

Henry Peck  27:53  
Marta for you, when I asked you, and even when I've asked some of your team about the thesis that Nina the types of companies you invest in, of course, there's valuation targets and geographies and all that. But something you'd mentioned is that you invest from first principles, that being a phrase that was consistent when speaking to the team. What does that mean to you? Empirically? How do you use first principles to guide your investment decisions? Support your portfolio companies, etc?

Marta-Gaia Zanchi  28:20  
Yes, yes, it goes back to well, the way I always thought you need to do innovation, in order to increase as much as possible your chances of success with a focus on the health technology. This goes back to my days in California, and working with teams inside the Stanford environment inside the hospital, what we used to do was plant those teams into the hallways of the Stanford Hospital of the children's hospitals, with a notepad, a pen, and a structure for them to look at problems. And then after you have hundreds of those problems listed, you will try to understand those problems in depth, understand all the stakeholders, and then after you had some ideas for what would be all of these criterias for these problems to be solved, then you start conceptualizing and kind of trying to understand what could be the potential solutions to that problem. And it's a filtering process and a very iterative one on each step. But if I need that, those first principle does observations does criteria or the driver or all of the innovation process downstreams. Now we're not venture builder. We're not here to create company from zero. We meet these companies when they're already in the creation process. But what we can do is to try to do the exercise of bringing them back to the first principle that prompted the creation, to understand if that need is real, if they have designed according to what they have learned about that innovation, and if this is the right time, and this is the right point in the value chain to come in, because too often we find funders that are looking to solve problems that are downstream or upstream. So what the real problems to be solved are. And so this goes back to that first principles of design thinking applied to the solution of problems in the healthcare systems. And the way we find companies, the way we vette companies is understand if they've done that process correctly, to increase their chances of success. And it goes back to again, our network, talking with the stakeholders, all of them maintaining a 360 degree view of the healthcare ecosystem, to feel that all of those pieces of puzzle, it may not line up perfectly right now. It's too early. It's a pre seed and seed stage company after all, but at least the foundations are there for an alignment to be built. Moving forward. 

Henry Peck  30:44  
Thank you. I think someone's gonna come grab the mic for us to have some questions.

Audience Question  30:52  
Thanks very much for throwing this wonderful evening. Great to see you, Marta. Great to see you, Henry. I just have one question, Marta, you and I connected at 5am Your time when you were in California, I'm based in the UK, you've now spent many years over here, you have a fantastic track record in the US. I'm curious about the caliber of solutions and companies and liters and talent that you've found in Europe, compared to the US. So not asking for an us versus them the more of a compare and contrast. Because I think we tend to have a you know, I've lived in UK for 20 years, I think we tend to believe that perhaps the best innovation is coming from the valley, or from Boston or from San Diego. And I just curious what your views are about what you've seen in Europe. Thank you.

Marta-Gaia Zanchi  31:36  
Thank you, Dan, well, first of all, I know you and you so so number one amazing talent in the UK, I met Marc in Spain, so amazing talent and Spain. Really, there is amazing talent everywhere. It is true that Europe has been a bit behind on the innovation course the ecosystem is younger. So what we're here to find is a second generation of great entrepreneurs in Europe, after the first generation, Marc's generation, decided to start the first companies that went on to great international success. So it's a younger ecosystem. What he has that, for example, the Silicon Valley ecosystem has in its favor is less density. So instead of university, it was very easy for new CEOs to find mentors support role models, connections, that with how the density is amazing, and that are very porous falls between all the major centers of innovation, academia, hospitals, venture capitalist corporations, those walls are so porous, that it allows for the cross pollination of idea. And the partnerships were created in a way much more easily than I find it is in Europe. So it's a harder challenge. But boy, the talent is amazing. And so I think that with just a little bit of direction and support with opening our network with showing the ways with teaching some of the fundamentals, that gap can be shrunk very fast. And this is what we're here to prove that great talent can come from anywhere. And we can bring some of those principles. So work from both sides of the Atlantic to each other. And that cross pollination of ideas and talent is the recipe for great international success. So that at the end, it doesn't matter where you start, it is where you're going that matters. And we'll define that success. 

Audience Question 2  33:28  
Hey, guys, one more question. So just double clicking on the point, I think your guys's skill set is somewhat rare as a combination leading a fund, you know, you've founded companies both together, you've also had the experience of exiting companies. So not just how does that relate to figuring out which companies are going to win, but talk a little bit more about how it allows you to relate to the startup founders, that you've actually been there and done that? And what kind of advice does that allow you to give these companies moving forward, especially in these times that are pretty tough right now?

Marc Subirats  33:59  
First of all, I think it's because of our backgrounds. I think we have a very good track record of very talented founders liking us to become their investors. And I think this is something that has evolved in the sense that well, they, they like to see more and more the best part the best founders want to have in their investors, people that have actually a track record of having founded the company understand what's the effort they need to do to succeed to succeed. And I think that's very relevant. I think the second thing is about well, we've gone through the suffering, what it means. So we have the right understanding of what it takes. We understand what this takes time that you need to be patient. And I think that this is a message that lots of founders appreciate a lot in the sense of having us in their cap tables.

Marta-Gaia Zanchi  34:56  
We're unflappable.

Audience Question  34:59  
Hi, good evening. Thank you. Fantastic conversation, thank you very much for the opportunity, I'm Fredrico, I'm a neurosurgeon. So as a representative of a startup in medtech, we do advanced simulation. In the last year, I moved from medicine from surgery to technology. So I am discovering this new ecosystem, you, you know very well, I mean, the ecosystem is very noisy. So my question is, how do you move in this noise? I mean, how do you receive a lot of pitches, a lot of, a lot of information. The methodology is the same for all of us, all of us. I mean, we send a document we send a piece there is there are many opportunities there outside there. So generally, I know you need to use parameters to cut off to identify specific options. But how do you avoid to lose opportunities?

Marta-Gaia Zanchi  35:56  
Oh, we will lose opportunities. I'm sure we have lost opportunities, we have seen 5500 of them in the last four years, all to make 40 investments. So less than half a percent of the companies that we see we invest in, and I'm sure we are regrettably saying no to a number of amazing founders, we're gonna go on and build amazing companies, it's not just not statistically possible, that there are only going to be 40 amazing companies in those 5500. But that's not the job of an investor, our job is not to invest in all of the companies that are going to be successful one day, is to invest in a group of 25 30 Great Ones per fund. And the way we try to make sure that we invest in the right ones is actually the better question, accepting the fact that we will miss some opportunities, how do we make sure that the ones we invest in are gonna be great opportunities? Well, we do it trying to be very structured in very clear in our investment criteria, very transparent in our positioning in the market, needs driven, information technology, pre-seed and seed stages, we need to see that you have a value proposition that's well laid out, we need to see it in certain regions, because yes, we are international. But if you are from South America, or the somewhere in Asia, we're not there just yet. I'm sorry. So pass. So we're trying to be brutally clear and transparent about what our criteria are. They're all on our website. And then we try to be as fast as possible on those that are most obvious. And then for the rest, we enter into a phone call. And then if you're still unsure after that, because we always tried to be very convinced before saying no, not just Yes, we need to be convinced before saying no, then this is where the opportunity comes a big table. And there is the whole of the investment team is all here in Barcelona sitting down every Tuesday afternoon saying what about this company? What about it? And that's when we try to expand the time that we put in each one investment. But if you're so this is the process for us to be saying yes. But as to how do we avoid not saying no to some good ones, we just make peace with the fact that we will. But that's not the point. The point is to be very honest, and very clear, and very efficient on our place in the world. And making sure that we do find those 25 to 30 per fund, that are consistent with our purpose in the world and make great decisions, which honestly, in this world means trying to minimize as much as possible that zone of uncertainty, but there is never certainty, the only certainty is that things will change on the way. And we will try to make sure to support that change in the way that is most sustainable as possible. Which means listening to the response of the market, we start to build the company along with the funders for the next five to 10 years. 

Marc Subirats  39:08  
Yeah, as as an investor, we like to invest in companies where we think that we can add value. And we can we think that we can add value, if we have that we speak the same language, or we have a similar vision to the founders where we are investing. As a founder, I think the same should happen. No, you should be looking for investors that you think that they understand your vision, and that you are willing to be with them for the next five to 10 years. I think in my personal experience of a founder, this was probably the most important thing to remember that making sure that you're going to have investors in your company that you don't share the same vision and understanding on how to, you know, make your journey. 

Henry Peck  39:54  
Alright, well. We're gonna stay here for a minute but thank you guys very much and thank you Marta, thank you Marc and the Nina capital team for being here for opening the event for their partnership and helping bring this event to Barcelona this year. If you guys have any questions again, the Nina Capital team will be on site tonight as well as throughout the week. So reach out to them in the partnering app. And other than that, welcome to LSI Europe enjoy the rest of the night and we will see you all tomorrow for opening remarks. 

Marta-Gaia Zanchi  40:23  
And now in the pool!

LSI USA '24 is filling fast. Secure your spot today to join Medtech and Healthtech leaders in Dana Point.

JOIN US TODAY

Share this video

Companies We Work With