Corporate Venture Capital & Strategic Investors: Current Priorities & Targets


Robert Kieval

Robert Kieval

Exec. VP, Strategic Partnerships, Veranex
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Beatriz Volckaert

Beatriz Volckaert

Senior Associate, Philips Ventures
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Jotthe Kannappan

Jotthe Kannappan

Venture Investments, Intuitive Surgical
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Virginia Giddings

Virginia Giddings

VP Exploration, Edwards Lifesciences
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What are Strategics looking for, right now, and what's the best way (and when) to access them.


Robert Kieval  0:04  

So I'm Rob Kieval. I'm really honored to have this opportunity to help moderate this panel and I'm joined by three distinguished panelists, Jotthe Kannappan, from Intuitive Ventures, Virginia Giddings from Edwards Lifesciences. And Beatriz Volckaert from Philips ventures. Welcome. Thank you. Thank you. So let's start by asking you to each just introduce yourselves a little bit about your background, and a little bit about the the venture work that you do and how your fund is structured and how you conduct your investments. Jotthe.


Jotthe Kannappan  0:50  

Sure. Hi, everyone. Delighted to be here. I'm Jotthe Kannappan and I'm an associate with intuitive ventures, which is the venture capital investing platform of Intuitive Surgical. A bit about me, I'm an engineer who fell in love with the world of healthcare entrepreneurship by working for med tech startups. And then I went to go get an MBA, so a little bit of technical and commercial and the way that I think about investing, intuitive Ventures is a fund that's focused on accelerating the future of minimally invasive care, we invest across a broad range of healthcare disciplines, including digital ecosystem diagnostics, focal therapeutics, and device platforms. Yeah, I'll stop there. I'm sure we'll dive into more about our strategic lenses in a bit.


Virginia Giddings  1:32  

All right, I'll go next. I'm Virginia Giddings, VP of exploration at Edwards Lifesciences. I am also an engineer, and sort of my career journey is marked by innovation and really wanting to participate in the very earliest stages of innovation. My engineering took me to getting a PhD in mechanical engineering and that sort of launch my, my career in med tech. And from there, I've been with a number of strategic so I've been with j&j, Abbott, Stryker, and now Edwards, as well as some some smaller companies along the way in a variety of product development and more business strategy kinds of roles. Some of you in the audience probably know Edwards Lifesciences, we're, we're a company that makes makes valves, pioneered valves, and also critical care. Businesses, I'm sure we'll get into a bit about, you know, how we go about doing things and what my title means and that kind of thing. But, you know, I mean, I guess just in summary, I look to the outside world. For innovation, I focus on the entrepreneurs, like, like many in the audience here. So capacity are


Beatriz Volckaert  2:53  

Great. Yeah. So hi, everyone, I'm Beatriz Volckaert. I'm by technologies by background. And I've been like, now for years on the venture capital space. So I started on a on a equity fund, mainly, they were fundraising. So I had to jump to the to the next one, I was for three years on an impact investing fund, mainly focused on digital health medical devices on seeds, whose aid so investing, mainly in Spain, but also across Europe. And I moved to the Netherlands last year to join the Philips ventures team. So like right now, like Philips is 100% helped the company. So we divest all the appliances and all the lighting designs that we had. And right now we're mainly focused on image guided therapy on a person diagnosis, connected care, personal health. So all these type of technologies, and then we also have digital health fund to focus on new trends, new areas that maybe Phillips wants to be on a future. Mainly investing on series A Series B, so great to be here.


Robert Kieval  4:10  

Great. Well, thank you. I mean, I know there's a lot of entrepreneurs in the audience who are here, they're they're raising money, they might want to investigate whether you could be a partner, could you just give us some of the basics about your fund and how you structure your investments? At what stage do you usually like to enter? What's the typical initial size of your investment, total investment over the life of your fund? I know some of the strategics you know, don't like to lead rounds don't like to take board seats. Could you just give us some flavor and on your own and your own practice?


Beatriz Volckaert  4:46  

Yeah, sure. So like we have a tailor more traditional approach if we focus on investing on the on the companies that can complement the product that we have in Philips In here, the business sponsor, those investments, therefore the state, we are more stage agnostic. So we can invest from Series A, let's say until 100 million. So we are quite broad, let's say in the sense, then we have a more like digital health fund in here. It's mainly series A Series B, from two to 5 million, we normally syndicate those deals. Across the globe, we have like some things in the US in the US in Europe, also in China, Singapore, India. So we kind of like split by geographies. And yeah, mainly digital, digital health, pure software. And also we have another type of investment that is investing through other venture capital. So we act as a limited partner on those funds just to diversify a bit more the portfolio and to also gather some insights from some specific geographies or some, let's say like some thematic areas.


Robert Kieval  6:10  

So is that pretty typical to for a strategic to be a limited partner in a VC fund? I'm in Virginia, how does Edwards interact with with venture capitalists? And if you could just give us some of the same flavor about your own


Virginia Giddings  6:24  

Yeah, yeah, so, Edwards, we're I mean, we're truly strategic. We're looking at it from the perspective of how do we build a portfolio that's going to be our future products. And it was one of the things that with my innovation journey that really drew me to, to Edwards was how they approach it, and they do it through, I actually sit in a business unit advanced technology, that's not a revenue business unit. It's a business unit that we form, to be the launching pad for our next businesses. And we did it 20 years ago, with an many, many in the audience know the story with our, with our TAVR, our trans aortic valve therapy, we started it in advanced tech, we had an internal program, we ran that in parallel with an external investment we made in a company called PVT. And ultimately, the PVT technology was the one that we went with. And then from there, launch that that business, which is now you know, our biggest business, right. So it's a very successful model for that. And then we follow that with our mitral and tricuspid therapies. And so we really see our external effort with in advanced tech is how do we build that portfolio of technologies that is going to be our future business, and we see it through that lens, we don't see it as, you know, a financial investment, per se, we see it as a path to ultimately acquiring technologies for the portfolio or, you know, can be, you know, many of the learnings along the way, as these companies advance their products.


Robert Kieval  8:14  

So is it is it possible to generalize, you know, what percent of deals that you invest in, you ultimately acquire?


Virginia Giddings  8:22  

What percentage?


Robert Kieval  8:24  

Is it? Yeah, most, half, some?


Virginia Giddings  8:27  

Well, you know, I don't, we don't exactly look at it through that framework, because an hour know what the percentage is. But we certainly do, you know, far less deals than some and more than others. And the way we look at it is more from the perspective of what what are we learning along the way, because with some of the failures, we've actually, I mean, you can learn an amazing amount from a failure, right? So a failure is not for us as a strategic investor is not a failure of that investment. If we've learned a lot about it, you know, that said, we invest, you know, across the spectrum. So that sort of question we get all the time, you know, what we're at what point do you come in to invest? And it's, it really the answer is it depends. Sometimes we'll go in early if we think that we're going to be able to learn something. And if we think that a technology is so highly aligned, that we want to be along on the journey, and sometimes we'll go in go in later. 


Great. Thank you. Jotthe?


Jotthe Kannappan  9:38  

Yeah, absolutely. So Virginia, you mentioned that Edwards thinks about investments as the future products of as boards and intuitive ventures, we tend to think about our investments as the future of minimally invasive care, right. So it tends to be pretty, pretty broad and contrast as well. We are a financial and strategically motivated VC. So to your point earlier about You know, the percentage of deals that are acquired or may not be acquired. We don't invest typically with the intention of acquiring and nor does and Intuitive Ventures investment preclude an Intuitive Surgical acquisition. Part of this is the financial design of, or the financial motive behind our investment, right, we want the best possible outcomes for our portfolio companies be that acquisition by Intuitive acquisition by another player or an IPO. And this is also why we don't tend to tie our deals to strategic terms, it's a big portion of how we think about investing, because of that dual mandate. On the strategic portion. It is, as I mentioned earlier, at the end of the day about our thesis in minimally invasive care. So our strategic, our definition of strategic value is incredibly broad. It can be anything from a technology that sits along a patient pipeline, that intuitive also happens to sit on to something that's adding ecosystem value to multiple medtech players in a given healthcare vertical.


Robert Kieval  11:00  

So Virginia, as I understand it, your, your folks, you're a very you're you have a much more focused mission in terms of your investments, and you go, maybe not as broad, but maybe deeper. Can you talk about?


Virginia Giddings  11:14  

Yeah and you know, last year, if you were at the forum last night with Antoine, he was talking about, you know, seeing 2000 deals a year, or whatever the number is, and then, you know, how many actually become deals? And I think, you know, for us at Edwards, we've gone very deep, I mean, we've gone deep in structural heart, and we're, and we're focused, and we can pretty quickly get to, you know, what, what companies are of interest to us what technologies. So, that has a benefit in sort of that depth of relationship, you know, one of the questions that comes off, up often it's like, how do you source deals, and, you know, there's, of course, going out to meetings like this and meeting with people. And that's, that's a great thing. And we've I've had a lot of fantastic conversations the past couple of days with entrepreneurs. And, and some of them I didn't know before, but we operate in the structural heart area, that's what we're very in, it's abroad, it is a, you know, there's a lot going on in that narrow, I guess, narrow space. But we tend to, you know, we know a lot of people, and we tend to know, the entrepreneurs who are in our space, we know, our key opinion leaders, we know our physician customers very well. And so we tend to get to the entrepreneurs who are relevant, and likewise, they can get to us pretty quickly, I think. And, and we can, you know, pretty quickly give them that, you know, hey, we're really interested or, you know, no, or, or not, not not, I mean, usually, it's more somewhere in the middle of like, it's not, no, it's not, which is frustrating to entrepreneurs, right? Like, we want an answer. It's like, well, no, it's not No, but it's not now we're very interested. And we want to see what you learn. And we want you to get to certain milestones developing on the depending on the technology, sometimes it's actually an early stage milestone of a, a preclinical data. And that would be really interesting to us. Sometimes it's, you know, hey, we really want to see first in human human data. So, yeah, so it's that there's a, been a, I've been with some of the other, you know, I've listed off the companies I've been with, so, you know, they have much broader mission and mandates there in terms of the kinds of therapeutic areas they look at, which made it a lot more complex for me to navigate it. There's other company it's, you know, an Edwards is pretty, pretty straightforward. We have a really good idea. Yeah, you know, what's on strategy for us?


Robert Kieval  13:59  

Well, I mean, being so focused and having so much domain expertise in structural heart and having seen so much, wonder if that gives you comfort to invest in deals earlier on then maybe other investors would just because you can, you can really Intuit you know, issues that that technology is will face down the road.


Virginia Giddings  14:24  

Yeah, I mean, absolutely. So if you you know, Edwards one of the things Edwards will you will hear, Mike Musallam, our CEO or others, Edward says that we want to lead in transforming the, the standard of care for patients who are structural heart disease. And so, if you, if you want to lead in transforming the standard of of care, then you really, you really need to get in early and if you're focused and if this is this is your area, then you do have to invest early on or, you know, and it's actually it's interesting because entrepreneurs will often come to me and, you know, come to me for an investment, right? Hey, we're raising around, we, we want you to participate, because we need the financial backing. And this leads to a discussion, right. And then often at the end of it, the most valuable piece that I can contribute to them and Edwards can contribute to them is some of the guidance and input that they get from us, because we get into very candid discussions. And sometimes the most valuable thing isn't the money. I mean, I'm not saying the money, the money is important, right? And I'm sure everyone out there, entrepreneurs in the audience are saying, no, no, no, the money's the money is absolutely important. But, you know, we've participated in this field for so many years, and we have some insights that we actually would be pretty happy to share. We're part of this ecosystem, and we want to see these companies survive, thrive and be able to bring these therapies out to help help patients and that's important to us. And part of, you know, you know, we want to advance innovation. For Edwards, of course, but more importantly, we want to advance care for patients. Yeah, so sometimes it is just having the discussion and we can help, you know, we can help avoid, you know, some of the side tracks and you know, the paths that maybe we've been down that haven't been fruitful for us in the past, so we can help entrepreneurs in that.


Robert Kieval  16:37  

Right. Okay, thanks. So you talked a little bit about deal flow? And what that looks like at Edwards. Beatriz What is deal flow look like for you? Do you have stacks with business plans on your desk to you know, with hopelessly, too much to get through? Or do you go out and seek what you're looking for? Tell us a little bit about your standard practice and how you engage with with entrepreneurs?


Beatriz Volckaert  17:01  

Sure, like I was thinking about this question, like, how narrow how, how broad Are we at the end, we're trying to focus on the major areas, or cardiology, and neurology, oncology, and we tried to cover the entire care continuum. But at the end, of course, like when you're seeing a company, then there's like specific business on integrative therapy for structural heart diseases, that they are super focused on this, then it's great to be on the venture side, because you just check internally with those experts that, you know, they've been for years on this whole department that is just focused on this. And on the digital health side, it's more about okay, so which is the new trend on the market? And we're trying to, you know, like, be more agnostic, agnostics, and just follow the customer voice, let's say. And, yeah, at the end, like, deal flow, the good ones, you need to go to these type of events to, like, look for them and and trying to find them. And also having this relationship with other investors is yeah, for me, like the best way? And but yeah, like sometimes, of course, it's quite difficult to manage everything. But yeah, it's great to see all the innovation.


Robert Kieval  18:31  

Great, Jotthe for you.


Jotthe Kannappan  18:32  

Yeah, absolutely. So our deal flow comes from very similar places to both Virginia's and bears, we get a fair amount of inbound, fair amount of it comes from coming to lovely events like this fair amount of it from networks of other really sophisticated investors, as well as a fair amount of thesis driven outreach that we do as well. And this is actually something that I'll cite as super important for a broad investor. Right. So we invest across a variety of verticals, but we still find it super important to have an informed opinion about an area before we start investing in it. We want to be able to add value from day one. And we want to be able to draw on the wealth of resources that intuitive can offer to any of our portfolio companies be that regulatory reimbursement, IP, commercial, clinical, you name it, we're going to try to help you with it if you would like us to. Beyond that. I also wanted to sort of tie in to the the way that the broad strategic route definition of strategic value is actually important for our financial mandate as well. So because we're investing across the entire future of minimally invasive care, the definition of success isn't necessarily what we're going to bring in house right? The definition of a success is is what is good for the ecosystem, and what is going to provide returns by having a really broad definition of strategic value. We are increasing the reach of deals that we get access to, which is why we're seeing hundreds of them a year and it also offers us access to the very best financial opportunities says actually a really key role and unlocking the other pillar of value that we're trying to drive.


Robert Kieval  20:05  

So obviously, corporate investing has been around for for many, many years, and I'm sure it's evolved over the years and somebody who was trying to work with us strategic, you know, 510 years ago, it might be a very different situation today. So I'm wondering, Jotthe, I'll ask you first, you know, what is different with corporate investing? In 2022? Obviously, there, you know, the economic landscape has changed. We're in a post COVID era, the practice of medicine has changed. The very definition of, of what is med tech has changed, you have drug delivery, you have software as a medical, medical device AI digitally enabled technologies. What's it like today?


Jotthe Kannappan  20:52  

Yeah, absolutely. So this is this is more unanswered broadly to the world of healthcare than it is specific to CBSE. And I'm really curious for both of your thoughts on this. But I think the past couple of years have thrown a lot of problems in healthcare and really sharp relief, right. So we've seen increasing burnout amongst providers, we've seen real problems with inequity and access to care, we've seen changing reimbursement landscapes, we've just seen a lot surface. And I think in this moment, entrepreneurs are really the heroes, right? When the world sees problems, entrepreneurs see opportunities. And our role is CVC, in a world ridden with problems to fix is to be able to provide the capital and expertise to aid entrepreneurs in the process of fixing those problems. And that's an honor and privilege of the work that we do. So my my somewhat pithy answer to your question about, you know, what's changed about the world of CVC is that it's also actually an incredible run of opportunity for us right now to be able to really have impact.


Robert Kieval  21:56  

So if we were to reconvene in three to five years, what would you predict? We would be, the future would look like at that time when this is all sorted out, and, and figured out?


Virginia Giddings  22:07  

It's all figured out? We've solved it all. I mean, I guess to start with, like, what's different, you know, over the, like, 30, some years of my career and 20, some where I've been in more sort of business development roles. I think what, when we get into discussions today, we very quickly get to what is the value in terms of the healthcare system, whereas you know, 20 years ago, that really wasn't being talked about. So that that whole value piece, and I think that's important for the entrepreneurs in the audience to really be thinking through, you know, what is that value story? How could this result in, you know, positive value to the healthcare system and in instead of destructive value? So that's an important piece, you know, obviously, the whole digitization of healthcare, which we've been talking about for ever, right, that I mean, that goes back really far, right? You know, the banking industry managed to get there. And like, we're still just, it feels like we're just still starting, despite, you know, billions or I don't know if it's trillions of dollars in investment, or much has gone in. But I think that's where we look forward. And like five years from now, hopefully, we will have a lot of really good case studies that all the resonate with all of us in terms of how has digital health advanced, I mean, the other piece of it, and actually I was with when I was with Abbott, I was with Abbott nutrition part of my time there. So that was really interesting, because that is a consumer business. Right? So there's also the consumerization of health care, and what is that going to mean in terms of if we're putting more data and information in the hands of the consumer in the hands of the patient? Or maybe in the hands of the person who's not a patient? Yeah, and what are the implications there in terms of their health, and I think all of that has yet really has yet to be seen. But that's sort of the wave that we're on right now, where there's been a lot of investment in it. There's still the progress to be seen. We have these companies that are not traditional health care companies, you know, the apples, the Walmart, the seam, CVS, I mean, you name it, the Best Buy, that are entering and they think about things very differently. They invest in things very differently. As they advanced technologies very it's a totally different cycle time. And they they need those of us who are experienced healthcare to really bring. So I think, you know, looking at, you know, there's sort of like, I mean, we're in this continues, right, where, you know, hopefully five years from now 10 years from now, consumers will have in their hands, a better sets of tools to help them be able to control the factors that they can control in terms of their health, and that they will embrace and use these tools so that patients can be managed more effectively in different settings and not, you know, be coming into the emergency room as their life's frontline therapy.


Robert Kieval  25:54  

Great. And, of course, more equal access to health care. And more.


Virginia Giddings  25:57  

Yeah, and addressing the health disparities, of course, that's a big, big one. And it's much needed.


Robert Kieval  26:03  

Yeah. Okay, thank you two more quick questions, and we'll open it up for for questions from the audience. That, you know, there with with corporate investors, there sometimes is an apprehension about, is there an inherent conflict of interest, you know, showing technology to, to, to a strategic that's working in the same space, you may still be in stealth mode, maybe your IP is not all captured, you know, can you you have any words of comfort for entrepreneurs in the audience about disabuse them help disabuse them of that?


Beatriz Volckaert  26:39  

Yeah, this is a tricky one are really important for us, too. We have different ways. For example, our team, even on the Philips ventures team, we are kind of like separate between, like the investment team, the one that the people that sits on the board, the ones that they have, like the fiduciary duties, the ones that try to kind of like be the barrier between the entrapreneurs and you know, like just trying to, to behave on behalf of the company of the startup. And then there's also like people apart from the operations team operation team, there's kind of like the be the people that they are kind of like the link between us and every business. And at the end, we are trying to have any strategy, right? We try to also syndicate those deals. So we can share also this kind of like influence that you might have, also, for the startup, so we have different mechanisms. But for now, we are trying to solve this conflict. But yeah, it's a tricky one that sometimes plenty of entrapreneurs ask us like, hey, so how do you really manage it? Because it's super important.


Robert Kieval  27:59  

To to add to that?


Jotthe Kannappan  28:01  

Yeah, absolutely. So we manage conflicts of interests in very similar ways, right, I think the two most important things I mentioned earlier, we don't tie our deals to strategic terms. And that's specifically because we want to create financial alignment between the success of our entrepreneurs and our success. That alignment inherently removes a lot of the conflicts that might come from working from from working with a strategic. The second thing I'll mention is that firewalls are super important in how we operate. So our ventures group is sort of an independent org that sits and has access to all of the insights and expertise of the parent company. And we're happy to draw on that talent when a portfolio company wants us to. But that's a unidirectional flow of information. Nothing that is seen by our ventures group that is that is not non confidential is ever shared with the rest of the org unless, again, we have explicit permission from the entrepreneurs in question. And I think that also helps alleviate a lot of concerns. Super,


Robert Kieval  29:01  

thank you. All right. Last question. I don't know if there are microphones that can circulate around. Okay, so last thing I wanted to ask the panel is that, you know, these days, we talk a lot about diversity, equity and inclusion. It's certainly talked a lot within HR circles all the way up to the to the boardroom. And we as a service provider, get scrutinized very carefully by prospective clients about our dei practices, and in fact, the diversity that we that we can demonstrate, I'm just curious to what extent dei has become part of the conversation or part of the consideration for you when thinking about making investments. Jotthe, sure down the line.


Jotthe Kannappan  29:48  

Absolutely. So DEI is near and dear to my heart. And I would say pretty important to Intuitive Surgical as it as a general Corporation. It's one of our core values, the way that we tend to think about it in terms of how It impacts our investing. We're asking questions about AI and how we invest, who we invest in and what we invest in. So on the how portion, it's you know, who's on our investing team is our investing team, reasonably diverse, we're very excited to have a panel today of three women. But in the world of venture capital, only 11% of VC investors are women, we can do better. 29.5% of angel investors are women, there's no reason that those people can't be working institutional capital. It's also about you know, thinking about implicit bias in the ways that we make decisions being really proactive about our processes for for filtering deals, who we invest in. So this is about deal flow, making sure we're getting a representative spread of entrepreneurs from a variety of backgrounds. This, again, is something that the world of VC backed founders has had trouble with in the past 75% of VC backed founders are white, we're only 1.8% are black or Latino, we can do better. And we can do that by being intentional about where our deal flow is coming from, and making sure we're getting a diverse, diverse set of candidates in the first place to be able to evaluate. And finally what we're investing in. It's no secret that there are a whole host of issues and inequity and health care today, social determinants of health different outcomes for different racial groups, representation and clinical trials. AI bias is something that's come up a lot recently, a bit depending on the training data that you're using. So specifically, and the companies that we're investing in, we want to be talking to them about how to avoid these pitfalls, and how to be actually designing and inclusive technology.


Virginia Giddings  31:36  

Nice. Thank you, Virginia. So it's I mean, it's so worthy of a much longer discussion, of course, right? That goes without saying. But in terms of strict criteria of like, where you do a deal, because there's no, not really, but we will ask questions. So if your clinical study is not inclusive of half of the population, that will raise a lot of questions of how you're planning to capture that population, and whether this technology is attractive to us or not. If your board does not include representation of I'm not even gonna say minorities, right? Because if it doesn't include women, it's not in a more minority. But if it doesn't include underrepresented minorities, it will also raise some questions. You know, at the end of the day, we try to, you know, have the discussion and provide recommendations if people are, if entrepreneurs are really struggling with with that, and they feel like it's important to have a diverse voice there, we can certainly provide recommendations.


Robert Kieval  32:51  

Right, thank you. I did notice that the room have gotten quieter, really talking about 


Virginia Giddings  32:55  

I know, yeah, so it's like, where everyone's like, Can't we go to the bar?


Robert Kieval  33:00  

Do we have to know, I think people are very interested in that in and this


Virginia Giddings  33:04  

was one we weren't sure. Yeah, all right, we're gonna bring this up or not. And it's sort of like the elephant in the room, you have three women up here on the panel. And that's interesting, but why aren't we you know, maybe we need to flip that sort of observation and say, why would that be unusual? And when we see a panel up there, that doesn't include any women in the healthcare field where there are a lot of women women leaders, maybe that's more sort of the conversation we should be having?


Robert Kieval  33:38  

Well, yes, indeed. Yeah. Yeah.


Beatriz Volckaert  33:42  

Yeah. Um, so, well, again like with the with the topic of diversity, like at the end like Philips is super focused in internal terms of like ESG however, on the investment team, now, we are starting also so to apply this this type of politics The thing is that of course, we can ask we can you know, like have like an raises the voice on the on the boards, but at the end of course, it's it's about the culture of the company. And I think that of course as a as an investor you need to try to work on it. And it's step by step from from an investment perspective apart from from doing the this for example, like now we are analyzing like the investment theme of women's health I'm not just focused on technologies that affects that affect directly women but also you know, like, on on maybe diseases that yeah, like affects us cardiovascular diseases. Totally different. So, we also approaching from the from the sense now,


Robert Kieval  34:59  

Great. Thank you. Thank you very much. Well, I think I hope we have time for, for one or two questions. If there's any burning questions that we didn't cover. People are eager to get Yeah.


Audience Question  35:15  

When, when? And how do you want to connect with you? I know that you're here, you're proactive. But you're not at this meeting? Where if you're meeting Well, when's the right time? And how are the different preferences for the communication?


Virginia Giddings  35:35  

Well, I don't think there's any right answer to that, or any one answer to that. You know, LinkedIn, you know, any email and any way of reaching out to us and entrepreneurs tend to connect into our organization in all different ways. And ultimately, you know, it will get to someone the right person, and chances are, there's not any one right person for Edwards, the exploration team is out there. And we're like, we're definitely a point of contact for all of the entrepreneurs. And then in terms of timing, like there's, I mean, you know, I mean, you know, it's sort of a funny, it's a funny one, right, in the sense that sometimes entrepreneurs come to strategics. And they say, Hey, you know, it's too early for us to be talking. And then you come later, and, you know, maybe, you know, plans have been shaped at that point. And maybe the direction isn't exactly how we would have wanted to see it. So it's sort of like, you know, the just just right thing, but I think there's nothing wrong with going early, you can't turn back time. Right. So if you're going to be anything, come come to us early, and we will let you know if it's too early. And and then we continue the discussion. And what I tried to do is work with entrepreneurs in terms of if it is too early, what would we like to see? And what would be the next good timing to be able to get together with them?


Jotthe Kannappan  37:05  

Yeah, I absolutely agree. You took the words right out of my mouth, I was gonna say it's always prudent to reach out early. And our answer might be it's too early. But when we say just we want to stay in touch, we actively do want to stay in touch. We want to be apprised of things as they are occurring and how the the Yeah, the timing of the investment might make a little sense.


Beatriz Volckaert  37:26  

Yeah. And also, like there's like the businesses on all these corporates that, like the company can start partnering and piloting before we invest, so you can go one way or the other.


Robert Kieval  37:39  

Great. Well, I'll tell you, I've been working with corporate investors for for many years, and my experience has been entirely positive. You know, from my experience, the corporate investors that I've worked with have been incredibly sophisticated, incredibly thoughtful, incredibly practical, and have added a ton of value and helped us think through things that even you know, the pure venture investors were in as good a position to, to help us with so thank you for what you do. And you know, I am a strong supporter. So I thank everybody for your attention. And please join me in giving a round of thank yous to our panelists.



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