Next Team Addition Might be One of Our Best Investments…
How can it get any better? And yet it does as we continue to build out the investment team at Flare Capital…
Please welcome Tara Sullivan to our team, who joined this month from Redesign Health, a terrific company based in New York that creates healthcare technology companies. As we continue to invest our most recent fund, look for us to add additional resources as we continue to scale. In addition to an impressive academic career (McGill University, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania), she has been in and around the healthcare industry for most of her career.
As a native Bostonian, it is great to have her back in town. After graduating from university, Tara joined Putnam Associates to work as a strategy consultant working with leading healthcare and life science companies, helping to develop strategies to bring innovative solutions to clinicians and patients. Looking to gain important operating experience, Tara then joined Flatiron Health to drive a series of operational excellence initiatives. Those five years perfectly set her up for the Health Care Management program at Wharton. While in business school, Tara served as a Venture Partner at Contrary Capital, which nicely positioned her for her next role at Redesign Health on the New Ventures team.
What is so striking about Tara is how early in her career she locked on healthcare. As a student in Canada at McGill, she was immediately struck by the differences between the single payor Canadian system and the U.S. healthcare market. She is a deep thinker about various business models and how they might improve access and quality, while lowering costs. As we often say, technology is the great democratizing force in healthcare to serve the disenfranchised; something she has seen firsthand in both her academic and professional work.
Additionally, we are excited to have Tara push our thinking as we deepen our pursuit of more “pharmatech” investment opportunities, something she spent a lot of time pursuing at Flatiron. It is not lost on us that many of our portfolio companies that sell to the pharma and biotech sectors are strong performers, due to the resilience of R&D and capital expenditure budgets.
Importantly, Tara is also a great person. She is chronically upbeat and engaging. So much of the success in this business is just showing up and being present. Expect to see entrepreneurs naturally gravitate to her, both because of her depth of understanding and her presence. We are excited to see her contributions to the firm, the performance of our funds, and to the healthcare technology sector.
Finally, she adds to the ranks of our “Swiftie” fans which was enthusiastically embraced by a few of our team members. While I am not (yet) on that fandom bandwagon, I have come to appreciate their commitment to the cause…
Other Firm Updates
Quick update on our Flare Scholars program and Flare Scholar Ventures (FSV), which is our commitment to invest a portion of our new fund in the pre-seed rounds of Flare Scholar sponsored projects. With 316 current and former Flare Scholars, who are young brilliant passionate emerging healthcare technology entrepreneurs, we now have 17 FSV companies, meaningfully exceeding our initial goal – and a handful of those companies have already graduated by raising proper seed or Series A rounds (in total our FSV companies have raised more than $74 million). The progress of the FSV program is inspirational as we continue to on-board the next generation of great healthcare technology entrepreneurs.
As we now look to recruit the Class of 2024 Flare Scholars, we could not be more impressed with the quality of all our Flare Scholars, but particularly the exceptional Class of 2023. Capital will always follow great talent and in this market, it will be great talent that wins.
Additionally, we continue to aggressively pursue our company co-creation model, having now created six portfolio companies in partnership with one or more of our strategic LPs. With another two in-process, this approach rapidly accelerates product development and team recruiting given the quality of the contributed assets by the strategic partner. With the current economic environment, one might expect to see more “stranded assets” available as companies look to streamline operations, monetize assets that are under-utilized, or shed internal initiatives that are not fully funded.
And please join us for our next quarterly Expert Roundtable Series webinar on December 12, 2023 at noon EST.