Category Archives: Podcasts – Insights

Running Through Walls: Culture and Connection

Venrock partner Brian Ascher speaks with Nicole Alvino, co-founder and CEO of Firstup, about effective workforce communication both digitally and in person. Alvino highlights fostering employee connection through authentic and transparent communication, using the power of video to drive engagement, and discusses expectations for corporate social responsibility. Plus, Alvino reveals a non-obvious lesson learned – employees want to hear from their peers (not just their leaders).

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Venrock partner Brian Ascher speaks with Nicole Alvino, co-founder and CEO of Firstup, about effective workforce communication both digitally and in person. Alvino highlights fostering employee connection through authentic and transparent communication, using the power of video to drive engagement, and discusses expectations for corporate social responsibility. Plus, Alvino reveals a non-obvious lesson learned – employees want to hear from their peers (not just their leaders).
  1. Culture and Connection
  2. High Will Over High Skill
  3. Course Correcting for Long-Term Success
  4. Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
  5. Public Health & Pandemic Premonitions

Running Through Walls: High Will Over High Skill 

Company success is predicated on the people, according to Daversa Partners founder and CEO, Paul Daversa. Venrock partner Bryan Roberts chats with Daversa about the nuances of recruiting impactful senior-level leadership candidates who are a fit for the needs of the company. They cover hiring high will over high skill, understanding that candidates are stage sensitive and ways to avoid terminal hires. Daversa also discusses the intentionality of Dreamscape, the challenges, and the impact they’ve made thus far.

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Venrock partner Brian Ascher speaks with Nicole Alvino, co-founder and CEO of Firstup, about effective workforce communication both digitally and in person. Alvino highlights fostering employee connection through authentic and transparent communication, using the power of video to drive engagement, and discusses expectations for corporate social responsibility. Plus, Alvino reveals a non-obvious lesson learned – employees want to hear from their peers (not just their leaders).
  1. Culture and Connection
  2. High Will Over High Skill
  3. Course Correcting for Long-Term Success
  4. Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
  5. Public Health & Pandemic Premonitions

Running Through Walls: Course Correcting for Long-Term Success

Venrock partner Andrew Gottesdiener speaks with Jigar Raythatha, former CEO of Constellation Pharmaceuticals, about lessons learned from his time at Constellation. As Constellation has evolved from an early-stage company to being acquired by MorphoSys, Raythatha dives into its many life-cycles, his heavy involvement in the recruitment process, and the decision to conduct a PIPE financing. Raythatha also shares the characteristics to look for in an investor syndicate and the challenges of scaling a public company.

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Venrock partner Brian Ascher speaks with Nicole Alvino, co-founder and CEO of Firstup, about effective workforce communication both digitally and in person. Alvino highlights fostering employee connection through authentic and transparent communication, using the power of video to drive engagement, and discusses expectations for corporate social responsibility. Plus, Alvino reveals a non-obvious lesson learned – employees want to hear from their peers (not just their leaders).
  1. Culture and Connection
  2. High Will Over High Skill
  3. Course Correcting for Long-Term Success
  4. Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
  5. Public Health & Pandemic Premonitions

Running Through Walls: Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Venrock partner Racquel Bracken speaks with Markus Renschler, President and CEO of Cyteir Therapeutics, to discuss the journey that led him to Cyteir, and the company’s path to going public. Renschler dives into an important lesson his parents instilled in him from a young age, “be comfortable with being uncomfortable,” and explains how this lesson has played an important role in his career journey. As a practicing hematologist oncologist, Renschler highlights the value of people skills and how developing those skills can positively influence leadership style, recruiting, and even fundraising. Renschler shares some of his highs and lows along the drug development process, provides advice for young clinicians entering the industry, and how his experience as a practicing physician influences the decisions he makes as a CEO. 

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Want more? Here’s the latest on Running Through Walls.

Venrock partner Brian Ascher speaks with Nicole Alvino, co-founder and CEO of Firstup, about effective workforce communication both digitally and in person. Alvino highlights fostering employee connection through authentic and transparent communication, using the power of video to drive engagement, and discusses expectations for corporate social responsibility. Plus, Alvino reveals a non-obvious lesson learned – employees want to hear from their peers (not just their leaders).
  1. Culture and Connection
  2. High Will Over High Skill
  3. Course Correcting for Long-Term Success
  4. Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
  5. Public Health & Pandemic Premonitions

Running Through Walls: Public Health & Pandemic Premonitions

With rising reports of Omicron in the United States, Venrock partner Bryan Roberts speaks with Dr. Charity Dean, CEO and co-founder of Public Health Company (PHC), to discuss her predictions and concerns for the latest Covid-19 variant. Dean and Roberts also talk about the long-term societal impacts of Covid, the severity of disease, and which groups are best protected. As Covid-19 revealed the cracks in the U.S. public health system, Dean shares how she anticipates public infrastructure to evolve, including more public and private sector partnerships. Dean delves into what led her to become a public health officer, the most exciting part of her first year as CEO at PHC, and her thoughts on her starring role in Michael Lewis’s book The Premonition: A Pandemic Story. 

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Want more? Here’s the latest on Running Through Walls

Venrock partner Brian Ascher speaks with Nicole Alvino, co-founder and CEO of Firstup, about effective workforce communication both digitally and in person. Alvino highlights fostering employee connection through authentic and transparent communication, using the power of video to drive engagement, and discusses expectations for corporate social responsibility. Plus, Alvino reveals a non-obvious lesson learned – employees want to hear from their peers (not just their leaders).
  1. Culture and Connection
  2. High Will Over High Skill
  3. Course Correcting for Long-Term Success
  4. Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
  5. Public Health & Pandemic Premonitions

Running Through Walls: Laying the Foundation for Sustainable Success

Brad Stulberg, bestselling author of the books ‘The Passion Paradox’ and ‘Peak Performance,’ joins Venrock partner Bob Kocher to discuss his newest book, ‘The Practice of Groundedness.’ Stulberg offers a healthier, more sustainable model for success and dives into what groundedness means to him – a sense of feeling solid, stable, and whole; in a way that doesn’t eliminate ambition. Stulberg highlights the value of being present and how his views on well-being and performance have evolved. Kocher and Stulberg also talk about the importance of active reading, how grit only works if you have the right fit, and how wisdom impacts peak performance in different disciplines. 

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Want more? Here’s the latest on Running Through Walls.

Venrock partner Brian Ascher speaks with Nicole Alvino, co-founder and CEO of Firstup, about effective workforce communication both digitally and in person. Alvino highlights fostering employee connection through authentic and transparent communication, using the power of video to drive engagement, and discusses expectations for corporate social responsibility. Plus, Alvino reveals a non-obvious lesson learned – employees want to hear from their peers (not just their leaders).
  1. Culture and Connection
  2. High Will Over High Skill
  3. Course Correcting for Long-Term Success
  4. Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
  5. Public Health & Pandemic Premonitions

Running Through Walls: Pandemic Preparedness: The Intersection of Academia and Public Health

Venrock partner Bob Kocher speaks with Ashish Jha, MD, MPH, Professor and Dean at Brown University School of Public Health, about the importance of interdisciplinary approaches and knowledge translation in tackling big public health problems. Dr. Jha delves into the journey that led him to become Dean at Brown University and his thoughts on academia’s role in sharing information with the public. Dr. Jha and Kocher discuss the challenges of allocating vaccines and investing more in public health and pandemic preparedness. Dr. Jha also shares his thoughts on how Covid-19 will evolve, what will happen when schools open up in the fall, and the negative impact of fragmented information.

Venrock Running Through Walls · Pandemic Preparedness: The Intersection of Academia and Public Health
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Venrock partner Brian Ascher speaks with Nicole Alvino, co-founder and CEO of Firstup, about effective workforce communication both digitally and in person. Alvino highlights fostering employee connection through authentic and transparent communication, using the power of video to drive engagement, and discusses expectations for corporate social responsibility. Plus, Alvino reveals a non-obvious lesson learned – employees want to hear from their peers (not just their leaders).
  1. Culture and Connection
  2. High Will Over High Skill
  3. Course Correcting for Long-Term Success
  4. Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
  5. Public Health & Pandemic Premonitions

Running Through Walls: Automating Inventory Management

Not knowing where items are located, what’s in stock, or if they are properly priced cost the global retail industry more than a trillion dollars. Venrock partner David Pakman speaks with Brad Bogolea, co-founder and CEO of Simbe Robotics, about how Simbe’s robot Tally is solving these major blind spots. Bogolea delves into how robotic solutions can keep up with rapid changes without overhauling infrastructure and provide greater optical data than traditional solutions. Bogolea discusses the competitive and consumer pressures prompting retailers to embrace robotic solutions and how the pandemic exposed the need for autonomy and better data. Bogolea also touches on the challenges of financing in the robotics sector, and how being customer-oriented is key to Simbe’s success. 

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Want more? Here’s the latest on Running Through Walls.

Venrock partner Brian Ascher speaks with Nicole Alvino, co-founder and CEO of Firstup, about effective workforce communication both digitally and in person. Alvino highlights fostering employee connection through authentic and transparent communication, using the power of video to drive engagement, and discusses expectations for corporate social responsibility. Plus, Alvino reveals a non-obvious lesson learned – employees want to hear from their peers (not just their leaders).
  1. Culture and Connection
  2. High Will Over High Skill
  3. Course Correcting for Long-Term Success
  4. Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
  5. Public Health & Pandemic Premonitions

Running Through Walls: Biotech’s Digital Transformation

Vlad Coric, M.D., CEO of Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, joins Venrock partner Nimish Shah to speak about the significance of innovation and creativity across all aspects of a business. Coric dives into the challenges of launching Biohaven’s drug, Nurtec ODT, during the pandemic and why he believed it was their moral duty to continue the drug supply chain, despite the lockdown. Still seeing patients today, Coric discusses how his patient-centric approach positively guided him as a drug developer. Coric touches on Biohaven’s collaboration with Khloe Kardashian for Nurtec’s launch and his excitement for the digital transformation occurring in biotech. Coric also advises other biotech CEOs raising a cross-over round or going public to be selective with the investors they invite in, as they become an extension of the team.

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Want more? Here’s the latest on Running Through Walls.

Venrock partner Brian Ascher speaks with Nicole Alvino, co-founder and CEO of Firstup, about effective workforce communication both digitally and in person. Alvino highlights fostering employee connection through authentic and transparent communication, using the power of video to drive engagement, and discusses expectations for corporate social responsibility. Plus, Alvino reveals a non-obvious lesson learned – employees want to hear from their peers (not just their leaders).
  1. Culture and Connection
  2. High Will Over High Skill
  3. Course Correcting for Long-Term Success
  4. Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
  5. Public Health & Pandemic Premonitions

Running Through Walls: What Financial Advice Should Be

Venrock partner Nick Beim speaks with Jason Wenk, founder and CEO of Altruist, about his mission to increase the accessibility of great financial advice. Wenk walks through his early entrepreneurial endeavors and explains how they’ve contributed to the creation of Altruist. As his leadership style has evolved over the years, Wenk shares the biggest lesson he’s learned while building Altruist and how he’s embraced the fact that it’s okay to not know everything.

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Want more? Here’s the latest on Running Through Walls.

Venrock partner Brian Ascher speaks with Nicole Alvino, co-founder and CEO of Firstup, about effective workforce communication both digitally and in person. Alvino highlights fostering employee connection through authentic and transparent communication, using the power of video to drive engagement, and discusses expectations for corporate social responsibility. Plus, Alvino reveals a non-obvious lesson learned – employees want to hear from their peers (not just their leaders).
  1. Culture and Connection
  2. High Will Over High Skill
  3. Course Correcting for Long-Term Success
  4. Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
  5. Public Health & Pandemic Premonitions