Thoughts, ideas and observations from our Venrock team

author img 11.14.2019
by Megan Blewett

How to Cure the Antibiotic Industry’s Profitability Infection

This June, a group of biotech representatives converged on San Francisco. They had come to bid on the assets of pharmaceutical company Achaogen, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April. When all was said and done, the top bidders walked away with virtually all of the company’s assets&

author img 11.7.2019
by Brian Ascher

Why I Fell for Nightfall AI

Four years ago I met a recent Stanford grad named Isaac Madan. He had an impressive computer science background, had founded a startup in college, and was interested in venture capital. Though we usually look to hire folks with a bit more experience under their belt, Isaac was exceptionally bright a

author img 11.6.2019
by Venrock

Running Through Walls: A Robot for Everyone

Venrock’s David Pakman speaks with Misty Robotics Founder and Head of Product Ian Bernstein and CEO Tim Enwall about the launch of Misty II and the company’s evolution into a platform for developers. They discuss what sparked their initial interest in robotics and the various ways a robot can h

author img 9.18.2019
by Nick Beim

Maintaining U.S. Leadership in Science and Technology

For the first time in 70 years, the US faces a serious challenge to its science and technology leadership. The primary challenge comes from China, both a strategic competitor and one of our most important economic partners. The cost of losing our leadership position would be high in terms of bot

author img 9.13.2019
by Bryan Roberts

10,000 Steps on a Knife Edge: Building a Large, Enduring Business

Over the last seven years, a bunch of variables – some influenced by our effort and attention, while others definitely out of our control – fell into place much more positively than usual. The result being that Cloudflare and 10X Genomics – companies in which Venrock led Series A financings

author img 9.12.2019
by David Pakman

Bringing Efficiency To Retail With Automation

Simbe Robotics frees up workers to do what humans do best—interact with customers.In the US, with the jobless rate at 3.7%, we are near full employment. Same in the UK at about 3.8%. This makes hiring a challenge for many companies in many sectors. In retail, not only is hiring hard, but turnover

author img 8.7.2019
by Venrock

Running Through Walls: Lessons of Leadership from the Pentagon

Venrock’s DJ Patil speaks with Secretary Ash Carter, who served as the 25th Secretary of Defense in the Obama administration, about his experience in national security, technology and management. He shares how he successfully introduced new technologies to the Pentagon while earning the nickname

author img 7.31.2019
by David Pakman

Blockchain Ballers

Want to own some of the greatest moments in NBA History? Coming soon… Image from NBA Our portfolio company Dapper Labs, along with the NBA and the NBPA, today announced NBA Top Shot, a first-of-its-kind digital collectible plat

author img 7.24.2019
by Venrock

Running Through Walls: The Right EQ for Leadership

Venrock partner Camille Samuels sits down with her fellow Unity board member Paul Berns to discuss his long career in the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology industries. He shares how he led Anacor to a $5B+ acquisition by Pfizer in 2016 and his approach to managing people (the most important variabl

author img 6.6.2019
by Bob Kocher, MD

While Considering Medicare For All: Policies For Making Health Care In The United States Better

This article first appeared in It is co-authored with Donald M. Berwick. While it is fascinating to think about “Medicare for All” (and one of us strongly favors it), it is unlikely that the United States will move quickly to fully publicly financed health insurance wh

author img 6.6.2019
by Bob Kocher, MD

Virta’s two-year results are a win for payers, providers and patients living with type 2 diabetes

As an investor, I use three heuristics to evaluate healthcare startups. Will the product or service… Improve dramatically a patient’s experience of care?Materially reduce the per patient cost of healthcare?Deliver meaningful health improvements for patients? This is no secret — the

author img 5.17.2019
by Venrock

Running Through Walls: "The Passion Paradox," Live from Lyra Health

Venrock Partner Bob Kocher sat down with Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness in front of a live audience during the launch of their latest book “The Passion Paradox” at the offices of Lyra Health. They talked about cultivating a harmonious passion based on research that counters the conventional wi