This tweet is By Rob Wright, Chief Editor, Life Science Leader. He interview Clay Siegall the CEO of Seattle Genetics. He meet him in San Franciscot in January for the 36th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference (JPM). We were talking to each other and he asked me a question “Do you thing he might have the capacity to turn Valeant around?”. He said we are still having a discussion. We discussed this challenge with papa and we think he is on right path.
Having a interview of a CEO is sometimes a challenge and also sometimes interesting. While we were having discussion in San Francisco, we discussed how Seattle Genetics became startup incubator. The most interesting part was how he was able to get bill Gates and Paul Allen invest in Seattle Genetics.
How Did Bill Gates And Paul Allen become Investors In Seattle Genetics?
The answer to this question is interesting. A startup bio pharmaceutical company is not easy to found. There are so many challenges which has to be faced. Sometimes it become difficult to bring a new therapeutic to market. As everyone knows 8 out of 10 startups who start their businesses fails within 18 months.It takes 14-15 years and billion dollars to start a new startup. But what if two of your investors are Bill Gates and Paul Allen? Might be good for your confidence. It depends on the idea which Seattle will bought.
Siegall shares when he founded the company he was the one who handle data and information and explain it to investors. He said we talk to VCs also to get finance. We didn’t speak with Bill Gates and Paul Allen directly. We first contacted their staff when we were seeking serious funding. That time were were unsuccessful.
Siegall says we still continued to have meeting with their staff when they didn’t ready to invest. We used to tell them our progress reports after every couple of months. When we were ready for the B financing they were also familiar with what we were doing. Now they were ready to invest.
Siegall says this is an important lesson he want to give to new startups. He said “When starting a company and assuming that you have targeted your specific groups you will never hear “no” but you will hear “not now”. He says when you hear that don’t get disappointed just think what you should do now. Even if you didn’t get investment update them time to time. People invest in company due to two things Technology and Management team. When it comes to securing financing its important to be consistent with your progress. This is how we get investment from Bill Gates and Paul Allen in our early stage and we are proud of that.