Fireside Chat With Jay Goss
by Tombot Robotics
Hello Tombot family, I'm Tom Stevens. We recently held a Fireside Chat with Jay Goss. Fireside Chats are educational interviews with experts from the fields of health, technology and pets.
Jay is a general partner at Wavemaker Three-Sixty Health and serves on Tombot's board of directors. Wavemaker Three-Sixty is a Pasadena, California-based venture fund that focuses 100% on healthcare startups seeking seed-stage investments.
Prior to Wavemaker, Jay built and ran businesses from early-stage startups to building new businesses within very large companies. Jay earned his bachelors in economics and business from UCLA, as well as an MBA from the USC Marshall School of Business. The discussion below highlights some notable topics discussed in the webinar.
What is a Venture Fund?
At its core, a venture fund is a pool of capital. I run out and get capital from other investors.
The goal or the requirement of a venture fund is to raise this pool of capital with the objective then of deploying that capital into some number of startups. You might raise $10 or $20 million and invest in five or ten companies over a handful of years.
You might raise hundreds of millions of dollars and invest into companies over three, four, or five years. But ultimately, the ins and the outs are capital coming in from investors and capital going out into early-stage or startup companies.
What Does a Typical Week Look Like for Potential Investments?
We'll look at between 20 and 40 deals a week but we're also a seven-person fund. There are seven partners here, so no one of us is looking at all brand-new companies every week.
Across the team, we're looking at those [prospects], and then some of those companies will get a second shake. Some of those companies won't be a good fit for the fund, or the fund is not a good fit for them. It's a funnel. Those companies move through the funnel and out the other end, which is about one new investment per month for us. We've invested in 39 companies over about 36 or 37 months. A little bit more than one a month.
Why are Investment Opportunities in Healthcare Worth Exploring?
Our favorite answers to those questions have to do with things that are going on in the healthcare industry. One, the aging baby boomer population. It's not to say that human beings don't get sick or need the healthcare industry's help when they're younger, but in general, human beings need more healthcare as they get older.
Baby boomers are now retiring, and that's causing a lot of stress on the US healthcare system. We can’t build hospitals fast enough. We can't invent enough technology to be able to take care of this growing aging population fast enough. That's one condition in place.
Why Does Wavemaker Three-Sixty Focus on Early-Stage Companies?
We have a very specific theory around what we do. We almost always invest at the seed stage. We want to invest in a company that's pure concept. If a company is already off to the races and generating millions of dollars, it's too late for us.
We have that conviction for one reason, and it goes back to our limited partners. Our theory being, if you're blessed with having 150 healthcare executives as investors who are able, willing, and motivated to help the companies you invest into, could we move the needle if these companies were a little bit more mature? Probably.
We could take them from nine to ten, we can take them from eight to nine, but taking a company from zero to one is a much more profound value creation. That's where our investors want us to play. That's where we're going to stick to, because we think we get the maximum bang for the buck, given that we have this secret weapon.
As an Investor, What Potential do you See in Tombot?
We like that there's virtual certainty that the product will be successful in both a consumer-focused marketing strategy and more of a B to B. It's very clear that there's no mystery around it because your waitlist and your pre-orders play this out, and this product can be up on a website.
People can discover the website, they can discover the product and they can just buy directly more and more as the product becomes more accepted. As the product actually gets the stamp of approval from the FDA, on and on and on.
We also love the fact that it will have a traditional healthcare play - in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living, and other places where it will be marketed (for lack of a better term) to the end consumer.
Related Article: Investors Explain Why They Believe in Tombot
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On behalf of the entire Tombot team, It was a pleasure having Jay Goss for this insightful discussion.
From a founder's perspective, raising capital is - without question - the hardest thing I've done in my career. It's not a single investor who puts you over the top, but a village of investors.
With our StartEngine campaign, our village extends out to our customers, non-accredited investors, and accredited investors. For more information, and to learn how you can help us bring Tombot puppies to those desperately in need, please visit our website, or join as an early investor on our raise page.