I was recently sent the press release (embedded below) about a new healthcare crowdfunding platform called VentureHealth. I’ve long thought that healthcare is one of the areas that could benefit from Crowdfunding the most. Largely because many patients (the crowd) have an interest in solving big problems in healthcare. So, the crowd could come together to help fund solutions to the world’s most deadly and pernicious diseases.
However, VentureHealth takes a bit of a different approach to Crowdfunding in Healthcare. Instead of focusing on patients funding healthcare entrepreneurs (which isn’t really possible yet because of crowdfunding laws), they are focused on enabling accredited investors who want to invest in healthcare startups. This is a smart idea because many doctors likely fit into the accredited investor category.
Unfortunately, having accredited investors is the only way to do crowdfunding today. However, I think this could be a good step for healthcare. If you can get a crowd of doctors backing innovation in healthcare, then you’re more likely to see success.
We’ll see how VentureHealth does over time, but it’s cool that they also announced in the press release below that the helped Channel Medsystems raise part of a series B round of funding. They also have a couple exits listed on their portfolio page including the popular BodyMedia. I’ll be interested to see how Venture Health does over time.
VentureHealth Launches New Model for Funding Healthcare Innovations
Individual Investors Can Now Tap Into Previously Inaccessible Life Sciences Deals
San Jose, Calif. – May 17, 2013 – VentureHealth, an online healthcare investment portal for accredited investors, today announced a new model for equity crowdfunding. Focused on innovations that dramatically improve clinical outcomes, VentureHealth is the first equity crowdfunding portal founded by professional investors. The investment platform offers qualified investors access to life sciences deals that traditionally were reserved for venture capitalists.
VentureHealth is led by a seasoned team with extensive success in the healthcare industry. Mir Imran, Co-Founder and Managing Director, is a prolific medical innovator who has founded more than 20 life sciences companies and holds more than 200 patents. Mir is also the founder of InCube Labs, a multi-disciplinary research lab that develops breakthrough medical technologies, and InCube Ventures, a life sciences venture fund. Andrew Farquharson, Co-Founder and Managing Director of VentureHealth, is an investor and entrepreneur with two decades of experience building, restructuring and acquiring companies in life sciences. A Harvard MBA, Andrew is also a founding member of InCube Ventures and an advisor to InCube Labs. Talat Imran, the third Co-Founder and Managing Director, is an accomplished entrepreneur in the world of digital media.
“Venture capital for early stage life sciences companies has dried up in the last few years, and promising companies are always looking for investors. VentureHealth has the potential to change how healthcare innovations are funded, which is a win for both entrepreneurs and investors,” said Mir Imran, Co-Founder and Managing Director.
“We founded VentureHealth so that physicians and other accredited investors can invest in the most compelling biomedical innovations,” said Andrew Farquharson, Co-Founder and Managing Director. “This model gives individuals access to high-quality deals, investing on terms offered to professional VCs. It’s a paradigm shift and, if we’re successful, this could change the landscape for biomedical financing.”
VentureHealth is also announcing today that it raised $875,000 as part of a Series B round for Channel Medsystems, a start-up developing next generation cryoablation technologies.
“We love this new approach,” said Dan Burnett, Founder of Channel Medsystems. “VentureHealth is very attractive for companies like ours because it creates new financing options, and makes the whole funding ecosystem less VC dependent. That is a very big deal to entrepreneurs.”
In launching the online portal, VentureHealth is able to expand the community of investors while offering a limited number of carefully selected investment opportunities at any given time.
Astro Teller, serial entrepreneur and scientist who oversees Google[x], Google’s audacious ideas lab and “moonshot factory,” is not affiliated with VentureHealth but sees the potential of the model. “Democratizing access to private markets is a powerful concept, and VentureHealth gets us a step closer to this vision. It’s opening doors for individual investors, giving them access to deals they wouldn’t be able to participate in otherwise. Even more interesting, it’s giving these investors a forum to interact and engage with the community. There’s no doubt that 100 qualified people evaluating a deal make a better decision than one individual investor.”
Registered potential investors can log into www.venturehealth.com to see the most current offerings and to sign up to receive notifications when new investments become available. Those seeking life science investment opportunities must understand the risks associated with equity investments and are encouraged to consider investment diversification.
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VentureHealth is an online venture fund platform for accredited investors who want access to breakthrough opportunities in the $2.5 trillion US healthcare sector. Based in Silicon Valley, the firm was founded by professional investors with strong track records, who are passionate about improving healthcare. The team vets investments based on its deep experience in company building, and is incentivized by the quality of deals, not quantity. The time has come for offline fundraising to move online. For more information please visit www.VentureHealth.com.