In a discussion with ideamensch published here: https://ideamensch.com/jim-tananbaum/, Foresite Capital founder and Chief Executive Officer Jim Tananbaum shares reflections on a wide range of topics, including how his philosophies have been shaped over the course of his career. Dr. Tananbaum brings a fresh perspective to the field of investing; with extensive experience in both venture capital and the medical field. Far from being an outsider in the medical field; just operating as an entrepreneur looking to hit the next big thing, Jim Tananbaum earned his MD from Harvard Medical School. His academic accreditations also include his MBA from Harvard Business School, undergrad education centered on math and electrical engineering at Yale, and Masters work at MIT. Included here are some impressive titles simply considered on their own, but it becomes apparent reading the interview linked above how each come into play in Dr. Tananbaum’s work. More details can be found on Crunchbase.
Foresite Capital came into existence out of the need that Tananbaum felt to carry out entrepreneurial work that didn’t just carry out the same ideas, finding the same results, built on the same old collected wisdom that informed how things had traditionally been done. His work in the pharmaceutical field saw the massive success of GelTex Pharmaceutical, which ended up being acquired for over $1 billion in 1998. Other successful ventures and partnerships followed. Eventually Foresite Capital was born; the product of Tananbaum’s wisdom that had been gained over the span of his career, incorporating his willingness to take risks and strike out on his own. The Foresite Capital paradigm was Dr. Tananbaum’s own vision, one not muddled by the kind of past compromises that he felt contributed to past missteps.
Using their knowledge of what is needed in healthcare; Foresite invests in companies and areas that are doing groundbreaking work in vital areas. They carry out extensive research, and use it both in deciding where to invest, and then in helping build the companies after they have funded them. This is proving a best-of-both-worlds approach that allows Dr. Tananbaum to exercise his passions for both medicine and entrepreneurial work.