The Healthtech VC #009: Investing in Health and Happiness with Dr Neha Tanna

Listen to the full episode of The Healthtech VC podcast on Apple Podcasts here and on Spotify here.  

Neha Tanna is a VC Investment Partner at Social Starts and Joyance Partners. Neha’s diverse portfolio career started off in medicine as a GP before expanding into pharmaceutical medicine and entrepreneurship then biotech investing and Venture Capital via an MBA at London Business School.
Neha discusses why she joined Social Starts and Joyance Partners and explores their investment thesis on health and happiness. She also touches on her experience of VC, how she wants to shape the investment world and provides tips for doctors looking to explore options outside medicine.

Taking steps beyond medicine

Neha talks about transitioning from GP to pharmaceutical medicine as her first step beyond frontline medicine. Scaling the learning curve in pharma quickly, Neha got to grips with drug life cycles, health economics, marketing and regulations of drugs in different jurisdictions. This experience taught her that there are many transferable skills that doctors possess and that they shouldn’t be afraid to try something outside their comfort zone.

For medics who are considering a leap outside medicine, Neha stresses that today there are many opportunities for hybrid jobs at startups which allow a doctor to continue some degree of clinical practice. Indeed, startups will respect clinicians who want to retain their medical license.

Doing an MBA as a medic.

Should one do an MBA as a medic? Neha’s experience was very positive. She credits the growth mindset of the London Business School community for positively influencing her career. The dynamic environment at LBS allowed her to grow as an individual and explore other career avenues in a safe environment. Being part of a community of people who are unafraid to try new things and support each other is very refreshing when one is experimenting new ideas. In fact, the LBS community directly helped Neha secure her role in venture capital.

Social Starts and Joyance Partners

Social Starts and Joyance Partners are an established fund who invest in the US, Europe and Asia. As an early stage investor, they invest from pre-seed to pre-series A, using quality data and data science to select the next macro and macro global trends. The fund sees around 10,000 companies each year. Their unique investment thesis of health and happiness explores how both are intertwined and how to find ‘joyful moments’ to invest in. These joyful moments are now even more sacred in the times of lockdown and the pandemic.

Neha highlights three portfolio companies and discusses what makes them successful: Lark Health (US), Feebris (UK) and Fable healthcare (India).

Improving diversity in healthtech

Neha is passionate about having a more equal balance of males to females in healthtech and investing. We need great female founders, investors and innovators in the healthtech ecosystem. As a first step, it is important for investors to check their own unconscious biases by looking at their own team and their portfolio for diversity. Beyond this, it is important for those from under-estimated backgrounds to champion each other and for those in senior positions to be accessible as role models.

If you are interested in Venture Capital or are a doctor looking to take a step beyond frontline medicine, this is the podcast for you.

Read more about Social Starts and Joyance Partners

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