7: From Idea to Opportunity 2

Thursday, April 15, 2010
Summary: This is the second of two sessions where we discuss the differences between an idea and an opportunity. In this session, we look at the particular challenges of new ventures in the life science industry.

Guests (Click for Bios)
Oleg Nodelman, Biotech Value Fund

Study Questions
(Policy on Study Questions.)
  • What made Sirtris an attractive opportunity (and not just a good idea) at the time that Christoph Westphal joined as CEO according to Salhman and any other relevant frameworks in E145? How will Sirtris make money?
  • Identify the major risks in each of these categories at the time of the case (2007): technology, market, team, and financial. What is the most critical category and why?
  • Assume that Christoph and Michelle Dipp have just been told that J.P. Morgan Securities, which is a reputable investment bank, is eager to help Sirtris go public soon by filing for an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Furthermore, assume that Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) has also just contacted them to discuss an offer to buy Sirtris entirely.  What are the advantages and disadvantages of each of these three options that they could pursue to finance and operate the venture (e.g., stay private for now and fund the company with more venture capital and corporate partnerships, take the company public via an IPO, or agree to be acquired to become an operating division of an established company)?
  • What are the major differences between starting and building an information technology venture like Yahoo and a life sciences one like Sirtris?

Team Case Analysis (Policy on Case Analyses.) - Group B only submits
"We suggest that Christoph and Michelle [stay private, file for an IPO, be acquired by GSK -- choose only one] because..."  *Note: You can touch on the questions at the end of the case in your write up but be sure to give a definitive answer to this question.

Required Readings (Policy on Required Readings.)
Technology Ventures (Byers, Dorf, and Nelson): Ch 9.3-9.4 (Highlights)
Case: Sirtris ( Appendix B of Byers, Dorf, and Nelson, p 623 ) 

Wach the following short videos