The Real Deal: Sam Colella, Versant Ventures


Guest: Sam Colella, Co-Founder, Versant Ventures

Bio and Contact Info

Chapters: (Advance the marker)

1:05 Where did it all begin for you?

4:23 What's in your magic sauce?

9:50 How did you get involved with Fluidigm?

13:30 "Build to buy" model

17:23 Is there a way to match the VC model to the long biotech cycle times?

19:59 "We're the real deal"

Today we're excited to welcome a special guest to the program for a rare and exclusive interview. Sam Colella is being honored this year at the BayBio Pantheon Awards ceremony in December for a lifetime achievement award. We sat down with him in his office at 3000 Sand Hill Rd.

Encouraged into venture capital by Tom Perkins (indeed, Colella replaced Perkins at Spectra Physics as CEO when Perkins headed to work for Hewlitt and Packard), Colella has become a legendary figure in our industry for picking winners. Talking first about his early years in the industry, Sam goes on to discuss his magic sauce for picking companies that go on to achieve success. He's a co-founder of Versant Ventures where he and his partners have come up with an innovative "build to buy" model of funding.

Sam sits on several boards of directors including Fluidigm, Veracyte, and Genomic Health. He tells how he came to invest in Fluidigm, a company who has seen their stock shoot up this past quarter. Speaking with a poker face and steely blue eyes, Colella says he still falls in love with deals and is motivated by the huge medical needs that are still unmet.

"This isn't a fad," he says. "We're not a social media. We're the real deal."

Sponsor: Today’s show is brought to you by the 10th Annual BayBio Pantheon Ceremony, presenting the 2013 DiNA Awards on December 5 in San Francisco. The Pantheon Awards Ceremony is a celebration of the contributions and achievements of the Bay Area, a moment to pause and reflect on the industry’s legacy over three decades.



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