We’ve decided to recruit a Partner to lead our Bio + Tech efforts, more specifically, opportunities at the intersection of Bio, Computation, and Engineering. “Bio+Tech” includes life sciences, but also applies to platforms, software, tools, and bio innovations in sustainability, food, ag, and other industries.
By background, Pillar was started in 2016 with a group of 16 of the top tech CEOs in Boston, including the leaders of TripAdvisor, Wayfair, Draftkings, and Rapid7. We started as a tech investing firm backing companies such as PillPack, Desktop Metal, and Algorand. We had no specific intention of investing in healthcare or life sciences. This might seem crazy in retrospect, given that we live in Greater Boston, “mecca” for life sciences.
As we started making investments, we began to run into really interesting founders, often recent PhDs or postdocs pursuing big ideas at the frontier of biology and engineering.
Alec Nielsen & Raja Srinivas from Asimov and Andy Beck & Aditya Khosla from PathAI were two such teams. These founders were operating in a gap between what tech VCs and life sciences VCs wanted — and furthermore, while they were smart, driven, and had impeccable pedigrees, they were not yet proven as entrepreneurs. We thought there was a gap in the market.
We launched Petri last fall in collaboration with a dozen experienced innovators including leaders from Twist, Insitro, Ginkgo Bioworks, and Beyond Meat. We have seen hundreds of applications from all over the world, and from these, we chose an initial cohort of 8 exciting companies spanning drug discovery, food, ag, instrumentation, and diagnostics.
We see an enormous opportunity unfolding — everything we touch has an element of biology in it and this is why Pillar has chosen to go deeper into bio + tech.
The new Partner we are seeking will lead these efforts, working with the Pillar team to make seed investments, and working with the Petri team to support our pre-seed and company formation efforts.
Who You Are
- You’re relentlessly curious. Your favorite word is “Why?” You’re a sponge for information and are constantly exploring new industries, ideas, technologies, and tools. You seek out experts, surround yourself with books and articles, and learn from founders as you come up to speed on a new space.
- You have a great read on people. You’re able totap into real customer pain and understand new market opportunities, but you’re even better at identifying promising founders and senior leaders who have the capacity to blow through walls and create momentum, sweeping people into their mission along the way.
- You are a magnet for founders. Entrepreneurs want to meet you, learn from you, trust you, build with you.
- You’re a connector. You enjoy meeting new people and building a community, but more importantly, like to connect the dots, putting people together who mutually benefit from shared skills, ideas, and perspectives.
- You advocate for founders. You have empathy for entrepreneurs, perhaps because you’ve spent time building companies yourself.
- You are a creator. You’re energized by the chance to partner with founders, but also enjoy shaping strategy, laying out a vision for the future as you consider new ways to innovate and build relationships.
- You are an operator and an investor. You have both operational understanding from having been around startups, and an investor mindset, working as a professional, or in making angel investments.
- Contribute as a member of the leadership team of Pillar.
- Collaborate with the Pillar and Petri teams to define and execute our strategy for bio + tech.
- Map the landscape of opportunities, identifying key areas in which our team is well-positioned to help founders succeed.
- Source, evaluate, and execute new investment opportunities, leveraging your network, and the broader Pillar community to connect with founders driving change in this space.
- Research new people, technologies, and applications sharing what you learn with our team and our portfolio.
We welcome and encourage underrepresented candidates to apply for this role, as we continue to strive to diversify our team.