Case Study

Dental Benefits Company Changes Venture Investment Strategy to Accelerate Growth

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Client Situation

This leading not-for-profit health company was highly successful and looking for ways to improve positive impact on their mission. At the time, there was very little new startup capital or activity in the oral health industry, at a time when the broader healthcare market was launching more than a thousand venture-backed startups per year. Additionally, the company had taken direct action to start multiple new ventures but found the “green-field” approach to be expensive, risky and very time consuming.

Solution

A seasoned strategy planning and corporate development executive, now a E78 team member, led a board planning process, beginning with a deep review of the startup and venture industries and including interviewing and relationship building with multiple players in the industry. Discussions with the board included a review of past venture-building experience as well as developing philosophy for mission impact and control. This enabled the board to pivot from the “green-field” approach to a venture investment approach. Following these discussions, the executive built a business plan including funding, investment thesis and operating plan, and supported the identifying and hiring of Venture Capital executives.

Results

The company launched two venture funds (a seed fund and a mid-stage fund) totaling $35 million, staffed by full-time employees, which have made investments in several oral health-oriented startups and raised the profile of oral health investing in the Venture Capital community.

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