Monthly Archives: May 2015

The First VC Funded Baby – Welcome to the World Zain!

I consider myself a lucky guy. Every day I get to go to work and meet with incredibly talented, energetic, and inspirational entrepreneurs who, by the very definition of what they do, are trying to change the way things work in our world, for the better.

I also get to back and work with companies who are literally revolutionizing the way industries work. For me, it is companies that are focused on improving probably the most important resource we have as human beings — our health and the way it is cared for and delivered.

Working with great people to solve big problems. That’s my job and it is pretty awesome.

Over the past decade, I have gotten the privilege to be part of some great moments in these companies’ histories — everything from helping to fund drugs that have literally helped patients walk again to ringing the NASDAQ bell as part of a company’s IPO.

But I have never been part of anything cooler than what one of these companies (Ovascience) announced late last week, welcoming Baby Zain to our world —

It was clear to me from the very early days of Ovascience that this company had a chance to truly change the world. Most life science companies focus on healing and curing disease and the work they do is important and admirable. But very few actually focus on the other end of the spectrum — helping bring new life to our world.

Ovascience is based on a discovery that literally turned medical dogma on its head. For centuries, the belief has been that women have a finite number of eggs in their ovarian pool and that these eggs deplete over time until menopause is reached. Thanks to years of research by Ovascience co-founder, Jon Tilly, it turns out that this established dogma may not actually be true. A little over a decade ago, Tilly discovered that women actually have a replenishing pool of egg precursor cells (EggPC). EggPC’s are immature egg cells found inside a woman’s ovarian lining that have the potential to be matured into new, fertilizable eggs and thereby replenishing her egg supply.

The presence of EggPC cells changes that fundamental understanding about female biology, and opens up extraordinary possibilities to help women improve their fertility. And it was these EggPCs that clinicians believe led to Baby Zain’s birth!

Any parent will tell you that nothing was more powerful or meaningful than that first time they held their newly-born son or daughter in their arms. Here’s my little Charlie rocking his Ovascience onesie courtesy of founder/CEO, Michelle Dipp and the OVAS team:

Having Charlie changed my world for the better in so many ways and I am so happy and proud that hopefully many more couples will be able to share such an experience, thanks to Ovascience. At the end of the Time magazine article, Zain’s mother captured the magnitude of this company’s work with words that I will always remember:

“We see Zain as a symbol of hope for all couples struggling with infertility,” says Natasha. “While the process is long, emotional and physically draining, there is light at the end of the tunnel — and that light for us is Zain.”

In just four brief years, Ovascience has already accomplished many amazing things, including a very successful IPO and achieving unicorn status. But nothing beats the birth of baby Zain.

Congratulations to Michelle and the entire Ovascience team for bringing light to this world. I can think of no greater cause for celebration.