How Do Family Offices View Seed & Series A Rounds?

This panel focusing on understanding how family offices view direct investments in early-stage healthcare opportunities (seed – series A) and how the differ/compare to VCs. Topics may include:

  • Primary differences between institutional VCs and family office investors
  • How family offices source investments / how to get on their radar
  • Trends in the early-stage healthcare investment space

The primary goal of this panel is to help entrepreneurs understand how family offices view early-stage investments in the healthcare space and best practices for approaching, pitching and working with these groups as well as debunking some common misconceptions about family offices.


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Andy Merken, Partner, Corporate and Securities Co-Chair, Life Sciences, Burns & Levinson (Moderator)

Andy is a Partner in the Corporate Group and the Venture Capital & Emerging Companies Group. He is also the Co-Chair of both the Life Sciences Group and the Securities Group. Andy focuses on business and transactional matters for a wide range of clients, with a particular concentration on Seed round and Venture Capital financings, recapitalizations, mergers & acquisitions, private equity transactions, and corporate governance.

In addition to his corporate finance and mergers & acquisitions work, Andy represents entrepreneurs, start-up and growth-stage companies, and investment banks, as well as venture capital investors, private foundations, family offices, and angel investors, in formation and structuring matters, equity and compensation, business contracts and general business advice and planning. Andy also represents C-level and R&D executives in employment matters, including equity compensation.

Andy works with clients in a variety of industries, including life sciences (biotech/biopharmaceutical, medical device, healthcare, digital health, and healthcare services), business services, software, financial services, venture capital, investment banking, consulting, legal services, consumer products, staffing, food services, real estate, and entertainment.

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Hewmun Lau, Principal Broadview Ventures

Hewmun shares responsibility for the day-to-day investment activities at Broadview Ventures, including identification and screening of new opportunities, due diligence, negotiation of deal structure, and portfolio company board involvement.

Hewmun comes to Broadview with 10 years of life science experience across business development, commercial operations, consulting and R&D. Previously, Hewmun was at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals where she held several roles with increasing responsibility. She was most recently Director of Corporate Development where she led the company’s business development activities. Her prior positions within Merrimack include Associate Director of New Product Planning and Senior Manager of Commercial Analytics where she supported the launch of Merrimack’s first marketed drug. Before Merrimack, Hewmun was a Senior Consultant at Navigant Consulting’s Life Sciences Practice. At Navigant, she worked on engagements involving big pharma and emerging biotech companies across all therapeutic areas. Client engagements ranged from commercial opportunity assessment to launch strategy and product lifecycle management. Hewmun began her career in biomedical research including lab research positions at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and McLean Hospital.

Hewmun holds a B.S. from Brandeis University, an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and a M.S. from the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology.

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Bettina Ernst, Partner BERNINA BioInvest

Bettina has been investing in healthcare companies for the past 6 years. She also serves on the board of several early-stage biotech companies in Switzerland, on the board of the Swiss Biotech Association, and as a member of the advisory board of the Swiss Entrepreneur Fund and of the Innovation Council of Innosuisse. Bettina is a co-founder of two biotech companies. Prior to her investment and entrepreneurial activities, she worked for 10 years in fundamental immunology in the US (Scripps Research Institute, San Diego, CA) and in Europe. Bettina holds a PhD in immunology and an undergraduate degree in natural science from the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. Bettina resides in Switzerland.

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Bryan Grulke, Partner Volcano Capital

Bryan Grulke is a Partner at Volcano Capital, an early stage health care venture capital firm based in New York City. Volcano Capital focuses on the medical device sector and has made 15+ investments to date. Prior to joining Volcano Capital, Mr. Grulke worked as a strategy consultant at Bain & Company and in the corporate strategy group at Philips International. Mr. Grulke graduated from Harvard Business School and Duke University, summa cum laude with a BS degree in Economics.

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Sajal Heda, CEO & Founding Partner Amana Global Partners

Sajal is CEO and Founding Partner of Amana Global Partners, which supports families and SFOs for their investment needs. He has around two decades of experience ranging from managing investments across asset classes and geographies to setting up of sophisticated single family offices. He has managed investments for prominent families in Middle East and Indian subcontinent. CIO magazine had selected Sajal, on their ‘40 under 40’ Chief Investment Officer list for 2016. He was involved with many notable international committees mainly – CFA Disciplinary Review Committee, AIMA Investor Steering Committee, CAIA Middle East Advisory Committee and others. He is very active on international conference speaker’s circuit and was involved with AIMA in writing papers. He is a graduate of Mumbai University, MBA from London Business School with CFA, CAIA and CDDA Charterholder and holds a CMA designation. He is an avid traveller and has been passionately involved in collecting Indian contemporary art.