The Corporate Landscape Morphed & New Opportunities Abound

This panel discusses what strategies are employed by corporate venture capital firms for investments and partnerships with early-stage companies. Potential topics for the panel include:

  • What corporate VCs look for in companies
  • What working with a corporate VC entails
  • What companies should do to be relevant to the corporate VC

Panelists could also discuss the relationship between the corporate venture capital firm and the parent company and how it affects investment criteria.


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

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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Carrie Hurwitz Williams, Partner, McKesson Ventures

Carrie brings over 15 years of healthcare experience from several vantage points within the healthcare industry. Prior to joining McKesson Ventures, she served as Vice President, Strategy and Business Development for Omada Health, where she focused heavily on all elements of commercial strategy and partnerships. Prior to Omada, Carrie held roles within McKesson’s Strategy & Business Development team, advancing innovation strategies aimed at hospital pharmacy and clinical trial patient recruitment. She began her career in drug development managing oncology clinical trials in both large pharmaceutical and biotech settings. Williams holds a MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley and a BS in biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. After more than a dozen years in the Bay Area, she is now back in the Boston area, where she lives with her husband, daughters, and their golden retriever, Fenway. A piece of her heart will always be in San Francisco, so maybe it’s time to rename the dog “Oracle.”

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Therese Maria Liechtenstein, Principal, Healthcare Team from M Ventures

Therese Maria Liechtenstein, PhD, is a Principal in the Biotech Fund of M Ventures, the strategic corporate venture capital arm of Merck. Therese is responsible for investments in early-stage therapeutics companies in the fields of Oncology, Immunology and Fertility. Previously Therese managed strategic projects for the Healthcare business of Merck in Darmstadt, Germany. Prior to Merck, Therese was a client relationship manager for the wealth preservation company Industrie- & Finanzkontor. Therese has a PhD in Immuno-Oncology from University College London, an MSc in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Amsterdam, and a BA in Biology and Business studies from New York University. Therese is based in Amsterdam.

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David Hwang, Managing Director, Early Stage Partnerships, Agilent Technologies

Mr. Hwang currently is Senior Director of Strategy and Corporate Development at Agilent Technologies and a Managing Director of Agilent’s Early Stage Partnership Program that helps early stage companies navigate the complex life science ecosystem. He has more than 18 years of experience in corporate development, venture investment, corporate financing, and M&A. Mr. Hwang is responsible for managing strategic investments, partnerships, and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) globally. He has worked on several transformational initiatives including the spinoff of Keysight Technologies from Agilent in 2014 and Agilent’s $2.2 billion acquisition of Dako, a Danish cancer diagnostics company. Prior to joining Agilent, Mr. Hwang held several senior roles at boutique investment banks in New York City and San Francisco. He holds a BA from Brandeis University and an MBA from Rutgers University.

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Victor Stone, Partner, Takeda Ventures

Victor Stone (Yoshihide Ishii) joined Takeda Ventures, Inc. (TVI) in January 2020, as Partner, and is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prior to joining TVI, Victor was a Director at Whiz Partners in Tokyo, where he served leading roles as company creation and fund establishment. His responsibilities include investment committee member of a joint fund with Takeda. Prior to his transition to business, Victor served in the United States Navy and Marine Corps as a Naval Flight Surgeon. His military service includes multiple combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan; humanitarian aid in Bangladesh, and Officer in Charge of all rotary wing medical forces of the Marine Atlantic fleet. As a physician, he assumed operational responsibility for a 67-person outpatient clinic in North Carolina. Victor holds an M.D. from Jefferson Medical College, and MBA from Harvard Business School.