Venture capitalism is a necessary tool for many small businesses to startup or grow and blossom into massive companies. However, most people are unaware of how to navigate them. In this interview, Joel Ivers, a venture capitalist, shares his origin story, including raising millions for biotech startups.
Joel never really started out trying to pursue entrepreneurship. Back in his day, he didn't know many people trying to build companies and so naturally didn't himself. He took a straight and narrow path.
He went to college and became a chemistry major, eventually working his way into a Ph.D. program for molecular biology and genetics. Joel decided that he didn't want a Ph.D., left with a masters, and became a certified high school chemistry teacher.
Realizing that he would never make a ton of money as a teacher, he got in touch with a recruiter started looking for a position in technical sales. Within two weeks of looking, Joel resigned from his teaching position and was working as a salesman for Johnson & Johnson.
Joel was a sales rep for a couple of years and eventually became the sales manager. In order to keep moving forward at J&J, however, he would have had to move to New Jersey. So, he found a marketing position in Ohio working for a clinical research company.
After 5 years, Joel got a call from a headhunter who offered him an intrepreneur position in a newly created division within a biotech company who was releasing brand new technology. The job would be to launch this product worldwide.
Joel said yes, and that really started his path as an entrepreneur. And launch he did, even after hurdling many different regulatory and shipping issues in the United States, Japan, and many other countries around the world. This was a lot of great international experience for Joel.
At this point, a group of people at Joel's current company (including him), were approached by investors to launch a biotech startup. It was the sister company of Human Genome Sciences, and Joel jumped at the opportunity with funding from Healthcare Ventures.
After doing this for several years, Joel decided that he didn't want to keep moving around to grow with the business, so he decided to become the CEO of a new company back in Ohio. From here, Joel dabbled with a few more startups, eventually ran his own venture capital firm, and the rest is history.
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