Jan. 24, 2023

UVC: James Wang from Creative Ventures on why they study the market they invest in deeply before looking at tech solutions for it, a sign of a really bad startup, and adoption challenges faced by healthcare tech startups

UVC: James Wang from Creative Ventures on why they study the market they invest in deeply before looking at tech solutions for it, a sign of a really bad startup, and adoption challenges faced by healthcare tech startups

Understanding VC is a deep dive on how venture capitalists work. In this episode, I chat with James Wang, General Partner at Creative Ventures, an early-stage deep-tech VC investing in companies solving global crises. James starts the conversation by sharing how he became a VC despite thinking it was a bad idea. He shares how Creative Ventures evaluate startups, why they study the market they invest in deeply before looking at tech solutions for it, and stay away from taking R&D risks. James also gives his opinion on the argument of whether investing in more diverse founders results in better venture returns. We also talk about challenges faced by healthcare startups in aligning with different stakeholders to ensure a successful GTM strategy. As the conversation evolves, we also touch upon bottlenecks that the agriculture industry faces to improve productivity and how even the end of the Ukraine war is not going to end the global food shortage.


In this episode you will learn:

  • Why James became a VC despite having an opinion that it was a bad idea?
  • How does Creative Ventures evaluate startups and why do they study the market they invest in deeply before looking at tech solutions for it?
  • Why James doesn’t invest in startups with R&D risk and also talk about the strict protocols they have in place to make investments?
  • Why startups who don’t share information about their tech or product is a sign of a really bad one?
  • Does investing in more diverse founders outside of the elite networks that get most of the venture potentially offer better venture returns?
  • What challenges are faced by healthcare startups in aligning the different stakeholders to ensure a successful GTM strategy?
  • How even the end of the Ukraine war is not going to end the global food shortage and the challenges faced in agriculture to improve productivity

About

James Wang is a General Partner at Creative Ventures, an early-stage VC focusing on healthcare, agriculture, and industrial technologies, and a co-founder of Lioness Health. Previously, he was on the core investment team at Bridgewater Associates, founded a non-profit consulting firm specializing in microfinance, and did a stint at Google X's Makani project.

James holds an MBA from UC Berkeley where he was a Jack Larson Fellow in Entrepreneurship, a BA with Honors from Dartmouth, and an MS in Computer Science at Georgia Tech. He also holds a Data Science Specialization from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and completed the course track for a Ph.D. Designated Emphasis in Computational Sciences and Engineering at UC Berkeley.

James Wang Profile Photo

James Wang

General Partner at Creative Ventures

James Wang is a General Partner at Creative Ventures, an early-stage VC focusing on healthcare, agriculture, and industrial technologies, and a co-founder of Lioness Health. Previously, he was on the core investment team at Bridgewater Associates, founded a non-profit consulting firm specializing in microfinance, and did a stint at Google X's Makani project.

James holds an MBA from UC Berkeley where he was a Jack Larson Fellow in Entrepreneurship, a BA with Honors from Dartmouth, and an MS in Computer Science at Georgia Tech. He also holds a Data Science Specialization from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and completed the course track for a Ph.D. Designated Emphasis in Computational Sciences and Engineering at UC Berkeley.